NetGalley Top Reviewer

NetGalley Top Reviewer
NetGalley Top Reviewer

Friday, January 12, 2018

The Silent Girls (Anna Gwynne #1) by Dylan Young

 "Remember, we are all capable of acts of terrifying destruction when the tenuous constraints of consciousnesss snap and the primal impulses ooze and stain the world."

Once upon a time,  in 1998, 18-year-old pregnant Emily Risman was killed in the Forest of Dean. In present day, 16-year-old Nia Hopkins is kidnapped from her parents' barn and later found dead. Is this the same killer? And if so, is the convicted and recently released Neville Cooper back to his old, evil ways? Recently promoted Inspector Anna Gwynne is leading the investigation for the Southwest Major Crimes Review task force -- examining the Woodsman killings following his release. In addition, there is a wave of serial rapes. Are these connected? Anna and her team are liaising with police on the current Nia Hopkins case. But those detectives are convinced that it is Neville Cooper resuming his murder spree.

This is a police procedural more than a suspense thriller and it plods along as various aspects of the investigation are undertaken. Anna visits a prisoner who provides some interesting clues -- Hector Shaw -- in jail for the murders of those he suspected of murdering his daughter. Does he really have information Anna can use in her own case or is he just wanting her attention? Lots of questions in this complex case and Anna must use all her skills as she pits herself against the murderer and others involved on the police side.

I did enjoy this novel but found some irritations that seem to be recurrent themes in other books in this genre. First of all, why does the main character always have such a crappy relationship with her mother and a father adoration? Secondly, why does it always come down to the criminal engaging the detective in a personal one-on-one near death encounter? The other theme in this story was that much was made of the fact that Anna tested as INTJ on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. This means she is supposedly an expert at thinking and judgement as well as being an intuitive introvert. It's not a BIG DEAL -- I had to laugh as I, too, test that way. It doesn't make her anything special even though the book says that only 4 in every 500 women test as INTJ. Really? I guess I'm a BIG DEAL too -- wish I'd known!!  Despite all these little things that always get me in a narrative, I went along with the revelations and was unsurprised by the conclusion as it was the only thing that made sense.

If this is the start of a new series, put me down for #2 because I want to see what is in store for Anna in her next outing. Thank you to NetGalley and Bookouture for this e-book ARC to read and review.

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