Thursday, August 7, 2014

Book Review: Pray for Silence by Linda Castillo

Pray for Silence
Author: Linda Castillo
Series: Kate Burkholder (Book 2)
Publication: Minotaur Books; 1 edition (June 22, 2010)

Description: New York Times bestselling author Linda Castillo delivers an electrifying thriller in which Chief of Police Kate Burkholder must confront a dark evil to solve the mysterious murders of an entire Amish family.

The Plank family moved from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, to join the small Amish community of Painters Mill less than a year ago and seemed the model of the Plain Life—until on a cold October night, the entire family of seven was found slaughtered on their farm.  Police Chief Kate Burkholder and her small force have few clues, no motive, and no suspect.  Formerly Amish herself, Kate is no stranger to the secrets the Amish keep from the English—and each other—but this crime is horribly out of the ordinary.

State agent John Tomasetti arrives on the scene to assist.  He and Kate worked together on a previous case during which they began a volatile relationship.  They soon realize the disturbing details of this case will test their emotional limits and force them to face demons from their own troubled pasts—and for Kate, a personal connection that is particularly hard to bear.

When she discovers a diary that belonged to one of the teenaged daughters, Kate is shocked to learn the girl kept some very dark secrets and may have been living a lurid double life.  Who is the charismatic stranger who stole the young Amish girl’s heart? Could the brother—a man with a violent past, rejected and shunned by his family and the Amish community, have come to seek out revenge?  As Kate’s outrage grows so does her resolve to find the killer and bring him to justice—even if it means putting herself in the line of fire.

Topping her own bestselling debut, Linda Castillo once again immerses us in the world of the Amish with a chilling story that is both a fast-paced thriller and intriguing psychological puzzle.

My Thoughts: PRAY FOR SILENCE is an intense, gritty mystery that has the main character - Kate Burkholder - reliving some of the trauma that she endured as a young teen. As police chief in usually quiet Painters Mill, Ohio, when Kate is called to the scene of the killing of an entire Amish family, she is plunged into a case that creates echoes of her own past.

The Plank family has been killed from father Amos through baby-in-arms Amos. The father and two sons were shot in the home; the mother and infant were shot running from the house; and the two teenage daughters were tortured and killed in the barn. It is a brutal crime that, at first, looks like a murder-suicide with the father to blame. But inconsistencies have Kate looking further.

Kate calls on her friend, and sometimes lover, John Tomasetti from the Ohio BCI to help her. But Tomasetti is having his own problems. He is currently on administrative leave because of a positive drug test. He turned to alcohol and prescription drug abuse after the deaths of his wife and daughters by a career criminal. Tomasetti was barely holding on and keeping suicide an option when he first met Kate. He is in a little bit better mental shape now partially because he met Kate.

This was definitely a who dunnit sort of story as we watch Kate and Tomasetti investigate. The investigation takes a different turn when fifteen-year-old Mary Plank's diary is discovered and Kate learns that she had a secret English lover who introduced her to sex, drugs, and pornography. Innocent Mary was pulled into a situation she had no way to handle.

I enjoyed the intensity of this story. I ached with both Kate and Tomasetti as they dealt with the psychological pain of their pasts. I recommend this one to mystery lovers.

Favorite Quote:
I think of the mother and baby lying dead in the yard, and a chill runs the length of my body hard enough to make me shudder. I think of the two girls in the barn, the evidence of torture, and all I can think is that there's a cold-blooded killer running loose in my town. A monster with a bloodlust for killing and an appetite that has spiraled out of control. 
I bought this one. You can buy your copy here.

1 comment:

  1. This sounds really intense. I love a gritty mystery but don't do so well with children being involved. I know someone who just moved to Lancaster, PA and who will LOVE this so thanks for the review. You just made my Christmas shopping a little easier!


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