Sworn to Silence

This new novel by Linda Castillo opens up with a gory discovery: the butchered body of a young woman alongside a snowy country road. WARNING: If you get queasy reading about grisly murders, DO NOT READ THIS BOOK.

Yes, there are many murder mysteries, but Sworn to Silence is a bit different. The protagonist is a young woman who was raised in an Amish family. Kate Burkholder left the faith and her Amish way of life. She became a police officer and was eventually recruited to become the police chief in her home town of Painters Mill, Ohio.

This first murder is similar to a series of murders that occurred, and mysteriously stopped, sixteen years ago in Painters Mill.  Chief Burkholder, her staff, and the community soon realize that a serial killer has again targeted the small farming community. Are the new murders the work of the same man? Kate thinks she knows the answer. She is, therefore, reluctant to call on other agencies to assist her overburdened staff in the investigation. This gets her into trouble with town council, who ask for help from the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation, and the county sheriff’s department.

This book is a good window into the workings of a small town police department, and into the world of the Amish. The characters are interesting and the plot is well laid out. Most readers will figure out who the killer is before Kate does, and the way the story then unfolds is not much of a surprise, but Sworn to Silence is still a good read.

I received this book from the LibraryThing Early Reviewer program. Once again, thanks LibraryThing!

In USA:

Published in hardcover-St. Martin’s Press-2009
Softcover edition-Macmillan-2009

Sworn to Silence

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