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Review: Breaking Silence by Linda Castillo

22 Jul

Breaking Silence by Linda Castillo
Minotaur Books (June 2011)
Hardback: $24.99; ebook: $11.99
ISBN: 9780312374990

Favorite Lines: “You fucking bitch! I wish I’d killed you, too!” (p. 294)

The Slabaugh family are model Amish farmers, prosperous and hardworking, with four children and a happy extended family. When the parents and an uncle are found dead in their barn, it appears to be a gruesome accident: methane gas asphyxiation caused by a poorly ventilated cesspit. But in the course of a routine autopsy, the coroner discovers that one of the victims suffered a head wound before death—clearly, foul play was involved. But who would want to make orphans of the Slabaughs’ children? And is this murder somehow related to a recent string of shocking hate crimes against the Amish?

Having grown up Amish, Kate is determined to bring the killer to justice. Because the other series of attacks are designated hate crimes, the state sends in agent John Tomasetti, with whom Kate has a long and complex relationship. Together, they search for the link between the crimes—and uncover a dark secret at work beneath the placid surface of this idyllic Amish community.

Book three in Linda Castillo’s Kate Bukholder series, Breaking Silence, is awesome. I read the book in one sitting and despite never having read the first two books had no problem.

The series is set in Painter’s Creek, Ohio, right smack dab in Amish country. The story is told in both third and first person. While in third person the reader gets into the mind hate crime perpetrators and other secondary characters. When the story is told in first person, we are watching events unfold through Kate, the heroine’s eyes.

At first the story seems to be an open and shut who dun it; find out who is committing hate crimes. As the thriller gets underway, we see new evidence that indicates more is going on than meets the eye. The author doesn’t give away much, but I’ve got an evil mind and figured out a particular person’s involvement in the Amish homicides.

If you’re like me, you’ll be saying, “Oh, my God!” as the story unfolds.

I enjoyed the variety of ways Castillo showcased the Amish. They weren’t just separatists. They were friendly and hostile. Some had technology while others did not. And that while being shunned was not a good thing, it didn’t mean the same thing to every Amish family.

I had a problem reconciling myself to not knowing Kate or her lover, John’s back stories. Things are hinted at, but it takes a while to figure out why the crimes are affecting Kate and John so much. Sure they are brutal, but the intense personal investment they make, especially Kate, wasn’t revealed until the end of the book. Those familiar with the series probably knew why, but I didn’t. I’m sure they were discussed in the previous two books: Pray for Silence and Sworn to Silence. Obviously it is my problem and not a failure of the author and it really didn’t bother me too much.

Buy it or Skip it? Buy it. It’s a thriller filled with small, engaging twists. You may think you know what’s going to happen, but in the end you might be shocked. I can’t wait to hear what y’all think about it.

In the meanwhile check out what others are saying about Breaking Silence:

S. Krishna’s Books
Lesa’s Book Critiques
Miss Lynn’s Books & More

Review: Vanish in Plain Sight by Marta Perry

26 May

Vanish in Plain Sight by Marta Perry
Harlequin/HQN (May 24, 2011)
Mass Market: $7.99
ISBN: 9780373775767

Favorite Lines: “Lying in the military hospital, day after day, he’d had no choice but to accept the fact that he’d survived when the others had died. He’d made his plans. He just hadn’t anticipated how hard it would be to carry them out.” (p. 65) Continue reading