Sworn to Silence by Linda Castillo
This mystery has been getting a lot of pre-publication press, and a lot of positive reviews, so I was first in the list to grab it when it arrived at the library.
Kate Burkholder is the female, curse-word-using, gun-toting Chief of Police for Painters Miller, Ohio, a small bucolic town that is half Amish and half "English". So when a series of violent murders of young women - all linked by gory details - rocks the town, Kate is square in the middle of it, battling time, the weather, her city council and her own past to solve the murders - and her own past harbors a dark secret that could affect the case...
Oh, and Kate used to be Amish.
All these elements together combine for an engaging cast of characters - especially Kate - and a twisty and turny mystery as the police race to find the killer. Interestingly, I figured out who the murderer was about halfway through...and I NEVER figure out the murderer until the page when it's revealed! Still, though I had my suspicions of the murderer, it didn't lessen my enjoyment of Kate's struggles and of the setting of Painters Mill, even when the killer was revealed (I was right, even!)
I'm glad to see Castillo is writing a new Kate Burkholder novel - I'll be in line for it!