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Sworn to Silence

(Kate Burkholder #1)

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4.01  ·  Rating details ·  37,219 ratings  ·  3,514 reviews
Some secrets are too terrible to reveal . . .Some crimes are too unspeakable to solve . . . In the sleepy rural town of Painters Mill, Ohio, the Amish and "English" residents have lived side by side for two centuries. But sixteen years ago, a series of brutal murders shattered the peaceful farming community. In the aftermath of the violence, the town was left with a sense ...more
Hardcover, 321 pages
Published June 23rd 2009 by Minotaur Books (first published 2009)
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Joanne I believe that you would. The Amish theme is there but not overwhelming. It's an engaging mystery novel and one you should give a try. …moreI believe that you would. The Amish theme is there but not overwhelming. It's an engaging mystery novel and one you should give a try. (less)

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Average rating 4.01  · 
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 ·  37,219 ratings  ·  3,514 reviews


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Mary Beth
Jun 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is the first book in the Kate Burkholder Series and I
just loved it. One of the many reasons that I loved it so much is
that I live in the Columbus, Ohio area where some of the setting is
taken place.

Kate is an eight year veteran for the Columbus, Ohio Police
Force, who returns to her home where she grew up in Painters Mill,
Ohio, where I have visited several times. She becomes Police Chief
there. She knows the Amish town and residents very well. Since she
left the Amish way of life, she is n
...more
Always Pouting
I really was just being generous here with the three stars because I really had to drag myself through this book. It wasn't bad but it wasn't good either. The writing was mediocre and I couldn't bring myself to like any of the characters. I literally figured out the plot line in the beginning and the view point changes were annoying and unnecessary. I know it's a genre books but it was just so derivative of every other mystery book I've read, there was nothing original or good about it. You can' ...more
Susanne  Strong
Apr 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
4 Stars

When a Serial Killer reappears in the quiet town of Painters Mill, Ohio - it’s Chief of Police Kate Burkholder who is determined to find him and bring him to justice. After all, for Kate, this is personal.

This is not the first time a Serial Killer materialized in this sleepy town. Sixteen years ago, The Slaughterhouse Killer took the lives of several women and almost killed another one, before she got free. That experience has stayed with her forever. Kate Burkholder, was once of the A
...more
Thomas
Mar 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
A solid 4 stars
This is book 1 in the series about a small town Ohio police chief in Amish country. Kate Burkholder was raised Amish, but left the community and became a police officer in Columbus, Ohio. She has returned as chief, hired because of her Amish background. The book opens with a gruesome torture/murder scene. It reminded me of the opening scene in the tv show Criminal Minds.
When the body is discovered, there is a Roman numeral carved on the body, the same as a series of serial murder
...more
Idarah
Oct 15, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“I think most sociopaths are born, not made. Very few are created by life events.” – Kate Burkholder, Chief of Police

It’s a dark, quiet morning, the kind I usually relish while drinking a hot cup of coffee at my kitchen table with warm puppies at my feet. Today, I shiver in my onesie while I wait for my pot of coffee to brew. I’m facing the kitchen window that looks onto the otherwise idyllic, peaceful neighborhood, and thinking about the book I finished reading the day before. I wonder if someo
...more
Rosie
Oct 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was such a good read. Lately I have been struggling to find a good crime thriller book that keeps me guessing and really in suspense. I'm really glad I stumbled across this one. The pace is fast and there is a lot of suspense. I found the book very difficult to put down. I really liked the main character, Chief Kate Burkholder. She is a strong, independent woman with an Amish background. I enjoyed learning a little bit about the Amish way of life and thought it clever how the author worked ...more
Phrynne
Aug 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
New author to me and I enjoyed it very much! The main character, Kate Burkholder, was interesting and likeable. She made mistakes but persevered and eventually got her man.
The story was excellent, lots of really gross murders, lots of police work and then a great twist at the end. I was just beginning to wonder if it could be a certain person when it turned out to be so.
I also very much enjoyed the Amish angle to the plot. It added an extra something to the whole and I learned a little about t
...more
K
Rrrrripppp! Rrrrrrrippppp!

That's the sound of me ripping this book. If you loved this and have troll instincts, stop reading now because I will not be kind.

I really have to stop reading mysteries. I keep hoping this one will be the next P.D. James or Elizabeth George (in her good days); multidimensional interesting characters circulating in a truly gripping and suspenseful plot. Well, wrong again. "Sworn to Silence" was incredibly predictable and cliched, with stock, one-dimensional characters.
...more
Christine
Jul 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This book hooked me in the prologue and did not let go until the very last page. Whew!!!!! Easily a 5 star rating from me and tied for first place (with S.J. Bolton's Now You See Me) as my favorite read (of 45 books) in the last 12 months. Honestly, I cannot recall the last time a book pulled me in so deep that there was not a single break in my attention. Cover to cover immersion. Ms. Castillo has a number of romances/romantic suspense novels under her belt. Sworn to Silence, I believe, is her ...more
Tim The Enchanter
Posted to The Literary Lawyer.ca

A Chilling Tale in a Beautiful Place - 4.5 Stars

I am going to start this review with a confession. For reasons now lost to the ravages of time, I long had a prejudice against female authors. My impression was that books by female authors would be sappy, romantic, emotional or uninteresting. I went to university, got married and had two girls. Once the I got the aforementioned out of the way, I got back into reading and asked myself why it was I didn't read b
...more
Rob
Apr 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Book 1 in the Kate Burkholder series published 2009.

