Title: SILENT SCREAM
Author: Angela Marsons
Genre: Crime Fiction
BACK COVER BLURB
Five figures gather round a shallow grave. They had all taken turns to dig. An adult sized hole would have taken longer. An innocent life had been taken but the pact had been made. Their secrets would be buried, bound in blood …
Years later, a headmistress is found brutally strangled, the first in a spate of gruesome murders which shock the Black Country.
But when human remains are discovered at a former children’s home, disturbing secrets are also unearthed. D.I. Kim Stone fast realises she’s on the hunt for a twisted individual whose killing spree spans decades.
As the body count rises, Kim needs to stop the murderer before they strike again. But to catch the killer, can Kim confront the demons of her own past before it’s too late?
WHAT I THOUGHT
First of all, let me say that reading SILENT SCREAM so soon after reading Glass Houses by Louise Penny, might have been a mistake. Given I was on such a high from reading a story that had so much going on, that it held me in its thrall.
By half way through Silent Scream, I wanted to do jus that: SCREAM!
Here is a book that promises so much, but fails to deliver on every level. This is for all intents and purposes a police procedural, and not a very good one at that. To alleviate the plodding pros, the author does throw in a couple of very gruesome flashbacks. Each of which offers up a first person POV of a killer murdering two young women with glee. Sadistic, nasty, brutal and utterly unnecessary, these scenes are thrown at us to shock, plain and simple.
Slow, plodding, clichéd, with characters that are as flimsy as the paper they’re printed on. The main character of Detective Inspector Kim Stone, is as unsympathetic a character as they come, despite the author giving her a dreadful childhood, the character acts like the police version of the killer: cold and calculating. And though we see small flashes of empathy, here and there, there is little to endear us to this character. The rest pass through like ghosts, only there to deliver dialogue and exposition.
The premise of Silent Scream is sound, but the delivery lacks any depth, or punch. We’re driven from one crimes scene to another, one interview to the next, but the breadcrumbs, such as they are, don’t add up to half a slice of bread, let alone a fully fledged plot—or should I say, loaf of bread? I was constantly left wanting—wanting a plot and some decent characterization.
In the end, by the time Stone figures out who is doing the killing, I couldn’t care less.
Rating: 5 / 10