Release date – April 24, 2012 Available in paperback and for Nook and Kindle
A woman who was having an affair with a congressman is quietly strangled in an upscale neighborhood in Washington DC. A teenage prostitute has her throat slashed with brutal efficiency in a seedy hotel. A couple is violently stabbed to death in a pricey hotel in what looks like a fit of rage, however their companion is drown almost gently in the bathtub of the same suite. Lucy Kincaid, a FBI analyst who is soon to be on her way to the Academy sees the killer’s signature that links what appears to be three completely separate murders together. Lucy has her own demons to overcome – she herself was the last and only surviving victim of a serial rapist-murder and these cases are bringing her own fears to the fore. Even though her own tormentor is now dead, Lucy must master her fears before she can solve this case in time to save the remaining targets on the killer’s list.
The big question I have about this book is this: How did I not know about Allison Brennan before? When I was shuffling through the ARC books at work, someone handed me a copy of Silenced on the basis that I often read mystery. I was pulled into it immediately and read the entire book in one afternoon. The voice of the characters is very compelling, the characters are complex and vivid. This is not however, a stand alone novel. As it is the fifth Lucy Kincaid book, I found myself confused at some of the interchange between characters as it is heavily dependent on the rest of the series for story continuity. This isn’t really a bad thing, and I definitely will want to go back and read the other books in the series now, but it isn’t where I would have started.
I really loved how vulnerable and flawed her heroine is – Lucy fights panic attacks even as she is making discoveries on the case she is following. Her inexperience causes her to make fumbles in the investigation and even with her mentor-partner. Lucy’s outbursts cause enough friction that she is initially thrown off the case with the first murder and sent to investigate with the local police. Lucy sees this as a punishment, until she realizes that she is in fact investigating the same case as her mentor from a different angle.
I’m looking forward to reading the rest of the series, and perhaps then re-reading this book again to resolve a few things that didn’t make sense. I give this book 4 stars.