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Breaking Silence (Kate Burkholder) Hardcover – June 21, 2011

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Product Details

  • Series: Kate Burkholder (Book 3)
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books; First Edition edition (June 21, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312374992
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312374990
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.2 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (208 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #901,694 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In Castillo's fine third Amish thriller (after Pray for Silence), Kate Burkholder, police chief of Painter's Creek, Ohio, finds a gruesome crime scene at a farm. Solly and Rachael Slabaugh, and Solly's brother, Abel, have drowned in a poorly ventilated manure pit, succumbing to methane gas asphyxiation. But the deaths are no accident and may be related to a recent string of hate crimes against the Amish. The hate crimes designation brings in John Tomasetti, an agent with the Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation and Kate's sometimes lover. Kate becomes close with the four orphaned Slabaugh children, especially with the daughter, 15-year-old Salome. Kate, who was raised Amish, understands the difficulties an ambitious Amish teenager faces. Escalating hate crimes are uncovered, but the investigation is stymied because the Amish resist help from outsiders. Castillo melds deeply flawed characters with a glimpse into a unique community in which isolation can hide a plethora of secrets. 150,000 first printing; author tour. (June)


“In addition to creating exceptionally well drawn characters and crafting a gripping plot that takes some shocking turns to a heart-pounding conclusion, Castillo probes with keen sensitivity the emotional toll taken by police work. The third in this series of thrillers (after Sworn to Silence, 2009, and Pray for Silence, 2010) is another winner.”—Booklist (starred review)
“Kate’s third offers plenty of violence, a surprise ending and some insight into the Amish way of life.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Castillo melds deeply flawed characters with a glimpse into a unique community in which isolation can hide a plethora of secrets.”—Publishers Weekly

“Castillo has created a gripping series about police chief Kate Burkholder, who was raised in an Amish community but left during her teens, which creates a constant tension between herself and the community but also an understanding of the people involved. Life in the farming area is vividly portrayed and both the sociological background and the physical setting add greatly to the mystery. The mystery is complicated but clearly plotted with a heart-stopping ending.”—RT Book Review (4 ½ stars)

“This is the third in a stupendous series . . . Written at a thrilling pace, with haunting images, Breaking Silence is a novel worth staying up all night to reach the end.”—New York Journal of Books

More About the Author

Linda Castillo lives in Texas with her husband and is currently at work on her next thriller set in Amish Country and featuring Chief of Police Kate Burkholder. Her first novel in the series, Sworn to Silence, was a New York Times bestseller.

Customer Reviews

This is a very good book with lots of twistS and turns through to the ending.
I have not had a chance to read the first two books in the series but they soon will be in my reading library here at home.
I have been enjoying Linda Castillo's Kate Burkholder series since the first book, Sworn to Silence.
Lisa M

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

44 of 48 people found the following review helpful By E. Burian-Mohr TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 25, 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is the third of Linda Castillo's series about Police Chief Kate Burkholder and life in Painter's Mill, a small town with a substantial Amish population. Each of the books brings us a thriller story with a twisted family backstory. There's plenty of suspense, enough violence to keep you on the edge of your seat, some romance between Kate and State Agent John Tomasetti, and some real insights into Amish culture. While this book seems to spend more time on Kate's emotions than the previous two, it's still an action-packed story.

Other reviewers have synopsized to book very well, so I'll skip that part and cut to the chase. Here, then, are the Top Ten Things That are Great about "Breaking Silence."

10. Dialog. Castillo writes good dialog. It's crisp, clean, and sounds natural. Each character has his own way of saying things, of course, but each sounds like a real person speaking.

9. I always like to learn something new when I read, even in fiction. I did not know that you could die very quickly in a manure pit. I figured it would be very unpleasant, but lethal had not occurred to me. And while this is information I probably won't need, I'll be sure to avoid all manure pits in the future.

8. Kate's crew: Pickles, Glock, TJ, and Mona's characters continue to evolve in this third book of the series. They add color to the narrative, they have distinct personalities, and probably back-stories of their own that we'll learn more of in the books ahead.

7. Castillo's books tell us much about the Amish culture. A while back, lured by the previous two Castillo books, I read a novel about an Amish family/Christmas story (and, committed to reviewing it, I read the whole thing).
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By turtlex on June 25, 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This, the third Kate Burkholder featured novel is, I think, the best.

