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Sworn to Silence

A Thriller
Narrated by: Kathleen McInerney
Length: 11 hrs and 45 mins
4 out of 5 stars (49 ratings)
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Summary

Now the subject of the Lifetime original movie: An Amish Murder 

Some secrets are too terrible to reveal...Some crimes are too unspeakable to solve.

In the sleepy rural town of Painters Mill, Ohio, the Amish and "English" residents have lived side by side for two centuries. But 16 years ago, a series of brutal murders shattered the peaceful farming community. In the aftermath of the violence, the town was left with a sense of fragility, a loss of innocence. 

Kate Burkholder, a young Amish girl, survived the terror of the Slaughterhouse Killer but came away from its brutality with the realization that she no longer belonged with the Amish.

Now, a wealth of experience later, Kate has been asked to return to Painters Mill as Chief of Police. Her Amish roots and big city law enforcement background make her the perfect candidate. She's certain she's come to terms with her past - until the first body is discovered in a snowy field. Kate vows to stop the killer before he strikes again. But to do so, she must betray both her family and her Amish past - and expose a dark secret that could destroy her.

©2009 Linda Castillo (P)2009 Macmillan Audio

Critic reviews

"Deeply flawed characters in a distinctive setting make this a crackling good series opener, recommended for fans of T. Jefferson Parker and Robert Ellis, whose books take place in very un-Amish settings but who generate the same kind of chills and suspense." (Booklist)

What members say

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Introducing Kate Burkholder

Introducing Kate Burkholder, an ex Amish member, now Chief of Police in Painter Mill where there is a large Amish community. Add a nasty murder ( or two, three ....), a damaged State Investigator and a tangled personal history and you have a great story.

Loved the book when I read it ages ago. Loved it even more when read by Kathleen McIerney.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Not great, even for £5.99

I bought this in a halloween sale- it was cheap and long enough to make it feel worth buying even though I didn't know what to expect. But I didn't enjoy it much, and couldn't listen to the whole of the last half. It is a fairly standard thriller, though (partly) set in an amish community, which sounded interesting. I felt the characters were one dimensional, though I think the author put lots of effort in to make them "complex" and "flawed", this didn't work. Instead they became either unbelievable or just not real. Also, I found a lot of it tedious, despite many bloody and violent events and graphic descriptions of crimes. Just didn't do it for me- a shame as had a very promising premise. It was well read, but this wasn't enough to make it good.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Heike
  • Heidelberg, Germany
  • 06-01-13

Gruesome detailed torture scenes

I started listening to it on my run on a cold dark December morning and nearly gave up. Sorry, I really don't need detailed description what humans can do to another human being. Luckily I persevered and found this a gripping thriller located in an unusual community where Amish and English live side by side. The personal stories of the protagonists Kate Burkholder and Tomassetti however I found too unbelievable and hence couldn't really relate to them.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Yvonne
  • KETTERING, United Kingdom
  • 30-12-12

Sworn to read the next one ......

This was my first experience of Linda Castillo and well done you, the story wove two different communities and their conflicts and similarities with skill and guile, keeping the suspense going till very nearly the end. And the twist {pause for effect} is great.



I am looking out for other work by this author, and would recommend this as a great read/listen. Kathleen McInerney wasn't the best reader I have ever come across but she kept it going without sending me to sleep as I drove along and I did feel her voice suited the "heroine". Plenty of room for developing the plot into a series with both lead protagonists. As I said before I would like to have more.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Shocking to read

I didn't know what I was getting into when I downloaded this book - I have never listened to anything like it and I'm not sure I would want to again. Obviously well written or I suppose I wouldn't be so shocked but the first paragraph was so disturbing I became quite upset. I spread the book over a few weeks and managed to finish it the storyline was good but one wonders at the necessity of such graphic description. Or how anyone could describe anything so awful?

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • SHEILA
  • 01-08-09

I'm sorry.....

I wanted to like it, but this story plays out like a bad made-for-tv movie...predictable....
(Sorry author)Worst narrator for THIS story ever,something else for her may be a better choice.
If she says the word "inordinately" one more time...I may have an inordinately strong dislike for the story. Wish we could rate with 1/2 stars, for 2 1/2 stars is a more appropriate rating.

30 of 31 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • karen
  • 07-09-12

Surprised me!

I'm not a big fan of serial killer stories -- they tend to get boring and repetitious, not to mention unpleasantly over the top in terms of pain and gore. But in reading the blurb that described this book by Linda Castillo, something grabbed my attention -- not too sure what. In any event, I'm glad I bought it. It's different -- and very very good.

There's some blood and guts, to be sure, but not much. Most of the story focuses on the Police Chief protagonist, Kate Burkholder. (Ever notice how many female cops, etc, are named 'Kate'?) And she is an interesting bird -- grew up Amish, speaking Pennsylvania Dutch, at age 18 she elected not to join the church, and set out to become a police officer instead. Now she's been hired back in her home community, where she's trying to serve as a bridge between the Amish and the "English", ie, everyone else. Tough job -- would be a tough job for everyone, but needless to say, having a female chief of police would be a big enough issue in the first place, let alone one thought to harbor the pacifist ideals of the Amish community. In addition to everything else, Kate has a hostile board to deal with, people who seem set on making her life as miserable as possible. (Been there, done that myself -- maybe that's why I identified with this protagonist.)

