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Pray for Silence: A Thriller (Kate Burkholder Book 2) [Kindle Edition]

Linda Castillo
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (313 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $15.99
Kindle Price: $9.99
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Sold by: Macmillan
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Book Description

New York Times bestselling author Linda Castillo delivers an electrifying thriller in which Chief of Police Kate Burkholder must confront a dark evil to solve the mysterious murders of an entire Amish family.


The Plank family moved from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, to join the small Amish community of Painters Mill less than a year ago and seemed the model of the Plain Life--until on a cold October night, the entire family of seven was found slaughtered on their farm. Police Chief Kate Burkholder and her small force have few clues, no motive, and no suspect. Formerly Amish herself, Kate is no stranger to the secrets the Amish keep from the English--and each other--but this crime is horribly out of the ordinary.


State agent John Tomasetti arrives on the scene to assist. He and Kate worked together on a previous case during which they began a volatile relationship. They soon realize the disturbing details of this case will test their emotional limits and force them to face demons from their own troubled pasts--and for Kate, a personal connection that is particularly hard to bear.


When she discovers a diary that belonged to one of the teenaged daughters, Kate is shocked to learn the girl kept some very dark secrets and may have been living a lurid double life. Who is the charismatic stranger who stole the young Amish girl's heart? Could the brother--a man with a violent past, rejected and shunned by his family and the Amish community, have come to seek out revenge? As Kate's outrage grows so does her resolve to find the killer and bring him to justice--even if it means putting herself in the line of fire.


Topping her own bestselling debut, Linda Castillo once again immerses us in the world of the Amish with a chilling story that is both a fast-paced thriller and intriguing psychological puzzle.



Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this overwrought thriller from Castillo, her second after Sworn to Silence, someone slaughters all seven members of the Amish Plank family at their home in Painters Mill, Ohio. The bodies of the two teenage daughters show signs of torture. At first, it appears the father, Amos, killed his wife and five children, then shot himself. When clues point to a killer outside the family, Kate Burkholder, the local police chief who left the Amish community decades before, zeroes in on 15-year-old Mary, who may have flirted with the idea of living in the English world. Lending a hand is Kate's on-again/off-again boyfriend, John Tomasetti, an agent suspended from the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and Identification for failing a recent drug test in the wake of his own family's murder about two years earlier. Castillo excels at detailing gory crime scenes, but she leaves Kate and John as little more than cookies cut from the same troubled cop mold. Author tour. (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Painters Mill is an idyllic small town in Ohio’s Amish country. But even the most peaceful of landscapes is not immune to violent crime. The second installment in Castillo’s strong series (after Sworn to Silence, 2009) finds Police Chief Kate Burkholder once again face-to-face with pure evil. This time around it’s the murder of the Planks, an Amish family who invited trouble when pretty 15-year-old daughter Mary became enamored with a non-Amish man, who seduced her and documented their sexual episodes on tape. The case rattles Burkholder, who left the Amish faith as a teenager after she was raped by an Amish man. Helping her through the stressful investigation is John Tomasetti, a big-city cop battling his own demons (his wife and young daughters were murdered a few years before). The two had a brief affair, but time has passed and both have hesitations about rekindling the romance. They have plenty to distract them as they search for a killer who may have more sinister acts in store. Though the plot fizzles a bit at the end, a unique setting and a very human heroine make this a good recommendation for readers seeking an alternative to the urban whodunit. --Allison Block

Product Details

  • File Size: 1074 KB
  • Print Length: 332 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0312374984
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books; 1 edition (June 15, 2010)
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003JTHZCA
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #21,576 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
96 of 101 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pray for Silence April 24, 2010
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
A family is discovered murdered in their home. This isn't just any brutal murder, either- a family of seven, Amish, bound and slaughtered. Sound pretty gruesome? It is. Kate Burkholder is the chief of police in the small town of Painters Mill. Formerly Amish, Burkholder finds the crime shocking and is immediately thrust into the center of a tornado of questions. Trying to find answers, Burkholder must confront her own past and penetrate the tightly-knit Amish community who distrust the 'English', as they call outsiders in a town uneasily divided along the lines of faith and culture.

For me, this was a terrific and entertaining read. I wish I had known that Castillo had written a previous book before reading this but so it goes. The depiction of the crime scene is very graphic- so take note, if that sort of thing is disturbing, you may not enjoy this book so much. I did not, however, feel like the violence portrayed was gratuitous. The author is portraying a horrific crime and the degree of violence and horror of the initial crime scene are necessary to set up the ensuing tension of the thriller.

I'm not generally a big murder mystery reader but I really enjoyed this. I loved the interesting perspective the Amish community brings to the story. The suspense is good and there is a romantic element to the story, as well.

Castillo does a great job with her characterization. She really breathes life into her supporting cast, not just the protagonist. I'm a little divided on the fact that she writes from a first-person perspective in some chapters and in third-person for others. I find it a little distracting in how the book flows.

The writing is decent and doesn't get in the way of the story.
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31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Decent Follow Up Novel May 14, 2010
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I loved Linda Castillo's "Sworn to Silence" and the way she introduced Police Cheif Kate Burkholder, so I couldn't wait to get my hands on the follow up novel "Pray for Silence".

