Title: Pray for Silence
Author: Linda Castillo
Release Date: June 22, 2010
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Source: Personal Copy
Rating: 4 out of 5
Chief of Police Kate Burkholder is still recovering from the events in Sworn to Silence when one of her officers makes a grisly and horrifying discovery – an entire Amish family, brutally murdered in their home. Kate is very disturbed by what she finds and vows to bring the family some justice as she sets out on the hunt for a murderer.
I absolutely loved the setting of Sworn to Silence, so I was thrilled to return to it in this sequel. Painter’s Mill, Ohio is the home to both Amish and “English”; while the Amish are peaceful and don’t cause a lot of trouble, they don’t trust their English neighbors. Kate straddles these two communities; she grew up Amish, but refused to commit to their way of life. She returned to her hometown as the Chief of Police and, though not welcomed by the Amish, she has their trust in a way that an English police officer wouldn’t.
The gruesomeness of the murder scene is really difficult for Kate and for the reader. It’s clear that the Amish are simple people. They work hard and love their families; they are peaceful. They don’t always treat Kate with the trust and compassion the reader might feel she deserves, but they are good people. Therefore, it is horrifying to read the descriptions of the murder scene. Who would be so evil as to hurt Amish people, and in such a horrific, brutal way? The mystery is solid, with good pacing. There are a lot of twists and turns, and though it is possible to guess the final outcome, I didn’t see it coming.
Kate and John both are great characters, but they stagnate a little in this book. They both are trapped by the same demons they were in the first, without a lot of character growth. However, they have grown in their relationship with one another – they do acknowledge that they care for one another, though they aren’t ready to see where that might lead.
As long as you know the premise, it’s possible to read Pray for Silence as a standalone book. However, if you’re planning on reading both, I wouldn’t recommend reading them out of order. Kate does a lot of reflecting on the events of Sworn to Silence, and as a result, it will ruin the book for you. I really recommend reading them in order, though, because they are both excellent, gripping books that you won’t be able to put down.