Linda Castillo did an excellent job with this story -- really remarkable. There were times when Kate's anguish over things that were happening were so intensely described I actually shed a tear or two for her -- now when's the last time THAT happened? The whole thing is really well done -- and the narration by Kathleen McInerney is perfect for this book. Not overdone, not underdone, just right.

I've since bought two more books in this series, haven't listened to them yet, but if they're only partly as good as this one, they're more than worth it. Good book!

34 of 36 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 25-05-12

Ridiculously bad

What would have made Sworn to Silence better?

The plot was so predictable and the language is full of cliches and awkward dialog. These things could have been improved.

What was most disappointing about Linda Castillo’s story?

I figured it out about a third of the way through, and I usually don't figure mysteries out.

What didn’t you like about Kathleen McInerney’s performance?

Awkwardly read.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

I guess the Amish twist is sort of interesting, but there are so many better mysteries out there.

13 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Lehua of Pacifica
  • 05-07-09

Freddie Goes Amish

It's clear this author would be capable of writing a good story; it's unclear why she chose not to. Is it that gore and horror sell? Is she aiming at the teenagers who watch the Friday the 13th style of horror movies? It actually becomes boring in the middle of psychotic mania rampages simply because she so belabors every repellent detail. Even the supposedly good guys left me unmoved. Flawed characters are all well and good, but there's a distance between them vs. folks that have degenerated into complete basket cases. The plot is pretty silly most of the time. Like, hasn't this woman -- an officer of the law -- ever heard of lawyers?

AUDIO: McInerney is a mediocre actress, and is all over the place in this novel, bouncing between overacting and flat-affect droning, with only a few bits that are well done. The protagonist is played nowhere near tough enough, and all the men sound like dweebs.

26 of 29 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Byron
  • 22-09-12

Unique Amish mystery/thriller

I've finally gotten around to reading the first book in the Kate Burkholder mystery series and I was hooked after the first 20 pages. Good thing is, there are already more to read from this excellent author, Linda Casttillo.

This thriller is uniquely placed in Ohio Amish country, where the relationship between the Amish and Englishers is a bit strained
already. Kate seems to be the perfect Sherif for the small town of Painter's Mill because she grew up Amish but has left their community life. At fourteen, a personal tragedy sent her into the world of hard living, heavy drinking, and a 'take no prisoners' attitude' that found her recovery sending her into the police academy. Now, as Sherif, she understands and respects the Amish, but her life is in the English community.

All is going well until a girl's body is found. Her brutal murder resembles that of the four victims of a serial murder from sixteen years years ago. Kate may know facts that could help the case but hurt her. More murders cause the Town Council to become political in their drive to sabotage Kate. They bring in other law enforcement officers, including a rogue officer with a tragic story of his own. Kate and John become strange allies in their determination to solve this case without loosing themselves, but the suspects cause their own difficult issues.

The twists and turns definitely pleased this avid mystery reader! This is not another twist on the same old mystery theme. It's uniqueness and thrills won me over quickly.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • shelley
  • 04-09-18

GREAT PROCEDURAL!

I was actually hesitant about buying this book due to the mixed reviews. I am so glad I decided to give it a try because I now have a new series with quite a few books to get caught up with!
This is the beginning of the Kate Burkholder series. I won't rereview or restate the plot , between the publisher's summary and the many reviews already posted I think anyone reading this can get a pretty good idea what the book is about.
I will say I think this is a really good book. I think the writing is excellent, the characters are fleshed out and believable. There is a unique take on plot lines using the Amish people and ways as a focal point for the stories. The landscape is vividly described and you can clearly see it as the author wants you to. I found the plot plausible and the antagonist a cunning sociopath who easily could have been taken from reality.
I also liked that romance was kept to a minimum. When I read a procedural I don't really care who is bedding who unless for some reason it has impact on the storyline.
I've always found the Amish lifestyle fascinating and know the Castillo did tons of research for the book so I am assuming her lifestyle facts are correct and I felt like I've learned something new (that's always a plus!).
Kathleen McInerney does an excellent job narrating.
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
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Thank You.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Laura
  • 25-06-12

Good introduction to Castillo

I very much enjoyed this book though it did drag on a bit in places. Would recommend.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Vicky
  • 04-10-10

Steer clear.

I listened to the whole book because I could not believe that with the good ratings it had it could be as predictable as it was. The story begins well with possibilities to keep the reader in suspense throughout, but it all falls through quickly and ends up being really disappointing. If I could have given it a zero rating I would have.

12 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Kathy
  • 28-10-09

Predictable w/ info for those interested in amish

Although the plot was predictable, it was interesting to see the how the protagonist handled her Amish roots but lived in English mainstream. I found the narrator differentiated between the various characters consistently. Yes there were some well used plot elements but I still was willing to see if Castillo had other books in this series. IF you aren't picky and dont mind a bit of gore, its a good read.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Susan
  • 20-07-09

Predictable but good

At times, I felt like this book was so predictable it got on my nerves. Vulnerable female cop trying to prove herself. Old, washed-up, "rougue" male cop no one wants because he won't play by the rules (is there any other kind?) who, of course, hate each other @ first but by the end, well, you know. Grotesque serial killings, blah, blah. BUT, I said to myself "This book is so predictable because I like this type of book". I like a good crime story/romance thing and this is one is as good as any I've read.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful