Sworn to Silence by Linda Castillo

Title: Sworn to Silence
Author:  Linda Castillo
Release Date:  June 23, 2009
Publisher:  Minotaur Books
Page Count:  336
Genres:  Fiction, Mystery, Thriller
Source:  LibraryThing Early Reviewer’s

I don’t read a lot of thrillers these days.  When I was in middle school, I read tons of Mary Higgins Clark and James Patterson, but I haven’t read too much in the way of thrillers since.  I did think that Sworn to Silence sounded kind of interesting, so when I won it from LibraryThing, I realized it would be a perfect one to read this time of year – don’t we all love reading scary books in October?

The novel revolves around Kate Burkholder, chief of police in a town called Painters Mill, a small town with a prominent Amish population.  Kate’s family is all Amish, and in fact she was Amish herself until her late teens, when she survived an encounter with the Slaughterhouse Killer, which made her realize that she no longer believed in the Amish values and way of life she grew up with.  When the book begins, Kate is called to a crime scene – a young woman’s mutilated body was dumped by the side of the road, and upon further investigation the murderer is looking like it could very well be the Slaughterhouse Killer.  Kate has to not only solve the crime, but also possibly expose a terrifying family secret that she’s been hiding for years.

I was actually pretty surprised by how much I enjoyed Sworn to Silence.  I was swept away by the mystery from the very beginning, and I could have easily read the book in one or two sittings – I really didn’t want to put it down.  I also felt drawn to Kate Burkholder, and I believed her as a character.  I think she’s really someone readers can relate to; she is tough and soft all at once and super intelligent but makes mistakes just like anyone else.  The romance that unfolded in the novel was very enjoyable to me – it was a cute side story that I truly didn’t see coming and really added to the believability of the novel.

I truly liked this novel and I’m very glad I read it, even though Sworn to Silence isn’t my typical fare.  I’ve heard that the book is going to be a series starring Kate Burkholder, and I really hope that’s true because I’ll definitely read more from Linda Castillo in the future.