Linda Castillo

Breaking Silence

"The plot is fast-moving and I really enjoy Castillo's writing."


When Chief of Police, Kate Burkholder, is called to a farm in the Amish community of Painter's Creek, nothing could prepare her for the horror and tragedy she encounters. Solly and Rachel Slabaugh, and his brother Abel, have drowned in the hog pit leaving the four children as orphans. As the investigation progresses, it seems that the Slabaugh deaths were not an accident and the case suddenly becomes a murder enquiry.

Agent John Tomasetti and Kate have worked together before and now he is called back to Painter's Creek to help seek out the perpetrators of what appear to be serious hate crimes against the Amish. Whether these crimes and the Slabaugh murders are linked is hard to establish because the Amish are very proud and private people who do not enjoy involvement from outside.

As the case deepens, Kate develops a bond with the children, particularly the 15-year-old daughter, Solome. Maybe she is reminded of herself at that age, and maybe there's something about this case which stirs up memories for her. The events surrounding the deaths puzzle her – something doesn't feel right. As more information comes to light a tragic incident turns into something much more shocking...

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Breaking Silence, as with Castillo's previous two books are based around an ex-Amish Chief of Police and crimes within and against the Amish community. Chief Kate Burkholder is a good lead character. Strong, but not without her flaws. Whilst I found the previous two novels interesting, being set in the Amish community, I found the third one a little too similar and would like to see Kate working on non-Amish crimes. The plot is fast-moving and I really enjoy Castillo's writing. I find there is the right amount of information and description without being superfluous or repetitive. There are two crimes being investigated simultaneously, a spate of hate-crimes and a triple death which is soon discovered to be murder. With a few suspects, Kate's investigations eventually track down the murderer, but motives and the person behind the crimes is not fully revealed until later in the book. Overall an enjoyable read - perhaps losing some of the impetus from the first book but still a great plot.

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