Saturday, October 24, 2015

Helen H. Durrant: Dead Silent

Helen Durrant takes the reader to a smaller detachment where resources are stretched thin but that does mean that criminals out there commit crimes any less:

A college girl goes missing, yet no one seems to notice or find it odd. A body is found in a car crash, but the suspicious thing is that the girl was already dead with a live stock tag stuck in her hear. And a little girl goes missing but her parents are being less than truthful about the circumstances. This is just another day and case load for Detective Inspector Tom Calladine. He is in a race against time (and his department) as he knows there is more at play here than anyone can fathom and it is up to Tom Calladine and his team to figure out before more lives are lost.

For me this book was just okay, edging to towards the feeling of "meh". There were aspects that I liked but for some reason I had a hard time becoming invested in the characters and story. As this is a fairly short book (around 200 pages) it took me a lot longer to read than it should have. I have issue with the cover of this book stating "A Gripping Detective Thriller Full of Suspense" without a reviewer or author backing up this claim. If this is the author's opinion about this book that is fine, but to me I find it a bit misleading, as this book (for me) did not have the thrills or suspense that I would expect in a book that was not only making this claim but in the thriller genre in general.

This is the second book in a series but there is not too much referral back to the first book that you could read them out of order. The only real reference back to the first book is about Calladine discovering that he has a daughter (who is a secondary character in this book) and another secondary character who was injuries in the previous book/cases. Perhaps if I would have read the first book I may have been more invested in the characters that I was but I really just found most of them flat.

I liked that for the first half of the book the police team was forced to spread it's resources thin and had to investigate two cases and Calladine tries to prioritize which case is more important all the while needing result but having a penny pinching management that will not get you any more help. To me this is a very real aspect of police work, so I really appreciated that Durrant highlighted this. However, I found that the child abduction case really fell by the wayside in the book and Durrant attempts to bring the two cases together in a way but never really makes it and to me it seemed forced.

I think there are better books out there that have the thrills, suspense and mystery that fans of the thriller genre would like. I think that Durrant had some great ideas here that I think executed a different way could have been very successful and I did like her portrayal of the police way of life. I was just never able to become invested in the characters or story which I think every reader needs at least one of those to enjoy what they are reading.

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