Sworn to Silence: A Thriller Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
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Audible Audiobook, Unabridged
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Now the subject of the Lifetime original movie, An Amish Murder
Sworn to Silence is the first in Linda Castillo's New York Times bestselling Kate Burkholder series.
Some secrets are too terrible to reveal. Some crimes are too unspeakable to solve. . . .
In Painters Mill, Ohio, the Amish and "English" residents have lived side by side for two centuries. But sixteen years ago, a series of brutal murders shattered the peaceful farming community. A young Amish girl named Kate Burkholder survived the terror of the Slaughterhouse Killer . . . but ultimately decided to leave her community.
A wealth of experience later, Kate has been asked to return to Painters Mill as chief of police. Her Amish roots and big-city law enforcement background make her the perfect candidate. She's certain she's come to terms with her past―until the first body is discovered in a snowy field.
Kate vows to stop the killer before he strikes again. But to do so, she must betray both her family and her Amish past―and expose a dark secret that could destroy her.
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|Listening Length||11 hours and 45 minutes|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com Release Date||June 25, 2009|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #13,025 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#308 in Women Sleuth Mysteries
#376 in Police Procedural Mysteries
#1,333 in Suspense (Audible Books & Originals)
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FINAL DECISION: A good mystery mixed with a troubled and competent chief of police, secrets that threaten her career and perhaps her life and scary drama. Clear, well written and complex, this story kicks of the series and made me immediately want to read the next book.
THE STORY: Kate Burkholder grew up Amish in simple innocence until she was brutally attacked at the age of 14. The aftermath of her attack led her to rebellion and a crisis of faith and had her leave the Amish. She has now returned to her hometown -- no longer Amish but now the Chief of Police. When a serial killer murders a woman in a way that is reminiscent of the Slaughterhouse Killer from sixteen years ago, the town panics that the killer has returned. Kate, however, knows that the Slaugherhouse Killer is dead, but can't tell anyone else. What she doesn't know is who is killing women now and why are the killings so similar to those of the Slaughterhouse Killer?
OPINION: I ended up buying this book on a lark because Amazon had it as a Daily Deal at a reduced price. I like tough women who solve mysteries so I decided to try this book out. I am incredibly glad I did because this book was fantastic. I immediately bought the rest of the series and plan on reading them soon.
Having grown up Amish and then rejecting that life, Kate lives with a foot in each of the worlds that collide in the town of Painters Mill, Ohio. A small town with a significant Amish population, she has to navigate the tricky politics and cultures that intersect in the town.
Kate also has dark secrets that have haunted her and her family for years and which have caused a divide that along with her rejection of the Amish life, have left her alone even with her family living in the same town.
For a mystery novel, I ask that the solution not be obvious but also that once the reveal happens that the solution makes sense. This book meets that standard. Readers should also be aware that there are some graphic depictions of the crimes and some graphic violence during the novel. I didn't think it was overly graphic and it was appropriate for the subject matter and not gratuitous.
There are some quirky secondary characters that bring necessary humor to the story without taking over. Also, readers are introduced to John Tomasetti, who works with the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation. John is addicted to prescription drugs and alcohol after the murders of his wife and children and is sent to help with the murder investigation under the assumption that he will fail. His own dark past is also an issue here and readers are left to wonder if John will help solve the crime or destroy Kate's career.
All the questions and problems with Kate and John's pasts are not resolved in this book -- neither is their relationship, but this is the first book in the series and it appears that more will be explored in future novels.
WORTH MENTIONING: After reading this book, I recommended it to my mother. I told her it reminds me of J.D. Robb's In Death series (without the futuristic elements) and Kay Hooper's SCU series (without the paranormal elements). So if you like either of those, try this.
CONNECTED BOOKS: SWORN TO SILENCE is the first book in the Kate Burkholder series.
STAR RATING: I give this book 5 stars.
Kate goes through her "Rumspringa", the time when a young Amish person gets to decide whether to commit to baptism, and leaves behind her faith, family and friends to live an English life.
Many years later, Chief Kate Burkholder oversees the police department of Painters Mill, Ohio, not far from where she grew up.
The trauma Kate experienced suddenly comes home to roost with the advent of a sickening murder that appears to be a reoccurrence of a man thought to be dead for 15 years.
Although I personally had difficulty with the extremely graphic nature of the description of the murders, I believe it was necessary to set up the contrast with the peaceful nature of the Amish community.
Linda Castillo expertly paces the revelation of information, leading the reader on, bit by horrific bit, never giving you time to catch your breath.
I was very satisfied with the ending, just had to do a session of slow breathing to bring my heart rate back to normal. Excellent book, I highly recommend it.
Kate went back home to Painters Mill when her mother was ill. Shortly after, her mother died. Two town councilmen offered Kate a job as chief of police in Painter Mill. Kate was astonished that they would ask her, being a former Amish and female. Kate found out after she took the job as chief of police that it had more to do with politics. In Painters Mill, there were cultural problems between the Amish and the English. The town council wanted someone who could work with the Amish community. Kate was the right person for the job.
In Painters Mill, there was a serial killer, called "The Slaughterhouse Murderer," who raped and tortured his victims. When Kate was fourteen, she was raped in her parent's kitchen while her father and brother were working in the field. The rapist was an Amish man who was helping out on the farm. He went to the house with a knife and raped Kate. She took her father's rifle and killed him. Her father and brother took the body to an old defunct grain elevator in the next county. Since that time, the killings had stopped. Sixteen years later, Kate is chief of police and the serial killer is back in Painters Mill with the same signature. Kate doesn't know if it's a copycat, or if she didn't kill "The Slaughterhouse Murderer" who raped her. "The Slaughterhouse Murderer" was never solved sixteen years ago. The case is still open. She can't tell anyone what happened to her sixteen years ago. It's a secret she must keep to protect her family. The local police and FBI worked the case for years after the last murder, but the trail got cold.
The mayor and the town councilmen phoned the sheriff's department in the next county and Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation (BCI) behind Kate's back. They considered her incapable of handling the highly publicized case. John Tomasetti, a BCI agent, was dispatched to Painters Mill to assist with the investigation. When John was in the field office, he worked in narcotics. His wife, daughter and his partner were murdered. He spent two weeks in a psychiatric ward. John turned to alcohol and prescription medication for his solace.
Kate and John are mutually attracted to one another, but each realize they have a lot of issues to work out before they can have the relationship they hope for. They agree to a platonic relationship, remaining good friends.
I highly recommend Sworn To Silence. The first book in what is to be a series. The second in the series is "Pray for Silence."
Top reviews from other countries
I love a suspense murder mystery and that was exactly what I got
I loved the main character Chief of police Kate Burkholder what a life she'd had from being born into the Amish way of life then from the age of 14 where her life stopped through gruesome events and then being 'bann' (frozen out) by the Amish community to then becoming Chief of police inner home community of Painter's Mill
If you love murder mystery novels then this for you
One thing I don't care for is the use of the present tense throughout the book, apart from secondary characters' viewpoints.
I would recommend it, nevertheless, and may consider downloading further books by Linda Castillo.