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Sworn to Silence
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About the Author

Bestselling author Linda Castillo knew at a young age that she wanted to be a writer - and penned her first novel at the age of 13. Since 1999, she has sold over 20 books to Harlequin, Berkley and, most recently, St Martin's Press. She is the winner of numerous industry awards, including the Holt Medallion, the Golden Heart, the Daphne du Maurier, and a nomination for the prestigious Rita. In her spare time, Linda enjoys reading, showing horses, and barrel racing. She lives in Texas with her husband, four loveable dogs, two barn cats, and two Appaloosa horses.

Reviews

This debut mystery introduces Police Chief Kate Burkholder of Painters Mill, OH. Kate grew up in that Amish community but abandoned her heritage after a traumatic event in her teen years. Now she's back, using her Amish background to navigate between the two factions in the community. Her hard-won equanimity is shaken when the body of a young woman is found. The murder appears to be nearly identical to a series of killings from 16 years ago, though Kate knows that it can't be the same person. As successive murders follow, she is forced to walk a tightrope between running a good investigation and protecting herself and her family. Sworn marks Castillo's move from romantic suspense to straight mystery, and judging by this novel, the move is a good one. Though the ending feels a bit rushed and serial killers abound in crime fiction today, this is very well done. The small-town setting, complicated relationships among the inhabitants, and the strong but battle-scarred protagonist bring Julia Spencer-Fleming's series to mind. Highly recommended for all libraries. [See Prepub Mystery, LJ 2/1/09.]-Jane Jorgenson, Madison P.L., WI Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

"A gun-toting, cursing, former Amish female chief of police" stars in this excellent first in a new suspense series from romance veteran Castillo (Fade to Red). When a serial killer strikes bucolic Painters Mill, Ohio, the killer's signature-Roman numerals ritualistically carved into each victim's abdomen-matches the MO of four unsolved murders from 16 years earlier. Police chief Kate Burkholder, who's reluctant to dredge up the past, must keep secret that she knows why the old murders stopped. Not satisfied with the case's progress, local politicos set up a multijurisdictional task force to assist, including a law-enforcement agent battling his own demons. The added scrutiny and the rising body count threaten to push the chief over the edge. Adept at creating characters with depth and nuance, Castillo smoothly integrates their backstories into a well-paced plot that illuminates the divide between the Amish and "English" worlds. (June) Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

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