Thursday, June 23, 2011

Breaking Silence (Kate Burkholder) [Hardcover]

I've finished "Breaking Silence" the 3rd book in her Kate Burkholder series by Linda Castillo.

Product Description

The New York Times bestselling series hailed as “gripping” (People magazine) and “compelling” (USA Today) returns with Police Chief Kate Burkholder called to the scene of a horrific tragedy on a peaceful Amish farm.

The Slabaugh family are model Amish farmers, prosperous and hardworking, with four children and a happy extended family. When the parents and an uncle are found dead in their barn, it appears to be a gruesome accident: methane gas asphyxiation caused by a poorly ventilated cesspit. But in the course of a routine autopsy, the coroner discovers that one of the victims suffered a head wound before death — clearly, foul play was involved. But who would want to make orphans of the Slabaughs’ children? And is this murder somehow related to a recent string of shocking hate crimes against the Amish?

Having grown up Amish, Kate is determined to bring the killer to justice. Because the other series of attacks are designated hate crimes, the state sends in agent John Tomasetti, with whom Kate has a long and complex relationship. Together, they search for the link between the crimes — and uncover a dark secret at work beneath the placid surface of this idyllic Amish community.

Product Details
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Minotaur Books (June 21, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0312374992
ISBN-13: 978-0312374990

My Review:

Storyline:  A 911 call was made to go to Slabaugh's farm house. The Slabaugh's are Amish. Kate responded right away and was first on scene. She saw two male victims face down in the manure pit with poor area ventilation and a third victim was an Amish female lying face up. Kate went down into the pit to try to save the mother of four children. It was too late. Mother, father and uncle all died from the pit's Methane gas by the time EMS and the fire department arrived. Kate thought this was an accident until Doc Coblentz, in his preliminary examination, found that the father, Solly Slabaugh, had blunt-force trauma to the head that caused his death.

There have been a rash of hate crimes against the Amish like killing an old lady's sheep, forcing the Amish buggies off the road, and just plain nasty intimidation vetted towards innocent people for no particular reason. The injured or violated don't want to press charges or even contact the police.  Minor crimes are one thing, but now things have taken a terrible turn. Agent John Tomasetti was requested to help with the investigation of the hate crimes. Kate and John believe the hate crimes and the murder of Solly Slabaugh are not related.

Characters:  Kate and John have both grown from the first book to now.  This case is really affecting Kate and she is still dealing with her demons and a past.  She was once a Amish too but was forced out after a tragic incident when she was 14.  She drinking heavily and smoking to deal with her pain.  John also has a painful past but he has dealed with it and meeting Kate has helped him out of that dark place.

Romance:  Kate and John have an on again and off again relationship.  They both have come from deeply damaged pasts and really understand what each other is going through.  I'm glad they both took their relationship to the next level.

Killer(s):  They were truly nasty characters with twisted reasons on why they were killing and the cruel things they were doing to other people.  Truly some sick and twisted people out there.

This series has a great blend of truly horrifying crimes, well written characters and the right amount of romance.

This book had lots of twists and turns it was shocking to find who the killer and motive of why Slabaugh were killed.  What a great ending and I can't wait to read the next book in the series!


Thanks Minotaur Books/St Martin's Press for sending me this book to review, greatly appreciated!

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