June 1, 2003
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"The prologue . . . hooks the reader in a premise so gruesome, so unthinkable, so shocking . . ."
"Spindler paints small-town life in colorful, if cliched strokes . . ."
"Most disappointing is the whodunnit factor."
The prologue of USA Today bestselling author Erica Spindler''s latest novel, In Silence, hooks the reader in a premise so gruesome, so unthinkable, so shocking, fans of suspense will hope to settle in for a heart-stopping tale of chills and thrills.
Journalist Avery Chauvin returns to her Louisiana hometown for her father''s funeral after an apparent suicide. Strange events, oddball disappearances, and mysterious phone calls alert Avery that all is not as it seems in the Mayberry-like town of Cypress Springs, especially when she finds her father''s stash of newspaper clippings of a heinous murder, dated 15 years ago.
A likable, plucky heroine, Avery determines to put together the puzzle pieces, even as threats escalate, endangering her life.
Sadly, the ensuing plotline falls flatter than a hairdo in summertime Louisiana. While Spindler paints small-town life in colorful, if cliched strokes, the novel''s overall pace comes across as sluggish and stilted.
Chapter by chapter, In Silence delivers the appropriate notes. Our heroine stumbles upon more deaths, develops a burgeoning romance, and uncovers long-hidden secrets. Spindler offers the expected twists, but without enough magic to sustain the tension so masterfully crafted in the opening pages.
Most disappointing is the whodunnit factor. Spindler writes, almost prophetically, in Avery''s journalist viewpoint, "In the end, every story required a cognitive leap. That ah-ha moment when the pieces all fell into place . . . that moment when she simply knew."
Unfortunately, for readers of In Silence, that moment comes altogether too soon.
Reviewer: M. K. Daniels