Friday, December 23, 2016

Lackluster Murder Mystery A Bit of a Disappointment

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

Detective Jo Larsen fled Dallas for the small town of Plainfield, Texas, for a reason.  The move represented a chance to put her abusive childhood behind her, to make a real difference in a community, and to get away from violent, big-city crime.  Nothing much ever happens in Plainfield, so Jo is naturally skeptical when Patrick Dielman comes into the station claiming something terrible has happened to his missing wife.  At first blush, it appears Jenny Dielman has just taken the night off from the grueling demands of her husband.  When her body is found in a local quarry, Jo can't help but agree with Patrick—something horrific did happen to Jenny.

As Jo digs into the Dielmans' lives, she uncovers plenty of tension and drama.  With several suspects—including a controlling husband; a neighbor woman obsessed with Patrick; and Jenny's egotistical ex-husband—harboring compelling motives, it's not clear who killed Jenny.  Or why.  It's up to Jo and her partner, Hank Phelps, to find the answers.  Can they get to the truth in time?  Or will theirs be the next dead bodies tossed into the quarry? 

I've enjoyed several of Susan McBride's books, so I was hoping to love Walk Into Silence, the first in a new mystery series.  Unfortunately, it didn't dazzle me.  The novel was engrossing enough to keep me reading to the end, it just wasn't all that original or compelling.  With a small suspect pool, the killer became too obvious too quickly, leading to a predictable end.  Lacking any real depth, the characters couldn't carry the story on their own merit, so as a whole, Walk Into Silence was a bit of a disappointment.  Nothing about the novel made me want to read a sequel.  Bottom line: I wanted to like it a whole lot more than I did.  Bummer.

(Readalikes:  Hm, I can't really think of anything.  Can you?)

Grade:


If this were a movie, it would be rated:


for language (no F-bombs), violence, blood/gore, and disturbing subject matter

To the FTC, with love:  I received an ARC of Walk Into Silence from the generous folks at Thomas & Mercer (an imprint of Amazon Publishing).  Thank you!

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