Thursday, January 3, 2013

Sworn to Silence ~ Linda Castillo (audio) review

Sworn to Silence (Kate Burkholder #1)
Minotaur Books
June 23, 2009
321 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depo/or Amazon

Painters Mill is almost like any other small town. In the rural Ohio town, both the Amish and the 'English' residents live together well. One thing does separate Painters Mill from most small towns: the Slaughterhouse Killer.

The killer and the killings, sixteen years ago, took some of the innocent small town feeling away. At the time, just a teenager, Kate was Amish but surviving an attack changed her and set her on a new course.

Recently returned to her hometown -- as Chief of Police -- Kate's determined to move on from those tragic events and help her town. Something that looks like it will be harder to do when a body is found (something not common for Painters Mil) and Kate knows that to solve the crime and stop the killer, she may have to reveal a secret.

A secret that may put the future of Kate, her career, and possibly her family in jeopardy.

Sworn to Silence had been hanging around the lower part of my to-read list for quite a while, but I decided to read (well, listen to) it now as it's going to be a TV movie on Sunday. (Short article on it here.)

Castillo's first Kate Burkholder book has quite an interesting main character. Kate is not only young and female being the Chief of Police -- which introduces some of its own elements and issues for her -- but she's formerly Amish. I did like that Kate's past as well as the fact that Painters Mill is an Amish/not Amish divided town was not just there to be there. The Amish residents as well as their way of life was a definite part of the story.

The mystery and suspense of Sworn to Silence were quite good, picking up especially after the whodunit was revealed (or seemingly revealed). Prior to that there was more character development and we saw Kate's struggle over what to do with her secret.  The ending of this one wasn't a big revelation where a whole set of clues from throughout the novel came together. There was a lot of character development in the beginning while the mystery was happening, ruling people out and so forth.

Now that the characters are introduced, we know their backgrounds and Kate's been introduced pretty well, I'm interested to see if there's more intrigue in the latter books or if the characters are as central to the beginning of those stories as well.

As for the content in general, this is a pretty adult book. From the killing and the graphic descriptions that brings to a few other things, this isn't a YA/Adult book, but one that fits firmly in the Adult category.

Rating: 8/10

Other books you might also enjoy:  Taylor Jackson series by JT Ellison (my reviews)


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