Hard to believe it's already been two years since I reviewed Linda Castillo's first book in her Kate Burkholder series, Sworn to Silence. I really liked that book! I read it in a little over a day.
I've been wanting to read Pray for Silence since I first saw it was released. It wasn't until I was going on vacation and looking for a new book that I quickly purchased it and downloaded to my NookColor. And I was not sorry I did. In this second installment of the series, seven members of an Amish family are found dead in their home leaving law enforcement officials baffled. Not until Kate finds a hidden diary written by one of the teenage daughters (Mary) in the family does she realize that Mary's boyfriend may be the #1 suspect. But Mary never mentions him by name. Throughout the case, Kate identifies with Mary as a victim. Her past catches up with her; Kate was victimized as a young Amish girl who eventually left that way of life. She finds it hard not to take it personally as she learns about Mary being taken advantage of. The only downside to this book is that there are quite a few characters on the periphery. I had to remind myself who one of the suspects was at the end.
Once I finished Pray for Silence, I was soooo excited to find a review copy of the latest book in my mailbox! I jumped right into Breaking Silence. Kate is called out to an Amish family's home where four children are left orphaned when it appears that their mamm, datt, and uncle are found dead in the manure pit in the barn. The coroner realizes at least one of them was murdered and the case turns around. Someone has been going around committing hate crimes against the Amish and they think the murders may be a part of that. However, Kate soon learns that things are not what they seem and maybe things aren't so simple in the Amish world. The family's secrets are revealed and things really twist around!
Throughout both of these books, Kate calls on John Tomasetti both to help her with the cases and to lean on in her personal life. They have both endured great personal hardship and are fighting their way back from being broken. They both have their demons but work well together. The thing I truly like about these books is the way Castillo writes the characters of Kate and Tomasetti. They are so real. And deep. Really, really great character development in this series. The only thing that bugs me a bit is that it seems that Castillo is stuck on the young innocent Amish girl being victimized. It would be nice if her next book had a fresh take on the Amish community and the case involved a storyline other than a young naive Amish girl.
Source Disclosure: I purchased Pray for Silence and received a review copy of Breaking Silence from the publisher.