Audiobook Review – Sworn to Silence by Linda Castillo

Title: Sworn to Silence (Kate Burkholder, #1)
Author: Linda Castillo
Publish Date: June 23, 2009
# of Pages: 321
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
(**Warning** Possible spoilers)


(From Goodreads) 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. Adept at creating characters with depth and nuance, Castillo smoothly integrates their backstories into a well-paced plot that illuminates the divide between the Amish and English worlds.


Sworn to Silence by Linda Castillo is a serial killer thriller. This book follows Kate Burkholder, the local town’s police chief, as she tries to solve the serial killer case in picturesque Painters Mill, Ohio. Kate soon learns that the good guys aren’t always the good guys.

I absolutely loved this audiobook! I had never even heard of Linda Castillo before checking out this audiobook at my library, but I’m really glad I took a chance on it. From the first chapter, it sucks you in and buckles you in for an intense ride.

The characters are perfect. Kate Burkholder and John Tomasetti were my favorite characters in the book. Kate is a tough cop with a unique history. Born and raised Amish, she left the life and accepted the ban. As the police chief in her hometown, she totes a gun and cusses—quite the difference from her Amish roots. John Tomasetti is a gruff cop with a sad and jaded past. While rough around the edges, he’s a good cop, an excellent profiler, and develops true feelings for Kate. I liked the romance between Kate and John. It felt natural—not contrived.

The killer is creepy and deranged. He makes you squirm, shudder, and hesitate when you turn off the lights at night. The crimes he commits are atrocious and nauseating. Once you find out who the killer is at the end of the book, your jaw drops. At least mine did! It certainly wasn’t who I was expecting.

The plot is great. The whole book is a wild ride worth taking. I’m very happy that this is book one of a series of Kate Burkholder books. I’ve grown rather attached to the characters and am looking forward to reading (or listening!) to the next book soon.


None recorded.

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