Kate Burkholder, chief of police of Amish town Painter’s Mill, has solved her share of crimes. But when the seven members of the Plank family are found brutally murdered in their home, she is as stunned as anyone. Who would want to kill these God-loving, Plain people? Between Kate, her team of police officers, and her sometimes-boyfriend, John Tomasetti, this case must be solved, as it quickly becomes clear that a killer is on the loose in Painter’s Mill.
I’d been looking forward to reading this second book in the Kate Burkholder series ever since I was surprisingly impressed with the first one, Sworn to Silence [my review]. While I enjoyed the time I spent with Kate Burkholder in this novel, I have to admit to being a bit disappointed in this one. I think the main reason I feel that way is that this book is so similar to the first one, and not really in a good way. Allow me to explain.
When I read books in a series, I want to see some character development as the series progresses, I want to see people grow and change and basically become more complete characters as the series goes on. Unfortunately, I don’t feel that Castillo accomplished that with Kate’s character. She was essentially the exact same character that she was in the first book, with literally no character development in her between the two stories. She didn’t really grow or learn anything from one book to the next. The most frustrating part of that, though, is with her relationship with John Tomasetti. I felt like their relationship gained some ground in the first book, yet in Pray for Silence it was almost as if they were back to square one. They were still unable to form a true adult relationship, not able to verbalize their feelings for one another or even attempt to develop those feelings. It was frustrating because I actually like them together, but I felt like the relationship was just going nowhere.
That being said, I did enjoy the experience of following along with Kate as she solved the mystery, of piecing together the clues that she had along with her, and of finally finding the Planks’ killer. The mystery was well done and as I don’t read many thrillers these days, it was a nice break from the rest of my reading. I am still on the fence about whether I’ll be picking up the next book in the series when it comes out. Either way, I do enjoy Kate Burkholder as a character and this small Amish town of Painter’s Mill, I just wanted more from this book.