Once Upon A Romance

Once Upon A Romance's Review Of...
Sworn to Silence by Linda Castillo


Cover art: Sworn to Silence Reviewer: Lori Graham
Title: Sworn to Silence - 1st in the Kate Burkholder series
Author: Linda Castillo
Publisher: St. Martin's
ISBN-13: 978-0-312-37406-8
Release Date: May 2010
Genre/Sub-genre: Suspense/Thriller
Year/Setting: Current/Ohio
Overall Rating: 3.5
Sexual Content Rating: Subtle
Language (Profanity/Slang) Content Rating: Mild
Violent Content Rating: Minimal/Moderate
Rebecca's Website/Blog: www.lindacastillo.com

Kate Burkholder grew up as a part of this small Amish community. She lived in the safety and security of family and friends who loved her Ė until the day everything changed. After that day, Kate lived under a bann from the people who raised her. Even after years living away, something drew her back to Painterís Mill.

During her years away, Kate had been trained in law enforcement so her return used that training and she became the Chief of Police. The officers she worked with respected her and while she couldnít be a part of the Amish community, she was back in a place she understood. Life had come to a point of normalcy with the biggest law event being chasing the cattle that got out over and over again from the Stutz farm.

Their little community is rocked though when one of the officers is dealing with those cattle only to discover something much more grisly. A young woman has brutally murdered and left in the snow. For Kate who had put aside her past, this brought back a lot of memories but she is determined to stop this killer before he can strike again.

I have to admit I struggled a bit with the first couple of chapters of Sworn to Silence. Linda Castillo wrote this work from a very different formatóthe heroineís point of view is in first person and the others are in third. Because of those jumps in format, I had to work at connecting with the characters. I also had some difficulty with repetition of statements or feelings and felt like that book could have been tightened up a bit.

That being said, though, it didnít last very long; the well done portions of this story outweigh any of the reservations I had about it. The emotions that this author develops in her characters were quite well done and relatable. I could see myself in the situations being created and understood the reactions the heroine was having. I felt the horror at the crime scenes because it didnít stop with just one body.

The best part of the story, however, demonstrates the fact that Linda Castillo knows how to control the mystery aspects of a story. Given the fact that the heroine was in first person, the reader follows along with her trains of thought and we donít "solve" the crime (or even get a hint of who the killer is) until Kate does. I love it when I donít figure out the answer ahead of time.


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