Friday, June 26, 2009

review of Sworn To Silence

Sworn To Silence by Linda Castillo (Minotaur Books, ISBN 031237497)

With the publication of the newly released Sworn To Silence, we lovers of police procedurals and thrillers have what is hopefully the first in an exciting, solid, new series.

When on routine patrol, Officer T.J.Banks finds the horribly mutilated body of a young woman abandoned in the snow, most believe that the serial killer that terrorized the rural Ohio community of Painter's Mill 16 year ago has returned. After killing four young women, the killer simply stopped, disappeared, while the police had few clues to his identity. But Chief of Police Kate Burkholder believes that she knows better.

As more girls disappear, the small town is racked with fear. The victims include both Amish, who make up about a third of the population, and their 'English" neighbors. While the town council is concerned about the competence of the new Chief, anxious that the tourists that visit will be scared away, Kate Burkholder is in a unique position to investigate a crime in this community. Raised in one of the local Amish families, she choose as a young person to leave the religious community, moved to the city, became a police officer and is now back as the chief. Though shunned by her family, she and they share a secret and a unique perspective on the deaths.
"Is he back Katie?"
The question startles me, but I know I'll hear it again in the coming days. It's a question I don't want to ponder. But Issac remembers what happened 16 years ago . I was only 14 at the time, but I remember, too. "I don't know."
But I am lying. I know the person who killed that girl is not the same man who raped and murdered four young women sixteen years ago.
I know because I killed him.

Do not be concerned that quote is giving too much away, because that is revealed very early in the book. But there is much more to be learned about Kate and the events that shaped her many years ago and how it all ties into what is happening in the present day.

Sworn To Silence is a fast paced, well written thriller that held my attention from the opening line to the very last page. The bucolic setting, with a good bit of information about the Amish, is certainly a positive feature. The book introduces us to some excellent characters as well, including the flawed but intelligent Chief, a budding romance with the dark and very troubled FBI Agent John Tomasetti and a well portrayed and often amusing supporting cast. I hope if this becomes a series for Ms. Castillo, and I certainly hope it does, we have not seen the last of T.J, Mona, and Glock. You have to love a character named after a high quality semi-automatic handgun! I will warn you that there are some very strong, even gruesome scenes in the book, but personally I think that adds to what makes this a compelling and very enjoyable book.

Check out these other reviews...
On My Bookshelf
Julie's Jewels
Book Reader's Heaven
The Novel Bookworm


  1. Sounds like a series I would enjoy.

  2. I will anxiously await the next one...:-)

  3. This caught my eye when I've seen blurbs about it, but I didn't realize until I read your review that it's expected to be a series.

    Even more reason to read SWORN TO SILENCE!

  4. Well, I expect it to be...

    Let's say I am hopeful because it just cries out for series.

    Are you listening Ms.

  5. Caite,

    Everything I've seen says she's writing another one in this "series". Thanks for the link to your blog for this review. Sometimes I miss the ones I would have liked to have seen. (sigh) So much Internet, so little time.

  6. when she writes the next, I will be reading it!


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