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Sworn to Silence (Kate Burkholder) Hardcover – Bargain Price, June 23, 2009

Book 1 of 6 in the Kate Burkholder Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. œA gun-toting, cursing, former Amish female chief of police stars in this excellent first in a new suspense series from romance veteran Castillo (Fade to Red). When a serial killer strikes bucolic Painters Mill, Ohio, the killer's signature—Roman numerals ritualistically carved into each victim's abdomen—matches the MO of four unsolved murders from 16 years earlier. Police chief Kate Burkholder, who's reluctant to dredge up the past, must keep secret that she knows why the old murders stopped. Not satisfied with the case's progress, local politicos set up a multijurisdictional task force to assist, including a law-enforcement agent battling his own demons. The added scrutiny and the rising body count threaten to push the chief over the edge. Adept at creating characters with depth and nuance, Castillo smoothly integrates their backstories into a well-paced plot that illuminates the divide between the Amish and œEnglish worlds. (June)
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From Booklist

*Starred Review* Ohio’s Amish country serves as the bucolic backdrop for romance novelist Castillo’s consistently chilling mystery debut. Kate Burkholder grew up in idyllic Painters Mill, where many residents drive buggies, shun electricity, and distance themselves from the complications of modern life. The presence of a serial killer shatters the stillness of the town, leaving its citizenry terrified and on guard. During this time, young Kate’s life takes a fateful turn when she is sexually assaulted by an Amish man named Daniel Lapp. She shoots Lapp in self-defense and, seeing blood splattered across the floor, is certain he’s dead. (Her father drags away the body, and the family banishes the incident from their memories, never reporting it to police.) With Lapp’s demise, the area murders cease. Rattled residents rest easily once again. Fast-forward 16 years. Kate, now chief of police in Painters Mill, is faced with a series of brutal crimes in which the female victims are tortured and raped. Could Daniel Lapp still be alive? Kate battles her inner demons as she tracks down a killer who shows no sign of letting up. Can she come clean about her past without losing her job? Deeply flawed characters in a distinctive setting make this a crackling good series opener, recommended for fans of T. Jefferson Parker and Robert Ellis, whose books take place in very un-Amish settings but who generate the same kind of chills and suspense. --Allison Block

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Product Details

  • Series: Kate Burkholder
  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books; First Edition edition (June 23, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1408430878
  • ISBN-13: 978-1408430873
  • ASIN: B00375LMT8
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (465 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #945,387 in Books (See Top 100 in 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

I could not put the book down and read in to days.
The twists and turns of Sworn to Silence will keep any reader on the edge of their seat and guessing till the end.
The characters were well developed and the story line kept my interest.
E. B.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

87 of 97 people found the following review helpful By Judith Miller VINE VOICE on May 6, 2009
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The town of Painters Mill, Ohio is a small town in Amish Country. Most of the people are known to one another, or else, have at the very least, a nodding acquaintance. The town is comprised of English as well as the Amish community. The two groups do not mix socially and live very different life styles.

The new Police Chief of Painters Mill is Kate Burkholder. Kate has an interesting history because she grew up Amish in the town that she now serves. She left the community many years ago when she was a teenager and now in her thirties, she's an outsider to her Amish family and former friends. Chief Burkholder is competent, smart and tough when she needs to be. Her officers and staff all have her respect. When the shocking and horrible murder of a young woman takes place, Kate's reminded of some brutal killings that took place when she was young. The Chief has kept a secret from her past, a horrible secret that has always been in the back of her mind, and she's more than determined to stop and identify the killer. Could this be the same killer from years ago!

When outside investigator are called in, Chief Burkholder tries to maintain her control over the situation, but the town council feels that because of her lack of inexperience, she needs assistance. There's really a lot going on in this story with the many varied characters who each have their own agendas. There's even a little romance, which gives a lift to the darker side of Sworn To Silence.

I think, Linda Castillo, wrote an exceptional story, but at times, the graphic details were difficult to read! This is a real page turner and I stayed up late at night to finish this book. Can't wait to see what she writes next!
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44 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Countess Chocula on June 15, 2009
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Told both in the first person narrative of Kate, the chief of police of a small town in Ohio and the third person when she's not in-scene, this is a really excellent new crime drama/thriller featuring a new female cop.

I hate to compare authors and characters (really, I'm sure the authors hate it too), but I couldn't help but think of the very first couple of Cornwell's Scarpetta books when reading this. Kate is somewhat similar - strong but flawed in her personal life, professionally competent but struggling to keep her bosses and higher ups from sticking their noses into her work, ending up unfortunately personally involved with a coworker (sort of an oddball way of it in this one).. there are other similarities and a lot of differences, but I liked Kate a lot, as much as I liked the beginning of Scarpetta.

The cast of secondary characters was excellent - I loved Mona and the ever-competent and never-complaining Glock and TJ. The complemented Kate nicely without taking over the storyline the way some do in other books (cough, cough, Lucy anyone?).

The pace of this book is amazing. The author sets off immediately with a grisly homicide and never slows down from there. Usually there are places in books where you think, "oh, I can skip a few pages where it's getting dull and it won't matter," - don't think that here. First, there aren't any boring pages, and second, they all matter to the storyline.

The Amish angle is interesting and well-told. I'm not Amish and know nothing about them, but it rings true and isn't patronizing. The ending and reveal of the killer shocked me. I had an idea of who it might be (I was in the ballpark), but Castillo pulled all the threads together and made it plausible.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Dulcibelle on August 17, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Kate Burkholder grew up Amish. As the result of a family tragedy, she didn't join the church when she became an adult. Instead, she left town and became a cop. Now she's back as the police chief of her home town, searching for a serial killer.

John Tomasetti was a cop who lost his family to mob violence. He went outside legal bounds and got his revenge, but he can't live with his loss. Alcoholic and drug dependent, he's still a good enough cop (just barely) that there's no way to get him off the force without facing a law suit. The Powers that Be send him to "assist" Burkholder in her search for the killer, hoping he'll screw things up enough to give them cause to fire him.

Sworn to Silence is a good mystery. I was kept guessing until the last few chapters. Character development is good, and I really got to know Burkholder and Tomasetti. But, I don't know if I could take much more of either character. They're both just too intense. Either alone in a book would be great, but both together is almost too much. However, by the end of the book, I do find myself wondering what is going to happen to both cops.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By S. Gartland on July 14, 2009
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I started reading this book about 32 hours ago, and found myself wanting to get right back to it any time I tried to put it story aside. The story needed to be read, had to be finished. The pacing is perfect. The little plot hooks go together really well. Of course there's a couple things that are "yeah right" coincidences... but, isnt' that how these stories always go? I liked the setting, because I only live about 1.5 hours from where this story takes place. She captures middle-of-nowhere Amish Ohio perfectly. The Kindle edition, as usual, was a crystal-clear read and far more convenient that reading from a flimsy paperback or heavy hardbound.
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