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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 21 November 2011
I was looking forward to reading Linda Castillo's second book after enjoying her first so much. We see the return of both Kate Burkholder and John Tomasetti. Except this time around we are around a year after the setting for the book Sworn to Silence.

When the police arrive at the Amish farmstead in Painters Mill following the sound of screaming, they can't imagine the horror that awaits them. An entire family slaughtered: the men shot, the young women tortured and killed. They need to work out if this is random or intentional and planned. Kate decides to call on John for help. Jon is having his own career crisis and finds that the call from Kate comes at the right time.

Linda Castillo's writing was just as good the second time around. However, a few chapters in and I was getting the distinct feeling that I had been here and read this before. The story wasn't as complex as the first and I found myself getting frustrated with the plot. I wasn't however dissapointed with the characters. I like Kate Burkholder and John and think the dynamics of their friendship/relationship was the more interesting part of this book?!?!

I was over half way through and kept expecting there to be a big surprise or plot twist. Sadly, I was still expecting it right up to the end, only to be left feeling dissapointed. Don't get me wrong overall I enjoyed the book, but I wasn't sure what was the overwhelming dislike. Was it the fact that the Amish angle to the story was now a little dull? Or was it the fact that the story just wasn't as good as her first book? I don't actually think I know the answer even having finished it.

As a summary, I would say that this is a read that will keep you reasonable entertained, but not gripped. Anybody looking to read another great book in this series may be left feeling a little cheated. All of that said, I will still buy and read the next book in the series which has already been released in the hope that this book was just a minor blip
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on 7 October 2012
I read the first book in the series (Sworn To Silence) about a year ago and enjoyed it. The books (up to four, now, I understand) concern Kate Burkholder, Chief of Police in a small Midwestern US town. She was raised Amish but left the church as a teenager. The town in which she serves contains both Amish and "English" people.

The books are basically police procedural but contain a lot of information about the Amish way of life, and a lot about Kate's various conflicts.

This second book disappointed on a couple of levels. There was way too much referring back (and summarising - repeatedly) the events of the first book. There was way too much repetition, full stop. Yes, we understand just how deeply Kate is disturbed and disgusted by the crimes committed and how much she just wants to kill the perp. We got the point the first time the author mentioned it. Harping on about it, chapter after chapter, was not needed.

Lastly - and no spoilers - when the big reveal came in the last chapter, one of the names mentioned meant nothing to me. Even flicking back through the book quickly didn't help me. She repeated herself about certain things, then, when we find out whodunit, all we get's a quick mention of a name and then she moves on. D'oh!

I don't think I will be moving on to numbers three and four in the series unless the reviews are universally glowing.

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VINE VOICETOP 500 REVIEWERon 6 September 2012
This is the second of the Kate Burkholder novels where the heroine is the sherriff of a small town which includes a large population of Amish people. Kate herself is ex-Amish having left the lifestyle after a major incident in her past which still lives with her and was the subject of the plot in the first book. She has a troubled relationship with mixed up FBI agent John Tomasetti. The Amish element of the story is dealt with well and respectfully and provides a decent enough background for the crime and the investigation.

The first issue which I have with the book, however, is that Kate and John are just too damaged - I seriously wonder how either of them hold down a job or function in society (although John does have problems with his job in this book although we don't get to find out what happens in the end). The relationship issues are interesting but they do loom large in the novel and overwhelm the mystery element.

The solving of the crime is the second problem which I have with the story. The investigation is very pedestrian for a while with lots of potential suspects and then everything happens in a rush, I confess that I never really grasped the motivation of the perpetrators nor how they had committed the crimes. The climax was exciting enough but it was a bit unrealistic that they would have set such a trap (a very expensive use of people resource if nothing else).

I wanted this book to tie together better because I liked Kate and John and thought that the setting was good, but it didn't really work well enough. It wasn't woefully bad but it could have been better. It was also written in the first present tense - I realise that this is becoming more common (Elly Griffiths does it too in her novels) but I, personally, find it offputting.
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on 27 October 2014
I really enjoyed the first book and was looking forward to reading the next in the series but found this book a bit of a disappointment. I realise that authors like even series books to be stand alone but there was a bit too much of referring back to the first book. There was also quite a lot of repetition throughout the book. The ending was, I felt, a bit far fetched. On the whole as a thriller it didn't really hit the mark. As a Police procedural novel it was probably slightly above average. I have read one of the novellas and enjoyed that so I will probably risk reading book 4 before I make a decision on whether to keep reading or give up on the series.
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on 13 April 2018
Good book. enjoyed reading it
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on 6 February 2015
I enjoyed Linda Castillo style of writing but I found this book disturbing. I also found part of the plot a bit far fetched. I didn't guess who the murderers were but I was also concerned about Kate and John driving after drinking.
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on 9 December 2017
Great read. Looking forward to reading next one in series. Loved how it had twists and turns on suspects right up until near the end.
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on 8 July 2013
Read the first book in the series and couldn't put it down, so downloaded this the next day. Was disappointed, they refer to the original book quite a bit which to be honest just made the read predictable.
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on 22 November 2016
I really like how the author uses the first person narrative, making it very personal. The story is good, a bit gruesome but well written and exciting.
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on 23 January 2015
I read ths book in less than a week, it is gruesome in places , but the story line is good, I could not put it down, I have now bought another book in this series and it is as good as the first.
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