Merrimon Book Reviews

Worn by Amish women and girls over their prayer caps for church or formal occasions.

From Merrimon Book Reviews
Sworn to Silence
Sworn to Silence by Linda Castillo
by Linda Castillo     

Intense thriller with exquisite use of point of view!

After only 2 years in homicide, Kate Burkholder is now the Chief of police in Painter's Mill, a town often divided between its Amish and English residents.  As a former resident and a woman with an Amish background herself, Kate might be just what the town needs to smooth over the some of the rough spots.  When the body of a woman brutally murdered is discovered, Kate's past comes back to haunt her.  She knows the killer's identity but she cannot reveal the dark secret of her past.  Sworn to silence, she must choose between betrayal to her family and her past and yet by withholding the information, lives of young women might be at risk.  As the body count rises, Kate must race to solve the case as others watch her decisions.  Even with her secrets, will  Kate Burkholder be prepared for the shocking twists in the case?

Linda Castillo writes a dark thriller that will keep readers poised on the edge of their seats, repelled by the twisted viciousness of the crimes yet eager to see how Kate will thread her way through the landmines of the past.  From the first pages of the prologue, Linda Castillo puts the reader in the position of the victim, making one feel the pure horror and torture of her villain's actions.  Next to this brutality, she juxtaposes the simplicity of the Amish life style and the innocent spirit of the victims even in the most terrifying moments.  Within this setting, Police Chief Kate Burkholder's character draws the reader into the story.  An outsider now to the Amish community, she still carries some of the values within her, values that allow her to see inside the heart of others around her.  At the same time, she possesses a gritty spunk one would never associate with her Amish past.  Tough and dynamic, she doesn't hesitate to take the unusual unexpected step.   John Tomasetti, an outsider sent in to help the investigation, presents several intriguing wrinkles into Kate's plans.  In putting these two non-heroic, tough flawed characters together on the case, both at odds with one another and yet dependent on one another, Linda Castillo creates a freshness and a depth in this chilling thriller.  Even the minor characters such as Pickles and Glock give this thriller a nice touch, allowing the reader to see the many sides of the police chief's personality.

In SWORN TO SILENCE, Linda Castillo, a well-seasoned award winning author of romantic suspense novels, makes her exceptional debut into the thriller genre with a case that will shock and haunt readers.   Linda Castillo allows the reader to feel the point of view of the victims at the scene of the crimes, not only those murdered, but the horror of those who discover the bodies and the feelings of Kate and the families whose hopes she must destroy.  As the details of Kate's past become known, the intensity only magnifies the emotional impact.  Several plot twists keep the interest right up to the last page, and even beyond in anticipation of the next thriller featuring the complex and intriguing Kate Berkholder.  Linda Castillo has a fresh, rich voice as she moves into the thriller genre.  Be warned, however.  From the very beginning, SWORN TO SILENCE takes the reader straight into the twisted world of the killer.  You might want to read this book during daylight hours or in one sitting to avoid having nightmares or staying up all night with the lights on.  Many thrillers shock with gruesome details of crime, but few take the reader through the scene with this kind of imagination with such exquisitely written points of view, perspectives that bring the crimes chillingly close to heart.

Publisher: St. Martin's Minotaur (June 2009)
Author web site
Reviewed by Merrimon, Merrimon Book Reviews
Review Courtesy of Amazon Vine
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