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87 of 96 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars -----INTENSE AND WELL CRAFTED THRILLER-----
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...
Published on May 6, 2009 by Judith Miller

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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good mystery
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...
Published on August 17, 2009 by Dulcibelle


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87 of 96 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars -----INTENSE AND WELL CRAFTED THRILLER-----, May 6, 2009
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This review is from: Sworn to Silence (Hardcover)
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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 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exciting thriller - loved this book, June 15, 2009
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This review is from: Sworn to Silence (Hardcover)
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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.

I had thoughts that this would make an great series, but I don't know how you'd squeeze that much crime into such a small town. Either way, I'll be looking out for her next book. I'm a huge fan of women crime writers and she's getting added to my list of authors to read.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good mystery, August 17, 2009
By 
Dulcibelle (Houston, TX USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Sworn to Silence (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
5.0 out of 5 stars A Can't-Put-Down Summer Read, July 14, 2009
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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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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Be ready to stay up all night..., July 1, 2009
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Linda Castillo is in top form with Sworn to Silence, about a small town police chief with a hidden past, now investigating a string of truly grisly serial rapes and murders that may or may not be related to her own secret. Enter another wounded cop, a state officer Kate is desperate to keep from finding out the truth and who is on the brink of total burnout himself. Will these wounded souls solve this crime spree or become victims themselves? This and other books are reviewed on my website, some in greater length.

The secrets the Amish police chief are hiding, the burnt-out state cop -- all could be cliches if handled by a lesser writer. But as I stated, Castillo is in top form and you won't regret this page turner. I highly recommend this book for suspense, crime drama, and just enough romance to keep it interesting but not distract from the mystery. Great characters and will certainly keep you guessing.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Alone?, July 29, 2012
This review is from: Sworn to Silence (Paperback)
Did no one else find this novel disturbingly gruesome? This is the first book I've read by Linda Castillo and it may well be my last. Unfortunate because l really liked her main character, Kate, and the fact that her Amish background added another unique aspect to the story. Didn't like the gore though and I don't think I'll be buying any more in this series.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Too many inaccuracies, March 24, 2010
By 
M. Hughes (Winnebago, IL USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Don't they always say 'write about what you know'? I don't think this author ever spent a winter in the northern US. She certainly doesn't understand snow. A person or snowmobile can be tracked from point to point in snow. The police make the most of this gift when they have a crime occurring in the winter. Then there is the snow at night phenomenon. With a heavy snow on the ground, it is never completely dark. Objects and people are pretty clearly visible against the background of pure white, even at night. And, there is alway some sound when walking on snow. You can't sneak up on a person if there is snow pack.

I felt like a professor grading a paper and finding too many errors.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Horrible, July 17, 2013
This review is from: Sworn to Silence (Paperback)
If you enjoy reading graphic descriptions of women being tortured & rape you'll love it. If not, find something worth your time.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable Read, August 10, 2009
This review is from: Sworn to Silence (Hardcover)
Linda Castillo's Sworn to Silence is a graphic thriller set among the peaceful Amish countryside of Ohio. While some elements of the book were predictable, the setting and character development made it a wonderful read.
The central character of police chief Kate Burkholder brings a unique perspective to the job having been raised among the Amish. The author handles the delicate balance of opposing cultures very well, and it proves to be the most fascinating aspect of this book.
This is a good mystery and I look forward to joining Kate in Amish country again soon.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Precictable, August 19, 2012
You can figure out the storyline from the beginning, and it does not take too long to fill in the characters. Repetitive, how many times do readers need to be reminded that this woman cop grew up in the Amish community. And after her period of rebellion, why does she now still use such foul language? The "romance" just doesn't work for me, moved way too fast for the the characters she presents.

I read a lot of mysteries and crime fiction. It is difficult to find a good novel that is also a mystery. This book is not a good novel.
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Sworn to Silence (Kate Burkholder Novels)
Sworn to Silence (Kate Burkholder Novels) by Linda Castillo (Mass Market Paperback - May 25, 2010)
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