The good news is that if you liked the first novel, you'll most likely enjoy this second offering too. All of the elements found in the first book make a return appearance, the sleepy little town of Painters Mill pops off the pages, and the population of that small town come alive with Castillo's writing. The dynamic between the Amish and the "English" is once again the backbone of this story, and once again the reader gets drawn into the fascinating world of Amish farm life. And once again, Cheif Burkholder must confront the demons of her past when trying to solve the brutal murder of an entire Amish family.

I really do like Linda Castillo's writing style, and the brutal crimes in "Pray for Silence" will make even the most avid genre reader flinch while reading. This is definately not a book for the squeamish as Castillo visits some pretty nasty corners of Painters Mill.

While I don't think "Pray for Silence" was as nailbiting as "Sworn..." it's still a great read, and Cheif Burkholder is one of the best new characters to hit crime fiction in years. If you haven't discovered this series...do yourself a favor and pick up both Burkholder books.
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73 of 86 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Why does Kate Burkholder still have a job? July 5, 2010
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
In Ohio's Amish country, Chief of Police Kate Burkholder encounters the grisly murder of an entire Amish family. Her investigation is aided by sort-of-love-interest BCI agent John Tomasetti. Was Amish teenager Mary Plank living a double life, and did her secrets get her family killed? The discovery of the victim's diary might provide the answers. This novel's plot and unusual (though not fully accurate) setting held my interest, but repetitious prose and two over-emotional protagonists undermined a story I might have otherwise enjoyed.

The repetition became most irritating in regard to Kate's emotions. Over and over, she tells the reader that this case is "the kind of scene that affects even the most hard-nosed of cops" (p. 34), that "some crimes are simply too terrible for the eyes to behold" (p. 36), that she "can't imagine the horrors these girls must have endured" (p. 37). On and on the melodramatic inner monologue continues--throughout the entire book. Often, Kate expounds in full paragraphs that the horrible awfulness of working this crime is harder on her than anyone else, due to her past as a formerly Amish teenager and as a crime victim herself. By 100 pages into the book, I could hardly ask "whodunit" anymore, because I was asking other, more irritated questions: did the author think her readers would forget that Kate used to be Amish, even after reminding us (for the twentieth time) less than ten pages ago? Did the author think the best way to elicit my sympathy for her character was for Kate to *tell* me her angst instead of the author *showing* me? Did no one edit this book?

Still, let's say the book had been edited to about 75% of its current length.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Pray For Silence and a good ending... August 17, 2010
Format:Hardcover
After reading all the positive reviews for this novel, I thought perhaps I had read a completely different book. I found this book stunningly repetitive -- the author constantly reminds the readers of the protagonist's Amish background, her mysterious emotional "connection" to the victim, strange relationship with her partner John -- OK, I got that the first twenty times, thank you. But the ending was stupefying and made me want to throw the book against a wall. I will not be a spoiler, but I will say that nothing, absolutely nothing, about the crime is cleared up, and the reader is left to wonder -- along with Detective Kate, who says "I guess we'll never know exactly what or why..." and is apparently OK with that -- how the suspects even know each other. After spending time and slogging through the repetition, being left with a complete bag of unanswered questions just pushed me over the literary edge, so to speak.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Enjoyed the book
Published 1 day ago by mjb
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved It
This is the 2nd book I have read by Linda Castillo and I am hooked. I loved her first book so I thought I would try one more just to see if more of her books were that good and now... Read more
Published 25 days ago by Janie Pendergraft
5.0 out of 5 stars Kate Burkholder Mystery
Wonderful book! I love reading about the Amish....and especially loved the mystery surrounding this! These series of books, called the Kate Burkholder series and wonderful!! Read more
Published 1 month ago by Teresa Powell
5.0 out of 5 stars I love crime stories
I love crime stories, so these books involving the sheriff of a small town, Kate Buckholder, fit the bill perfectly. I will be ordering more in the future.
Published 1 month ago by sharon smith
2.0 out of 5 stars Sworn to Silence and Breaking Silence are much better books!
Sworn to Silence and Breaking Silence were both excellent Linda Castillo books. Unfortunately Pray for Silence was not nearly as good. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Rob B.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
It's really hard to put down.
Published 1 month ago by Patricia Simms
5.0 out of 5 stars good read
Another great book in the Kate Burkholder series. The plot twists keep you guessing until the every end. Kate isn't portrayed as a perfect cop that knows all the answers. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Cheryl parker
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
I just started it today and can't put it down.
Published 2 months ago by Tracy Pitts
5.0 out of 5 stars is not dissappointing... she has kept up ...
is not dissappointing ... she has kept up the pace and the characters in this second novel ...
Published 2 months ago by JJ
4.0 out of 5 stars Tough and tender
Good story, Enough twists and turns to be captivating, It is interesting to have a glimpse into the Amish lifestyle and fascinating peeking into the mind of one who left that life.
Published 3 months ago by MsDAB
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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.

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