Why, I ask myself, has it taken me so long to get to Linda Castillo’s work.
What a bottler of a story. ‘Page turner’ is a well worn cliché but this truly is one.

The two main protagonists ‘Kate Burkholder and John Tomasetti’ are police officers with secrets, not just your run of the mill secrets but life changing secrets, secrets so deeply hidden that even they have trouble believing them.

Kate is the chief of police in a small rural town of Pai
...more
Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
When you go to work and can't concentrate because a book you left at home keeps calling your name-shows a great book! That's exactly what happened to me with this book. ...more
Brenda
Painters Mill, Ohio was where the former Amish girl, Kate Burkholder, called home. She’d been born there, left the Amish way of life and moved to Columbus where she started her police career. Now she was Chief of Police in Painters Mill and proud of her town and the position she held. But a vicious and brutal murder would take Kate back to when she was fourteen and life changed for her in many ways.

The murder looked identical to the murders sixteen years prior, but Kate didn’t know if it was a c
...more
Sue

"Sworn to Silence" by Linda Castillo is the first book in the Kate Burkholder series. After reading two recent novels in the series that I won through Goodreads Giveaway, I was so impressed with the writing , I went and ordered all her other books in the series. This is the review of her first novel, a gripping,tense story of a sexual serial killer in Painters Mill in Ohio, home of the Amish community. I am now hooked on the series.

After sixteen years, it appears that a serial murderer is back,
...more
Virginia Ronan ♥ Herondale ♥
What would I do without the thrillers my aunt borrows me to read? XD
I guess this was just an okay read for me and I liked it enough to continue to read it until the end.

I think it's safe to say that my time on goodreads made me picky when it comes to books and in earlier days I probably would have given this four stars. Now? Not so much. >_<

I just don't understand why the tough, solitary heroine always has to have a love interest. And then it's always so insta-lovey that I can't help but rol
...more
Scarlett Readz and Runz....Through Novel Time & Distance
Sworn to Silence is KILLER! What a great novel. I almost did not make it passed the opening scene. It is very, very gruesome!

Yes, I know. What was I doing then reading this book? Well, for one it has been liked and recommended by so many and frankly, two, no one told me that the cases in this novel are so horrific. So…I will warn you now… before you read this book, know that these triggers are all over: rape, murder, sadomasochism (SM), porn, masturbation, meat hooks, chains, blades, blood, guts
...more
Sean Peters
Mar 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
My first book by this talented author, and her first book, so a great place to start.

Another one of our monthly Book Pals books, so thank you Sue for picking this book for me.

A powerful, strong gripping, tense, chilling story of a sexual serial killer in Painters Mill In Ohio, home of many Amish residents.

Former Amish girl and now Chief Of Police has a case on her stands, and her past that might come back to haunt her.

A very well written, great paced, great strong characters.

The last few chapter
...more
Tina
This is a Amish Thriller, and this is the first book in the Kate Burkholder series. This thriller is fast pace and beautifully written. This is not like a normal Amish book, but I love it so much. In this series we follow Kate who grow up Amish, but she never became part of the Amish church when she became an adult. She now lives in the English world, and she is the police Chief where she grow up. She deals with the Amish and the English world. The Thriller/Mystery parts of this book is so great ...more
Jonetta
Painters Mill, Ohio Police Chief Kate Burkholder is suddenly faced with what looks like the re-emergence of a serial killer who hadn't struck in the last 16 years. The killer's signature is to leave Roman numerals carved on the murdered victim. Kate's conflicted as she's harboring a secret that relates directly to the case. Painters Mill is a town where the Amish and "English" have coexisted for years. Kate straddles both cultures as she was raised Amish but left when she was a teenager.

I've ha
...more
Heidi
Jan 31, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mysteries, 2021-goal
Solid first book in a new-to-me mystery series.

I’ve always found the Amish community fascinating— although I’ve never personally met anyone Amish. As someone who ended up settling in Ohio, I’ve driven thru countless Amish areas. I’ve visited my share of Amish tourist traps and love an occasional Amish baked delight or recipe!

Not only did I like the former Amish Chief Kate Burkholder but I think she did a great job of mixing an evil crime with a pastoral and bucolic fictional town in Ohio.

