Linda Castillo

St. Martin's Minotaur Books

ISBN-10: 0312374992

Linda Castillo’s debut thriller was hailed as “gripping” [People Magazine] and “compelling” [USA Today]. Now, with the third installment of the series, BREAKING SILENCE, the New York Times bestselling author takes readers back to the small Amish community of Painters Mill, Ohio.

Amish parents Solomon and Rachael Slabaugh are found dead on their farm, leaving their four children orphaned. Initially, it appears to be a gruesome accident: methane gas asphyxiation caused by a poorly ventilated cesspit. But the deaths are soon revealed to be murder, possibly tied to a series of vicious hate crimes against the Amish.

Having grown up Amish herself, Chief of Police Kate Burkholder is determined to bring the killer to justice. Working alongside State Agent John Tomasetti, Kate searches for answers—and uncovers a dark secret hidden beneath the placid facade of this idyllic Amish community.
~ ~ ~
Linda Castillo knew from an early age that she wanted to be a writer—and penned her first novel at the age of thirteen. She wrote for eleven years before making that first sale to Silhouette Intimate Moments in 1999. Since, she’s sold twenty-seven books to three New York publishing houses.

She’s won numerous industry awards. In 1999, she was a triple RWA Golden Heart Finalist, winning the romantic suspense division with what would later become her first release. She’s also won such prestigious awards as the Daphne du Maurier, the Holt Medallion, and a nomination for the prestigious RWA RITA.

Her debut thriller, SWORN TO SILENCE, garnered starred reviews from Library Journal, Publisher’s Weekly, and Booklist—and spent four weeks on the extended New York Times bestseller list.

In her spare time, Linda enjoys trail riding and barrel racing. She resides in the Texas Panhandle with her husband, three dogs, a barn cat, and two Appaloosa horses. I am very pleased to call Linda my friend and thank often for the great advice she gave me which led to my first sale. “Thanks again, Linda!”


ISBN-10: 0312374984

The Plank family moved from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, to join the small Amish community of Painters Mill less than a year ago and seemed the model of the Plain Life—until on a cold October night, the entire family of seven was found slaughtered on their farm. Police Chief Kate Burkholder and her small force have few clues, no motive, and no suspect. Formerly Amish herself, Kate is no stranger to the secrets the Amish keep from the English—and each other—but this crime is horribly out of the ordinary.

When she discovers a diary that belonged to one of the teenaged daughters, Kate is shocked to learn the girl kept some very dark secrets and may have been living a lurid double life. Who is the charismatic stranger who stole the young Amish girl’s heart? As Kate’s outrage grows so does her resolve to find the killer and bring him to justice—even if it means putting herself in the line of fire.

ISBN-10: 9780312597160
Some secrets are too terrible to reveal... Some crimes are too unspeakable to solve...

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.

ANGI: How often to you get lost in a story?
LINDA: As often as life will allow. Whether I’m reading for pleasure or working on my own books, I spend a great deal of time lost in stories. When I’m not reading, I’m usually thinking about characters, in my book or someone else’s.

ANGI: What’s the first book you remember reading?
LINDA: I still remember the first time my mom took me to the library. I wanted a book about dogs. We couldn’t find one (small library) and ended up checking out a book titled ONCE THERE WAS A CAT. As a preteen, I was crazy about horses and read everything I could get my hands on, fiction and non-fiction alike. I also loved books with Native American characters. Some of my favorites: Walter Farley’s Black Stallion series. Logan Forster’s DESERT STORM. And my favorite non-fiction: THE COMPLETE BOOK OF HORSES by Margaret Cabell Self.

ANGI: What’s your favorite “love” word?
LINDA: It’s a tossup between Glock and nine millimeter. Sorry, couldn’t resist.

ANGI: What’s your favorite fairy tale?
LINDA: I’m not big on fairy tales. I know…I’m sorry. If I had to choose, it would probably be something from the Grimm brothers involving a cannibalistic witch.

ANGI: What made you “get lost” in the Amish culture?
LINDA: I’m originally from rural Ohio, and an Amish family lived nearby. I knew of the culture at an early age, but I didn’t truly appreciate it until I was an adult. A trip to Ohio’s Amish Country changed everything.

In terms of writing thrillers, one of the things that appealed to me most was the “closed society” aspect of the Amish. As the idea for my thriller series evolved, I read everything I could get my hands on. In reading books and watching movies, I realized many times the Amish are depicted as perfect or near perfect. The truth of the matter is that while the Amish definitely make good neighbors, they are human just like everyone else. They’re imperfect. They make mistakes. They have problems. They keep secrets.

ANGI: What turns you off like nothing else?
LINDA: You mean generally speaking or in books? Generally speaking, I’m totally turned off by people who are mean to others. In books, I’m pretty forgiving because I know how difficult it is to write a book. But one thing I truly dislike his when an author preaches politics. So many otherwise excellent books, movies and even cable and television programs are ruined by some knucklehead injecting their political views, sometimes in an unfair or biased way. People read fiction to have fun and escape. Not to be preached at.

ANGI: Where do you read and how often?
LINDA: I love books and I read every day, no matter what. My work ethic usually won’t let me, however, until late in the day, after all of my work is finished and my obligations are met. I love reading in bed. It’s so relaxing to kick back with an excellent book after all of my work is done. I love it!!

