Hate crimes are being perpetrated against the Amish in Painters Mill and Chief Kate Burkholder and her police department must get to the bottom of it before tragedy results. Linda Castillo has cemented her place in thriller fiction with her new novel, Breaking Silence.
The hate crimes have included the slaughter of animals, buggy incidents, and malicious pranks, but no one had died until three members of the Slaybaugh family die in a cesspit accident. At first it appears Solly and his wife and brother died from methane gas asphyxiation, but what the coroner finds leads to a murder investigation. The Slaybaughs left behind four children and the Amish community unites to help out with the children until an uncle can come for them.
Were the Slaybaugh deaths committed by the same persons perpetrating the hate crimes or is there a killer on the loose in Painters Mill? Or is it someone much closer to home? Kate works with John Tomasetti, a state agent, to solve the hate crimes and the Slaybaugh killings. Of course, nothing is as it initially appears and Kate and John find themselves twisted in all kinds of directions before they close the books on this one.
This has become one of my favorite series. Kate Burkholder is a heroine for today. She is tough yet compassionate, intelligent, flawed and driven. It’s nice to see her relationship evolving to the next level with Tomasetti who is another strong character. He has even more character flaws than Kate does, but together they make an awesome crime-solving team.
Breaking Silence has it all: great plot, strong characterization, strong theme and structure. Evil does exist in the world and sometimes it shows up in the most unusual places.