Book Review: Pray for Silence – Linda Castillo

Title: Pray for Silence
Author: Linda Castillo
ISBN: 9780312374983
Pages: 320
Release Date: June 22, 2010
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Genre: Mystery
Source: Personal Copy
Rating: 4 out of 5

Summary:

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.

Review:

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.

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Comments

  1. Thanks for this review. I really liked Sworn to Silence, and I have been meaning to read the second book in the series. I am not surprised that this book is also graphic. The first one was tough to read in sections, but I am disappointed to hear that there isn’t a lot of character development. I really like Kate, though, so that is probably going to be okay 🙂

  2. Thanks for this review. I really liked Sworn to Silence, and I have been meaning to read the second book in the series. I am not surprised that this book is also graphic. The first one was tough to read in sections, but I am disappointed to hear that there isn’t a lot of character development. I really like Kate, though, so that is probably going to be okay 🙂

  3. I need to start with SWORN TO SILENCE. I have a feeling that I would enjoy this series.

  4. I need to start with SWORN TO SILENCE. I have a feeling that I would enjoy this series.

  5. The angle of a policewoman who comes from Amish stock and is now investigating crimes among the Amish people is one that I find fascinating, and I imagine that both of these books would be really interesting reads for me. It’s also good that the ending is not too easy to guess at. I always get disappointed when I figure out things before it’s over. Great review on this one. I am going to check these books out, but I will be sure to start with the first one/

  6. The angle of a policewoman who comes from Amish stock and is now investigating crimes among the Amish people is one that I find fascinating, and I imagine that both of these books would be really interesting reads for me. It’s also good that the ending is not too easy to guess at. I always get disappointed when I figure out things before it’s over. Great review on this one. I am going to check these books out, but I will be sure to start with the first one/

  7. Murder aside, this does sound intriguing…

  8. Murder aside, this does sound intriguing…

  9. My review of this one is coming in a couple of weeks. Even though I was lukewarm on Sworn to Silence, I warmed up on this one. I really enjoyed the perspective we got from Mary’s journal, and the pacing was tight. I think Castillo is going to have to move Kate somewhere else though with the next book, because nobody is going to buy yet another serial murderer in this small town.

  10. My review of this one is coming in a couple of weeks. Even though I was lukewarm on Sworn to Silence, I warmed up on this one. I really enjoyed the perspective we got from Mary’s journal, and the pacing was tight. I think Castillo is going to have to move Kate somewhere else though with the next book, because nobody is going to buy yet another serial murderer in this small town.

  11. Everyone seems to like this series! I need to start with the first book, though.

  12. Everyone seems to like this series! I need to start with the first book, though.

  13. I really enjoyed the first book. I’m definitely going to give this one a try.

  14. I really enjoyed the first book. I’m definitely going to give this one a try.

  15. I didn’t know you read this series too! I adore it and purchased all the books and pre-ordered the one that releases in the summer :)!

    I adore the Amish aspect so much!

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