Sunday, 6 March 2011

Book review: Silent Scream by Karen Rose

Silent ScreamI picked this book up at the library to read towards the Borrowed Book challenge. I had seen Karen Rose mentioned recently in the same sentence as Tess Gerritsen and Karin Slaughter, both authors I enjoy, so thought I'd give a different author a try. I didn't realise when I started reading it that the main characters had appeared in her previous books.

The story begins with an arson attack on a new condo, resulting in two deaths. The cuplrits are being watched and become the target of a blackmailer who uses them to achieve his own ends. Olivia Sutherland is a homicide cop called to the scene to investigate, and David Hunter is a fireman who attends the fire and almost loses his own life while fighting the fire. Their paths have crossed in the past and the book follows the investigation but also details the relationship between these two characters.

I found the start of the book had me turning the pages quickly as I was drawn in, but there were a lot of characters introduced and I struggled at times keeping track of who was who and how they were all related. As some of the characters are deaf and the police use a sign language interpreter I was pleased, as the parent of a deaf child, to see that the author appeared to have done her research well. The start was very promising.

Early on I was keen to see how the relationship between Olivia and David would pan out, but as I read on he seemed too good to be true and with the sex scenes thrown in it became a bit Mills and Boon. I did find the main characters quite likeable though. One of the things I liked least about this book was the way the author used conversations between them and family or friends to reveal their backgrounds. These conversations, with family member or friend recounting all the major events in their life, seemed very false and a slightly lazy way of laying out what events in their past were affecting the present.

The last third of the book contained a lot of action as the homicide squad closed in on their suspects, but I found that my attention wasn't sustained all the way through to the end, trying to maintain the book at such a pitch for so long just didn't work for me. I felt a bit like I was limping over the finish line when I got to the end.

I quite liked Silent Scream, there were a few twists and turns, but there are other authors in this genre I would select ahead of Karen Rose based on this book.

Format: Hardback, from the library
My rating: 3*

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