Following in sequence from "Sworn To Silence", "Pray For Silence", and this installment - "Breaking Silence" - we are again drawn into the Amish community of Painters Mill where Chief of Police Kate Burkholder is again on the case when tragedy strikes a local Amish family.

It's difficult to comment too much without giving away juicy plot points, but I will just say that the depth of character in this book is wonderful and it's a real page turner right to the end ... lots of surprise twists and "gotcha" moments. Very well written.

What I love most about this series is the lead character - the wonderful but flawed Chief Burkholder. Linda Castillo has created a deep and layered character here and she continues to allow Kate to grow ( and not grow ) and become a true emotional epicenter for the series. Kate isn't perfect and she makes mistakes but each mistake seems a natural one, and more genuine than that of other female leads. For one thing, Kate is not perfect - she drinks too much, she has intimacy issues and she's got a temper. In lesser hands, these traits might seem cliché, but Linda Castillo imbues heart into her flawed heroine, heart and a dark past that Kate is working to overcome. It's a great dichotomy that Castillo handles incredibly well.

Without a doubt, this is a great novel - and a wonderful continuation of Kate Burkholder's story.

Highly recommended.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By I.Peters TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 20, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am usually a fan of Linda Castillo's thrillers, namely the Kate Burkholder series. But Breaking Silence slightly disappointed me.

Contrary to the other two "Silence" books, I did not quite get the motivation and/or personality of the perpetrator (don't want to give anything away in case you haven't read this so I won't go into plot detail). It seemed off and almost a bit forced, as if Castillo primary goal was to make the least likely person the mastermind behind it all. I for one could not quite follow here, even though it certainly made for good drama.

Secondly, the scene at the end where the perpetrator is exposed also seemed strangely weak. Where Castillo's previous perps revealed themselves without a shadow of a doubt in the end, this time around I couldn't help but think that a good defense attorney could likely get this person off, it just wasn't a very convincing admission of guilt and so set in a "heat of the moment" scene that it failed to give me the satisfying conclusion I had hoped for. Nor was there any explanation given as to why this all would have escalated like this.

Another point for me was that the plot was slow to develop this time, and when it finally got going, it was pretty much already over. The previous books did a better job in that regard, at least for me.

That said, I did enjoy the rest of it, Kate's relationship with agent Tomasetti (even though this also needs to start going somewhere now to remain interesting), and finding all the other characters from the previous books again such as the bishop, Kate's police officers, and her dispatchers. Painter's Mill feels like a town one begins to know well, including the people in it. So my hope is that the next Burkholder thriller will be faster paced again and also move Kate's personal life along. I am still a fan, it is just that Breaking Silence is not my favorite in the series...
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Dianne E. Socci-Tetro TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 6, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Breaking Silence by Linda Castillo

If you are fascinated in learning about different religions and cultures the way I am and if you happen to love Faye Kellerman and her Sanctuary (Peter Decker & Rina Lazarus Novels) series, then Breaking Silence (as well as the first two books Pray for Silence: A Thriller (Kate Burkholder), Sworn to Silence (Kate Burkholder)) by Ms. Castillo will be right up your alley. This third book in the Kate Burkholder series can easily be read as a standalone novel, but I highly recommend reading the first two.

This book starts with an eerily graphic, chilling, bloody and vicious hate crime involving the farm animals on one Amish woman's farm and immediately segues into what at first appears to be a tragic accident. It is quickly found that at least one of the members of the Slabaugh family who were found dead in their cesspit did not die accidentally but may have been murdered. Can this murder be connected with the string of vicious hate crimes that have been committed against the peaceful Amish?
Kate grew up Amish, until tragic circumstances that affected her and her family, forced her to make some difficult life decisions and leave the Ordnung. However, she is back now and will do nearly anything to see that this brutal murder is brought to justice. She will do almost anything to see that the persecution of these gentle and peaceful people stops.

This book had such a twist that I literally had my jaw hit the floor and if that first shock was not enough we get one more. What a fabulous ride this was. I love a book that so completely takes me by surprise as this one did. Ms Castillo writes very strong, likable, realistic, fully fleshed characters.
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