Monday, February 4, 2013

Lost in Amish Country

Linda Castillo's series featuring Chief of Police Kate Burkholder is great. Let me warn you now: this is not a book to be read in short spurts of 10 minutes here and there. I would suggest uninterrupted multi-hour chunks of time...with short breaks so a person can take a breath and grab a snack. The first title, Sworn to Silence, sucked me into the plot so fast that all other books, magazines, and TV shows must be set aside.

Our heroine returns to the town she grew up in to become the police chief and is repeatedly tested by difficult and dangerous cases. The Amish setting is unique, the characters have flaws, and the suspense is drawn out. There are twists and turns, and while I never try to guess who the bad guy is (because I am terrible at it), I wouldn't even bother with these.

The first three books all have the word "silence" in the title, so I have a hard time remembering the order: Sworn to Silence, Pray for Silence, and Breaking Silence. (And yes, they need to be read in order.) The fourth book is Gone Missing, and the fifth title comes out in June: Her Last Breath. (Yea!)

These books are thrillers--dark and somewhat violent. And they aren't funny. No snappy one-liners here, at least that I can recall. For that, I would go with John Sandford's series with investigator Virgil Flowers. And while I love that character, this series is a little different: no fishing breaks or rock band T shirts here.

I can't explain why Linda Castillo's books first grabbed me, but I liked them enough to buy them (a rarity for me). And I couldn't put them down.

--Elizabeth

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