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    Review of BREAKING SILENCE by Linda Castillo


    Minotaur, June 2011

    It looks like a horrible accident. When Police chief Kate Burkholder is called to the an Amish farm, three people lie still in a methane pit--two of them face-down in the water. When an autopsy reveals evidence of murder, though, Burkholder wonders if there could be a connection to the string of hate crimes being committed against the Amish people of her community. Sure it's a huge step up from killing a few sheep, but crimes have a tendency to escalate.

    For Burkholder, the crime has emotional baggage that go beyond a simple murder. The victims left a family--and the Amish bishop is firm that the children should continue to be raised Amish... and not by their uncle who was banned from the Amish community. Burkholder's own Amish upbringing makes her especially sympathetic to the beautiful teenage daughter.

    Author Linda Castillo raises the emotional stakes both for Burkholder and for those around her. As more evidence comes in of hate crimes, Burkholder's sometime boyfriend (and state cop) arrives to help investigate. But something nags at Burkholder--something is wrong with the simple story of a hate crime gone worse. Could it be that everything is too neat? Could trouble lurk within the seemingly perfect world of the Amish? Or is that Burkholder bringing her own baggage... including the hushed-up killing of an Amish man who raped the teenage Burkholder?

    Castillo writes a compelling story with complex and damaged people trying to get by. Burkholder struggles with her ghosts and with an urge to drink too much. Add in some great plot twists and you've got a truly enjoyable mystery.

    Four Stars

    Reviewed 10/24/11

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