Monday, February 22, 2010

Crime Fiction Alphabet: Sworn to Silence by Linda Castillo

Title: Sworn to Silence
Author: Linda Castillo
ISBN: 9781615231072
Publisher: Minotaur Books/2009
Pages: 336

Book Blurb:

When a serial killer strikes bucolic Painters Mill, Ohio, the killer's signature—Roman numerals ritualistically carved into each victim's abdomen—matches the MO of four unsolved murders from 16 years earlier. Police chief Kate Burkholder, who's reluctant to dredge up the past, must keep secret that she knows why the old murders stopped. Not satisfied with the case's progress, local politicos set up a multijurisdictional task force to assist, including a law-enforcement agent battling his own demons. The added scrutiny and the rising body count threaten to push the chief over the edge.

My views:

Kate Burkholder has a tough job in her hand, catching the serial killer. Knowing what is in her past, she is afraid, who might be the killer. Only she and her family know about what happened 16 years back. When John Tamasetti is sent to help her out, she is resentful of him. John too has a past and knows that this case is either make or break for him. Because of her Amish past, not many people in Painter Mill want Kate to handle the case. That includes Nathan Detrick, who takes over from her. Only when she is out of the force, she can get to the bottom of it, and nail the killer. And then that killer comes after her...

The way the murders are commited is pretty gruesome and the graphic descriptions might not go well with some readers. Few of the cops in the novel too are unable to take in such horror. But it only adds to the psycho killer and we have this compulsion to know who is it. This novel is definitely not for the faint-hearted.

A fast paced novel, with a good finish. We can't even begin to guess the killer until Kate starts profiling. Even when she is thrown out, she has to find out who is killing all those females and put a stop to it. When a pattern emerges, she knows who did it. Kate has her demons but she does not let it get in her way of work. John has been over the edge and knows solving this case would bring him back into being what he has always been, a good cop.

This is first in the series of the Kate Burkholder novels and I will be look out for the next. Thanks to the author for the ARC!


Anonymous said...

Gautami - Thanks for highlighting this book. I've read lots of good reviews of it. I'm not Amish, myself, but I grew up in a part of the U.S. where there is a high Amish population, so I'm very interested in reading this. Thanks for reminding me of it : ).