Monday, May 16, 2011

Review: Pray for Silence by Linda Castillo

Pray for Silence: A Thriller (Kate Burkholder)

Pray for Silence is the second novel Linda Castillo has written with character Chief of Police Kate Burkholder as the main character.  Not much happens in the small community of Painters Mill, where many inhabitants are Amish.  Kate and her colleagues are shocked when they find a whole Amish family gruesomely murdered in their own home.  Why were they murdered?  And what secrets did the family have that could have led to their deaths?  Kate puts herself in harm's way to find the person who committed the heinous crime, and she is joined by State Agent John Tomasetti, her boyfriend who has some problems of his own to deal with.

I picked up Pray for Silence thinking it would be a nice no-brainer to read during the semester.  I figured it was a murder mystery, and it couldn't be that intense, right?  Wrong!  The book was fast-paced and extremely gruesome, and it kept me wanting to read more.  Surprisingly, it took me almost the whole book to figure out who the killer was, and I loved all the new suspects that kept popping up.

I really loved Kate and her ability to relate so well with the victims.  As a cop, she tries not to because it often makes things too emotional.  As she is the narrator though, readers get a look inside her head.  Growing up Amish heself and going through much of what one of the dead girls went through, Kate is determined to find the killer, even if she acts really stupid and risks her life to do so.

I thought Castillo did the whole Amish thing quite nicely.  I usually shy away from books about the Amish because they often seem kind of cheesy and fake.  This novel was different.  Perhaps it's because Kate herself talked about the Amish like it's a normal thing.  I'm not sure, but I liked it.

Castillo definitely knows how to write a good murder mystery.  This was definitely not what I expected, but in a good way.  Like I said above, I didn't figure out who the murderer was until the end, and I usually can guess long before then.  Another thing I loved is that you don't need to read the first Kate Burkholder book, Sworn to Silence, before reading this one.  There was enough background info given in this one that I knew what was happening, and it didn't have a super long summary of the first book in the first chapter, which was great because that can get annoying.

All in all, a great entertaining read.  Just don't pick it up if you're weak in the stomach!  I plan on reading Sworn to Silence soon!

Title: Pray for Silence
Author: Linda Castillo
Date of Publication: 2010
Number of Pages: 320
Genre: Fiction, murder mystery
Source: Personal Copy


  1. I've had my eye on this series - thanks for your review!

    Shelleyrae @ Book'd Out

  2. If you like a good thriller, a quick read and think you will enjoy the small-town-cop/Amish perspective- you will really like this book. Again, some pretty violent descriptions surrounding the crime scene which might ruin the book for some.

    Castillo is def. going on my list of authors to follow as I really enjoyed this book, I will look forward to reading more of her work.