Procedural crime novels are not really my forte, don’t get me wrong I don’t mind the genre at all, it’s not the kind of novel I find myself picking up in the shop. When you’re running a literary review site though you kind of have to push your boundaries a little, so I checked through goodreads and picked up a recommended crime novel to see if this one could grab my interest.
Silent Scream by Angela Marsons is the first novel in series of serial killer tales. While reading the books opening I was a little disappointed, it didn’t seem to offer anything new from the multitude of other serial killer outings available, but thankfully Marsons was playing the long game, there are more than a few surprises to be found within Silent Scream.
We are first introduced to a group of five adults standing on the edge of a freshly dug grave. They make a pact, nobody will speak of this again, after all the body residing in the soil is not someone who will be missed, and as long as they all keep quiet their secret will be buried with the body.
Of course this doesn’t quite go to plan. A decade later head teacher Teresa Wyatt is found dead, forcibly drowned in her own bath tub. The stories hero DI Kim Stone must now start digging deep into the teachers past.
Kim is a strong central character, she’s a tough loner who has risen through the ranks of the police force despite a head strong attitude that has lead to more than one broken rule being left in her hurricane like wake. Kim and her partner DS Bryant, a good cop to Kim’s bad cop routine, discover that Teresa was investigating a fire that had burnt down a girls orphanage a decade before.
The cops set out on a quest to discover Teresa’s connection to this orphanage.
This is a personal case to Kim, she spent her early life in and out of various foster homes and orphanages. When the police discover three bodies of young girls around the orphanages former site she makes it her personal mission to make people notice the poor victims.
As she digs deeper into the case Kim begins to learn more about the orphanage. Teresa used to work there, as had a number of other individuals who had all died in suspect circumstances.
Stone must now discover the truth of these crimes. And that is really all I can say without spoiling the entire thing.
This may have been Marsons debut novel but it certainly doesn’t read like one, this is written with a well crafted hand that knows the nuances of novel balancing.
It’s perfectly plotted while being complex enough to keep the suspense and mystery going until the final pages. It is also able to bring a fresh new take to the serial killer sub-genre which I for one am very glad of.
It does resort to more than a few cliché moments however, the dialogue is the sort that you find copy and pasted across many a crime novel or movie. This is a very well trodden area and you’ll be able to find many of these characters depicted in any holiday crime novel. But if you’re a big crime novel fan then this should be on your to-read-list.
Was it a good enough book for me to read crime novels more frequently? No probably not, but it was good enough for me to read more of the Kim Stone series.
You can check out Silent Scream for yourself on Amazon.