Pray for Silence: Book summary and reviews of Pray for Silence by Linda Castillo

Pray for Silence

A Kate Burkholder Thriller (Series #2)

By Linda Castillo

Pray for Silence
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  • Published in USA  Jun 2010,
    320 pages.

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Book Summary

New York Times bestselling author Linda Castillo delivers an electrifying thriller in which Chief of Police Kate Burkholder must confront a dark evil to solve the mysterious murders of an entire Amish family.

The Plank family moved from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, to join the small Amish community of Painters Mill less than a year ago and seemed the model of the Plain Life—until on a cold October night, the entire family of seven was found slaughtered on their farm. Police Chief Kate Burkholder and her small force have few clues, no motive, and no suspect. Formerly Amish herself, Kate is no stranger to the secrets the Amish keep from the English—and each other—but this crime is horribly out of the ordinary.

State agent John Tomasetti arrives on the scene to assist. He and Kate worked together on a previous case during which they began a volatile relationship. They soon realize the disturbing details of this case will test their emotional limits and force them to face demons from their own troubled pasts—and for Kate, a personal connection that is particularly hard to bear.

When she discovers a diary that belonged to one of the teenaged daughters, Kate is shocked to learn the girl kept some very dark secrets and may have been living a lurid double life. Who is the charismatic stranger who stole the young Amish girl’s heart? Could the brother—a man with a violent past, rejected and shunned by his family and the Amish community, have come to seek out revenge? As Kate’s outrage grows so does her resolve to find the killer and bring him to justice—even if it means putting herself in the line of fire.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"It's shades of In Cold Blood when a family of seven is brutally murdered at their home in Painters Mill, Ohio. But the Plank family was Amish - and their teenage daughter was flirting outside the fold. Another chilling thriller by the author of 2009's Sworn to Silence." - People magazine "Violent and earthy, and completely impossible to put down." - BookPage

"Though the violence level is high, the brutality is offset by Kate's and her team's very capable police procedure and investigation. Another solid effort that will appeal to fans of Karin Slaughter and Tami Hoag." - Library Journal

"The second installment in Castillo's strong series finds Police Chief Kate Burkholder once again face-to-face with pure evil... . A unique setting and a very human heroine make this a good recommendation for readers seeking an alternative to the urban whodunit." - Booklist

"The second book in Castillo's series ... is as well crafted, interesting and unique as the first.  The combination of Amish life and the brutal work of a police chief create plenty of tension and excitement." - Romantic Times (4 ½ stars, top pick)

"Castillo pushed boundaries with her first in this series, but Pray for Silence blows all of those out of the water: her handling of the subject matter is impressive and the book is very well plotted. Again, not for the easily shocked and one that will utterly consume you as you follow Burkholder and her team. This series seriously needs a warning label." - Bookbitch.com

"With a serial killer and now a mass murder in tiny Painters Mill, Castillo will need to be inventive to maintain the plausibility in this addictive series. Fortunately, she seems up to the task." - Akron Beacon Journal

"Castillo excels at detailing gory crime scenes, but she leaves Kate and John as little more than cookies cut from the same “troubled cop” mold." - Publishers Weekly

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Reader Reviews

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Rated 2 of 5 of 5 by Lynn
Not a good follow-up novel
I enjoyed the first book in this series and was looking forward to reading this one, but it just isn't very good. The mystery had potential, but the story line is very obvious. I could give more stars for that, but the writing wasn't well executed in this book. It is OK to remind the readers that the female police chief was formerly Amish with a traumatic past history, but you don't need to bring it up every chapter. A smart reader won't forget those details. The crime was especially hard to read and brutal, but the author goes on and on with how angry Kate is as she uncovers every clue. It would have been much more interesting to have that anger developed in the character and actions of Kate rather than just repeating it over and over again. I need to be convinced that there is improvement in the writing before I would pick up the third book in the series. I hope that is the case.

Rated 2 of 5 of 5 by avid reader
disappointing
A female police chief, formerly Amish herself, investigates the murders of seven members of an Amish family. The investigation leads to the discovery of more horrific crimes. While the plot had the possibility of good execution, it is much more grisly than necessary and the writing is immature. Dialogue is stilted and a character who is "thinking" is filling in so many details (that would not be part of one's active thoughts) that it is distracting.

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Author Information

Linda Castillo Author Biography

Originally from Ohio where her Amish thrillers are set, Linda Castillo knew from an early age that she wanted to be a writer—and penned her first novel at the age of thirteen. She is the recipient of numerous industry awards, including the Daphne du Maurier Award of Excellence, the Holt Medallion, the Golden Heart, and a nomination for the prestigious Rita.

Her debut thriller, Sworn to Silence, garnered starred reviews from Library Journal, Publisher's Weekly, and Booklist—and hit the New York Times bestseller list for four consecutive weeks.

In her spare time Linda enjoys riding horses, especially trail riding, and dabbles in barrel racing. She resides in Texas with her husband, three dogs, a barn cat, and two Appaloosa horses.

Link to Linda Castillo's Website

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