Looki
...more
Kirsten
Great book! Katie Burkholder is a sensitive (yet damaged) and kick-ass Chief of Police in a small town in Ohio with a large Amish population. Being formerly Amish herself, she has a special insight.

Of course, it can't be too idyllic. So, a serial killer has to come to town. Thing is, he'd been there before.

This is a great mystery/thriller with wonderful pacing. The characters are quirky, but not too quirky and then there is the stereotypical small town politics where politicians put the touris
...more
Jess☺️
Jun 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sworn to silence by Linda Castillo is the first in the chief Kate Burkholder series. It's only book 1 and I'm hooked already and can't wait to start the next one.
It's a book with plenty of twists and turns to keep you guessing also enough gory crimes it keep you hooked.
...more
Britany
Jan 14, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, 2021, people-mag-rec
This series has been on my TBR for what feels like forever.

Kate Burkholder is a protagonist I can get behind! Regardless of the fact that she seems somewhat invincible considering how teeny tiny she is. Painters Mill is town in Ohio with a large Amish population. Kate was a prior Amish lady herself before she was put under Bann. A serial killer from her past starts to murder again and Kate (as chief of police) sets out to solve this case and will her lifetime ago connection to this case get in t
...more
Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
May 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2016
I was lucky enough to get Sworn to Silence, the first book in the series cheap as an Ebook after being rejected on NetGalley for Among the Wicked the latest book in the series. So, all and all it was probably for the best since I did enjoy starting this series from the beginning instead of the latest book.

Police chief Kate Burkholder, ex-Amish, has to stop a vicious killer in this book that may be a copycat or a killer that murdered several women 16 years ago. However, she has personal reasons
...more
Carol
Dec 27, 2009 rated it really liked it
Just recently I was talking about violent acts against women in books and how sometimes, if gratuitous, it can turn me off. There's a fine line for me in what moves the plot forward and what is over the top and just plain too much. I got turned off on James Patterson for just this reason. Right or wrong this bothers me even more when women write violent scenes, as is the case in Linda Castillo's Sworn to Silence. I have to weigh the merits of the violence to the overall story. Would the story ha ...more
Noeleen
Rating: 3.5 Stars

I really enjoyed this book, the first in a series and the first time I’ve read this author. It was very well written and I enjoyed the vast array of characters associated with the police department, most especially Kate Burkholder. The small town setting coupled with the Amish background really attracted me to this series. The story was fast paced and kept my interest from beginning to end. I don’t know why, but I had the impression that this story and the series itself was slig
...more
Anna Bendewald
Sep 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Kate Burkholder is unlike any cop I've ever encountered in pages of a book or out. I only knew of the Amish from watching that movie with Harrison and Kelly MaGillis so many years ago. But the setting of Painters Mill, Ohio is a great place for us all to get down to the business of solving murder. The backstory of Kate having escaped the clutches of another killer made so much explanation unecessary--I got her!

I'm pleased she's such a prolific writer and there are several more Kate Burkholder bo
...more
Fictionophile
May 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mysteries
Wow! How lucky to find another great first of a series! Just when I thought I was running out of authors, I discover another one who is young and talented. (by that I infer lots of wonderful reads ahead!)

With a great cover scene of dead cornstalks in a snowy farmer's field, "Sworn to silence" grabs you right away. Set in Ohio's Amish country, this mystery/thriller features a unique protagonist. A female police chief who was formerly Amish.
Kate Burkholder has chosen to leave the Amish way of life
...more
Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*
This was my first ever Linda Castillo book. It won't be my last.

Kate Burkholder, of Painter's Mill, Ohio, is not your regular Police Chief. She was brought up in Painter's Mill in the Amish faith, but left both when she was 18.

Now back, she is faced with a serial killer, one she thought she had dispatched 16 years earlier. Not only is she battling the killer, and Amish prejudices against the English, but a multi-jurisdictional task force set up by the town council, some of whom seem more intent
...more
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4,012 followers
Linda Castillo is the New York Times bestselling author of the Kate Burkholder series, including Sworn to Silence and Gone Missing, crime thrillers set in Amish country. Sworn to Silence was recently adapted into a Lifetime original movie titled An Amish Murder starring Neve Campbell as Kate Burkholder.

Castillo is the recipient of numerous industry awards, including the Daphne du Maurier Award of
...more

Other books in the series

Kate Burkholder (1 - 10 of 13 books)
  • Pray for Silence (Kate Burkholder, #2)
  • Breaking Silence (Kate Burkholder, #3)
  • Gone Missing (Kate Burkholder, #4)
  • Her Last Breath (Kate Burkholder, #5)
  • The Dead Will Tell (Kate Burkholder, #6)
  • After the Storm (Kate Burkholder, #7)
  • Among the Wicked (Kate Burkholder #8)
  • Down a Dark Road (Kate Burkholder, #9)
  • A Gathering of Secrets (Kate Burkholder, #10)
  • Shamed (Kate Burkholder, #11)

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