Friday, May 25, 2012

Book Review - Breaking Silence

Breaking Silence by Linda Castillo
Macmillan, 2011
Format? downloaded on my Nook

Why?  I've always been fascinated by the Amish, and I love a good detective novel...SCORE 2!

What Now? this one's a keeper...but that brings me to a dilemma I've been having with both my ebooks and audiobooks.  What do I do with keepers that can't go on the shelf?  If I buy the book, I've essentially bought the book twice.  That seems silly and of course, not very cost efficient.  I haven't figured this conundrum out yet.

Golden Lines

A few feet away, the four Amish children huddle, their eyes filled with hope that the Englischers and all of their high tech rescue equipment will save their mamm and datt.  I see faith on their young faces, and my heart breaks, because I know faith often goes unrewarded.

By the time I leave the barn, the Amish have begun to arrive in force.  Men wearing work clothes and insulated coats congregate near the barn.  I know they're here to feed the livestock, clean the pens, and keep the farm up and running.  The women will busy themselves with household chores - laundry, cooking, and caring for the children.  In the coming days, the Slabaugh house will be overflowing with the help of a community that is as generous as it is selfless.

"Maybe this is God's way of bringing those children back to me.  Maybe it's His way of punishing those with small minds."
The statement takes me aback.  It seems odd at a time like this - when he's just been informed of his brothers' deaths.  Anyone who's ever lived any length of time knows God doesn't even the score and that sometimes that bitch Fate gets her way, right and wrong be damned.

I swore long ago the one thing I would never be is the clinging-vine female.


Amish don't press charges - "God will take care of us" makes Amish "easy pickins" according to Sheriff Rasmussen since everyone knows the Amish won't involve outsiders at all costs.  In this, the 3rd installment of  Linda Castillo's mystery series about former Amish community member, now Chief of Police, Kate Burkholder, what looks like a tragic accident involving a large Amish family's Mam and Datt, becomes a murder investigation when evidence shows one of the parents was bashed in the head before falling into the grain vat.   This time the evil seems to be coming from inside the community somehow, and it's Kate's professional as well as personal responsibility to her former and current communities to figure out what's happening, no matter how much it costs. 

What I Liked

Both Tomasetti and Kate's point of view - since Tomasetti has become a huge part of Kate's life by now...and, possibly more importantly, an integral part of this series, it makes sense for the reader to begin to see inside the man...not just the man he is within his relationship with Kate...but the man himself, what makes him who he is, his history, his demons, etc. 

Separation of emotion from logic - whether it's their relationship, their jobs, the investigation, or Kate's ties to the Amish, both Kate and Tomasetti are able to fight (sometimes) through their emotions and look at the big picture.  

The title - the Amish have to communicate with the outsiders solve this crime and Kate and John finally talk about the way they feel about each other...I don't think this title was an accident :)

The scene where Kate and John finally have their first "relationship" talk - I giggled a little here...they're both like little kids almost...neither really would like to admit that they need each other...but they do.  Both are also wary of giving too much of themselves away before they know how the other person feels.  

Compatability - after Kate's nightmare - because of their demons...Tomasetti is able to really understand Kate's psyche.  Whether they like it or not, these two are made for each other.

Police procedure when someone is killed - Castillo goes into a lot of detail here...even more detail, I think, than what you see on crime show tv.  I find the addition of these kind of details adds a lot of meat to the bones of a story...especially a mystery/detective/thriller type.

What I Didn't Like

2 months with no communication - ok, 'scuse me, what? This I can't imagine...of course I've never been in a relationship like this one either...?

A couple of extraneous characters - when the case was finally closed, I wondered why Castillo included them...unless she was trying to take us as far off track as Kate got...due to emotions, false perceptions etc. when the murderer was really right under her nose.

I wasn't ready for Kate to go all maternal on me - until I realized that her feelings were related to her past, not a yearning for a child.  I honestly get tired of folks assuming all women are "baby crazy"...even though I think I'm a good mom, I don't look at other people's babies and go all gooshey bc I want another one....every now and then I like to read about other women who don't go around "yearning" for babies.

Overall Recommendations

Obviously, if you've read any of the books in this series, you'll want to tackle this one...I do think it's necessary to start from the beginning of this series in order to appreciate the evolution of both Kate and Tomasetti's relationship as well as Kate's coming to terms with her present and past lives.


  1. I haven't read any Amish fiction yet, but am fascinated with this genre (and the Amish people).  Terrific review!

  2. I really like this only problem with it so far is the short amount of time that has elapsed between murders...that has begun to seem a little unrealistic...we'll see what Castillo does in the 4th book which is on my autoship from Amazon this summer :)