Thursday, April 23, 2009

Sworn To Silence-Linda Castillo

Sworn To Silence
Linda Castillo
Minotaur, Jun 23 2009, $24.95
ISBN: 9780312374976

Painters Mill, Ohio is a quiet serene small-town until a serial killer begins carving Roman numbers into each victim's abdomen. The case is identical to what drove the current Police Chief Kate Burkholder from her Amish background as a teen; four people died sixteen years ago in an identical ritual.

Kate knows why the homicides abruptly ended back then and that the current copy cat killer cannot be the same psychopath. Meanwhile the politicians are nervous that they will be punished by the public for being soft on crime due to the lack of progress by the cops as more victims die. They set up a multi-jurisdictional task force to allegedly assist Kate, but consisting of mostly sycophant moles who report to the politicos and not the chief; she in turn finds them a nuisance examining her every move rather than that of the killer.

Although there are enough serial killers in literature to wipe out Ohio, readers will enjoy SWORN TO SILENCE; a strong police procedural refreshed by the Amish connection that enables the audience to compare how the two prime groups react to the murders then and now. Kate is a wonderful protagonist struggling emotionally with déjà vu homicides, politicians who ironically some object to Darwinism yet are the classic example of survival, and walking the thin blood line between her Amish childhood and her English job. Fans will enjoy Linda Castillo’s brisk take on how two distinct groups behave with a deadly predator in their midst.

Harriet Klausner