Breaking Silence Review
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The Amish are a quiet and peaceful people who have managed to live apart from the rest of the world. Unfortunately, though, the world has no qualms about stepping into their territory and causing pain and destruction.

Long ago, Chief Kate Burkholder was excommunicated from her Amish community for reasons beyond her control, but that hasn’t stopped her from doing all she can to help them live in peace. When a string of hate crimes against the Amish erupt in Painters Mill, Kate is determined to catch the perpetrators. When hate turns to murder, leaving four Amish children orphaned, the state sends John Tomasetti to help with the investigation.

A tough FBI agent who may have gone rogue once in his career, Tomasetti will get answers from the Amish whether they want to give it to him or not. Still, he has to tread lightly with Kate. They share a volatile relationship, along with secrets about each other that no one else knows.

Kate begins to get too personally involved in the case that’s filled with twisted secrets and shocking revelations, leaving her shaken and unsure of her future as a cop.

A mystery set in Amish country is definitely a new spin on the same old murder plot—and it’s one that I enjoyed immensely. It’s always nice to find an author who breaks out of the mold and comes up with something different. Linda Castillo has done exactly that with Breaking Silence.

Chief Kate Burkholder is a bit rough around the edges, spending a good deal of time drinking while mulling over a case, but she makes up for it with her compassion for the Amish and the victims of crime. The Amish community is lucky to have her on their side, but they don’t seem to appreciate her interference. Still, she admirably hangs in there with them until the crime is solved.

John Tomasetti, on the other hand, is a quiet figure who stays in the background and lends support until something riles his sense of integrity. Once that happens, he dives in and takes the reins, making sure that Kate doesn’t lose her objectivity when dealing with a community of which she was once a welcomed part.

Filled with lively supporting characters—like Roland “Pickles” Shumaker, a wily seventy-four-year-old deputy—Breaking Silence entertains as it sends chills cascading down your spine. I thought I’d solved the mystery long before the end, but I was dead wrong. The twist shocked me down to my toes—while, at the same time, I was thinking, Of course! That’s the way it had to happen!

I simply can’t wait to read the first two books in the series, along with any future installments.

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