A murder has happened again in the same areas as others as The Silenced Woman: A Violent Crime Investigations Team Mystery by Frederick Weisel begins. For Violent Crime Investigations (VCI) leader Eddie Mahler, the body on the bench in Spring Lake Park, Santa Rosa, California, is clearly yet another kill by a man he has been chasing for two years now. He knows the same guy has done it again and is sure of that fact. He could not prove it before and his marriage and his health has suffered greatly because of that fact.
Not to mention the fact that Mahler and his team’s failure to lock him up means that he was able to kill again. Clearly strangled and wrapped up in a blanket, the dead young woman was placed on a bench at the small lake in the park. While this murder does not present the same as the victims two years ago, Mahler is sure that the same killer is at work. Once again, there is no proof.
There is also no explanation for his two-year silence. The fact that he is back killing again means that Mahler is more committed than ever to stop him. Especially as, if he continues the same pattern, he will kill again in 72 hours and place another body in the park.
What follows is an engrossing and complicated police procedural where the head of the unit is dealing with debilitating migraines, a lack of support by his boss, and a public terrified that history is repeating itself. It does not help that some of his fellow officers are aware that Mahler believes he sees the ghosts of the dead victims and has conversations with at least one of them.
Not that they have any leg to stand on in the sanity department. Every single member of the VCI team is a bit off and not quite all together. Each one has his or her own mental issues which slowly are teasingly revealed to the reader. Then there is the killer who, thanks to technology, becomes aware of how they are investigating and begins to play with them without their knowing.
A foundational book for a series, The Silenced Women: A Violent Crime Investigations Team Mystery by Frederick Weisel is complicated, intense, and very good. Well worth your time.
The Silenced Woman: A Violent Crime Investigations Team Mystery
Poisoned Pen Press
Paperback (also available in audio and eBook formats)
400 Pages (376 pages not counting the excerpt for the next book)
I put a copy of this book on hold in my local library system because of this review by Lesa Holstine. Very glad I did. My reading copy came from the Central or Downtown Branch of the Dallas Public Library System.
Kevin R. Tipple ©2021