A killer is preying on sacred ground.... 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 of fragility, a loss of innocence. Kate Burkholder, a young Amish girl, survived the terror of the Slaughterhouse Killer but came away from its brutality with the realization that she no longer belonged with the Amish. Now, a wealth of experience later, Kate has been asked to return to Painters Mill as Chief of Police. Her Amish roots and big city law enforcement background make her the perfect candidate. She's certain she's come to terms with her past—until the first body is discovered in a snowy field. Kate vows to stop the killer before he strikes again. But to do so, she must betray both her family and her Amish past—and expose a dark secret that could destroy her.
Sworn to Silence, Pray for Silence, Breaking Silence
Author: Linda Castillo
Publisher: Minotaur Books
New York Times bestselling author Linda Castillo immerses readers in the world of the Amish in this chilling series that is equal parts fast-paced thriller and intriguing psychological puzzle. Sworn to Silence Sixteen years ago, a brutal serial killer left a trail of victims before vanishing into thin air. Now, he may have returned, and only one woman can stop him—but can she solve the case without revealing a terrible secret that links her to the original murders? Pray for Silence In the quiet town of Painters Mill an Amish family of seven has been found slaughtered on their farm. Police chief Kate Burkholder and her small force have few clues, no motive, and no suspect. Breaking Silence What appears to be a gruesome accident that left three people dead turns more sinister when evidence of foul play emerge. Together with agent John Tomasetti, Kate searches for answers and uncovers a dark secret at work beneath the placid surface of this idyllic Amish community.
‘After a little while he called the other boy over. Did the same to him. I heard everything. Father Smyth was a priest, a good man ... But I knew that some rule had been broken’ Brendan was an eleven-year-old altar boy when he first met Father Smyth. When the abuse began, he didn’t know what to do – surely he should trust a priest? But he knew he wasn’t the only victim, and his worst nightmare was that his sisters would be next. It was three years before he plucked up the courage to tell another priest. An inquiry was quickly called, in which Brendan was sworn to secrecy. But the abuse didn’t stop. Instead, Father Smyth continued to prey on other children for two more decades until he was finally convicted, in the 1990s, of over 130 counts of child sexual abuse. This shocking memoir tells how, for years, a priest’s abuse was ignored by the Catholic Church – and how one brave small boy stood up for justice.
SHE HAD SAVED THE LIFE OF A STRANGER… When intelligence officer Erin Meyer saw a coded message she thought referred to a stranger's impending assassination, she had no choice but to grab her pocketbook and show at the deadly rendezvous. Arriving just in the nick of time, Erin saved the life of blue-eyed, sweet-talking rogue Dan Donovan. She was sure she'd never met the sexy stranger, but it soon become apparent that Dan had some very mysterious connection to Erin's life. But Dan was sworn to silence. And there was only one thing he wasn't keeping a secret—his intense devotion to Erin. LAWMAN—There's nothing sexier than the strong arms of the law!
The sound of a scream in the early morning dawn leads to a case that will change Kate Burkholder's life irrevocably . . . When the police arrive at the Amish farmstead in Painters Mill they can't imagine the horror that awaits them. An entire family slaughtered: the men shot, the young women tortured and killed. The Amish are peace-loving, gentle folk and the town is shocked by what appears to be a particularly brutal - and random killing. But is it random? Every family has its secrets. Kate knows that better than anyone. And as she and Agent John Tomasetti dig deeper into the victims' lives they discover a young woman who was living a lie. A girl who had to live in silence. With her own past resonating - Kate knows she has to maintain some distance. From the case, and from Tomasetti. She knows what could happen if she gets too close. But when she puts herself in the line of fire - she realizes that, this time, there may be no going back. 'Think of the movie Witness and add just a touch of the Coen brothers' Fargo and you have the feel for this brilliant, nail-biting thriller' Daily Mail
An extraordinarily beautiful Amish woman, a dangerous femme fatale, is the central figure in a story that reveals a dark side of Painters Mill and its seemingly perfect Amish world A rainy night, an Amish father returning home with his three children, a speeding car hurtling toward them out of nowhere. What at first seems like a tragic, but routine car accident suddenly takes on a more sinister cast as evidence emerges that nothing about the crash is accidental. But who would want to kill an Amish deacon and two of his children? He leaves behind a grieving widow and a young boy who clings to life in the intensive care wing of a hospital, unable to communicate. He may be the only one who knows what happened that night. Desperate to find out who killed her best friend's husband and why, Kate begins to suspect she is not looking for a reckless drunk, but instead is on the trail of a cold blooded killer amid the residents of Painter's Mill. It is a search that takes her on a chilling journey into the darkest reaches of the human heart and makes her question everything she has ever believed about the Amish culture into which she was born.
Long Lost, A Hidden Secret, and Seeds of Deception
Author: Linda Castillo
Publisher: Minotaur Books
From Linda Castillo, the New York Times bestselling author of SWORN TO SILENCE and AMONG THE WICKED, this collection of stories featuring Chief of Police Kate Burkholder combines three amazing novellas for the first time together at a discounted price. Long Lost After closing a difficult case, Kate Burkholder and John Tomasetti look forward to some down time, but their relaxation is cut short by rumors that the old house where they're staying is haunted by a girl who disappeared twenty years earlier, leaving nothing behind but some bloody clothes by the river and rumors of a volatile relationship. Swept up in the girl's story, and a need for justice, Kate and John begin looking into the mysterious disappearance. A Hidden Secret When a baby—only hours old—is discovered on the Amish bishop's front porch in Painter's Mill, Ohio, Chief of Police Kate Burkholder is called in to investigate. The newborn is swaddled in an Amish crib quilt, and the only other item found with the child is a hand-carved wood rattle, which Kate also recognizes as Amish. With the rattle and quilt as the only clues, Kate must call upon her own Amish roots, and with the help of state agent John Tomasetti, search the Amish and "English" communities of Painters Mill for clues to unravel the poignant, puzzling mystery. Seeds of Deception Readers get a glimpse into Chief of Police Kate Burkholder's past and her Amish roots: Fourteen year old Katie Burkholder has been tasked with picking apples in Zimmerman’s Orchard with her best friend Mattie when a group of older “English” boys, known troublemakers, interrupt. Mattie, no stranger to trouble herself, disappears into the old barn with one of the boys, and moments after they both run out, the Zimmerman’s barn is consumed by fire. Katie suspects the boy had something to do with the blaze, but he denies it. When the facts don’t add up, Katie begins her own investigation—and she doesn’t like what she finds. Will her friendship with Mattie survive the truth?