ANGI: What sound or noise do you love?
LINDA: I love birdsong, especially the song of a mockingbird and the red-winged blackbird.

ANGI: Witness or Airforce One?
LINDA: Witness. Definitely.

ANGI: What was the first story you remember writing?
LINDA: It was a novel titled THE LONG JOURNEY. It was a YA I wrote when I was thirteen years old. It was about twin sisters who ran away from home on their appaloosa horses and travelled across the country from Peoria Illinois to the Indian reservation where their father lived in Arizona.

ANGI: What’s your favorite movie of all time?
LINDA: I have many favorite movies. Too many to name here. A couple of relatively recent movies that come to mind are THE DEPARTED and MAN ON FIRE. I love intensity in both movies and books.

ANGI: Who’s your favorite villain?
LINDA: Since my books are mysteries, I can’t really say without ruining it for someone who hasn’t yet read the book. One truly evil villain that comes to mind is Anton Chigurh in NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN. He’s definitely one of my favorites.

ANGI: What’s something you’d like to tell your fans?
LINDA: I’m crazy about animals. All kinds of animals, but especially my dogs and horses. Some days, they are my best friends, and I love them with all of my heart.

ANGI’S GOTTA ASK: So, Linda, you now live in a small-ish community and always have a smile on your face... I have to ask: Where do all these dark characters come from?
LINDA’S GOTTA ANSWER: We have horses so I spend a good bit of time mucking stalls. I’ve found that those everyday mundane chores are very good for my imagination.

LINDA WANTS TO KNOW: How do you see the relationship between Kate and Tomasetti evolving? Will they end up together? Or is there too much baggage between them?

LINDA WILL GIVE AWAY a copy of Sworn to Silence? If the commenter has already read Sworn, I can substitute PRAY FOR SILENCE.

YOU CAN FIND Linda on the Internet at www.lindacastillo.com or on Facebook: LindaCastilloAuthor

STOP BY next week for the premiere party week of Get Lost’s own Silhouette Desire author Cat Schield. Don't forget to LIKE us on Facebook (Get Lost In A Story) or FOLLOW us on Twitter (GetLostInAStory). Til next week ~~ Angi


  1. Oh, what a great interview, Angi and Linda! I'm a huge Linda Castillo fan.

    Okay, seriously you like Witness over Air Force One? Really? :)

    And what a tough question about Kate and John. They are both so tortured. Okay, if *I* got to write it for realism sake, I'd separate them, maybe have one end up with someone else, but then the new love interest does something despicable or gets killed...it could happen in a Linda Castillo book .

    I don't see John as marrying someone else, not based on his past. It would have to be Kate who chooses someone else So ... To have the typical HEA for these two wouldn't be believable or part of Linda's make your protagonists' suffer strategy. But, yes, I do see them eventually being together. Thanks for being here.

  2. I haven't read these... but I am all over them!! Welcome Linda. These sound like great books!

  3. Hi Donnell--thoughtful and insightful comments as always! Oh my, I just watched WITNESS a few days ago and I'd forgotten how much I enjoyed it. Check out this youtube clip and you will see why: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yxZVTQK2YTo As far as Kate and Tomasetti, they are so complicated. I really don't know what will happen with their relationship. They keep surprising me. I just finished the fourth book in the series and damn if they didn't surprise me again.

  4. Thanks so much, Simone. I love your "I'm all over them!" LOL!

  5. Great interview! Can't wait to read this one too! When I read the first one, I was so engrossed and eating cherries and splurted cherry juice onto the pages…but it looked like blood. So perfect. Anyway, I believe all things are possible so I do think K and T could eventually work out their problems.

  6. Hi Linda-

    I didn't realize you were a fellow Ohio girl who transplanted to Texas. I can't wait for your new book.

  7. Hi Linda! Welcome to GLIAS...one of the best things I love about being part of this blog is that I am always being introduced to fabulous authors and new stories for me to dig into! Yours sound amazing and I will certainly be checking them out!

    I really enjoyed that you loved birdsong as your noise...I grew up around whippoorwills. I love to hear one, reminds me of home and peaceful moments.

  8. Wow, what a great video, and a wonderful reminder why I love Harrison Ford. Thanks, Linda. Much success on your new release!

  9. Hey Leanna! LOL about the cherry juice. Am I allowed to mention your book here??? I stayed up waaaaaayyyy late last night. ;-)

  10. Thanks, Barb. Yeah, I'm a Buckeye. I love Texas but it's always nice to get back to Ohio to see everyone. Tell John I said hi and hope to see you in NY!

  11. Thanks for the comment, Heather. I'm so glad to be here--thanks for the invitation. We have meadowlarks here in the Texas Panhandle and they have a beautiful song.

  12. Donnell--I absolutely LOVE that clip. Yes, reminds me of why I love him, too.

  13. Hey Linda... So sorry I missed your actual day on the blog. Grandson's birthday and mini-crisis here at home. Can't wait to get your new books. It amazes people who don't write that our characters are stubborn and can still surprise us...we control THEM, Right?

    Thanks for coming on the GLIAS. Lots of success to you!


  14. Leanna, you are the winner of Linda's book! Contact me and I'll make certain Linda gets your information: GetLostInAStory@gmail.com

    Thanks again for being with us Linda.


  15. Linda, you're a sweetheart! And I loved the pic of you and your horses! Thanks, Angi!!!