reviewed by Pam Guynn
The Silence by Kendra Elliot brings mystery and suspense to a police procedural and romantic suspense novel set in Oregon. This is the second book in the Columbia River series but brings in characters from other series as well as some characters from book one in this series.
Oregon State Police Detectives Mason Callahan and Ray Lusco are called to the scene of a brutally murdered man near Portland. Files found in his office show Reuben Braswell was a conspiracy theorist and did not like law enforcement. The papers also include names, including Mason’s fiancée, FBI Special Agent Ava McLane. When Ava’s newest case connects to Mason’s, the story is off and running.
Mason and Ava make great protagonists. Both are strong and skilled at their jobs, but each has weaknesses that keep them feeling realistic. Ava’s relationship with her identical twin is a source of constant upheaval for her and that is woven into the story line as well. Mason is several years older and went through a painful divorce that gives him depth. I also liked that there was continuity with the first book in the series with FBI Special Agent Zander Wells playing a great secondary role in this one. The chemistry between the characters adds to the enjoyment of the novel.
Overlapping cases make the plot suspenseful and very complex as well as a fast and entertaining read. However, it is somewhat over-the-top in its believability. Romance takes a back seat to the police investigations, blending well without detracting from the story line. There are no steamy scenes in this book, but there is plenty of violence and some graphic description, as well as twists and turns that keep the reader guessing. As always, this author did a great job of making this reader feel like they were on the Oregon coast. Additionally, there are moments of levity that give the reader a breather.
Overall, this was a compelling crime thriller that tackled some very serious themes including murder, family relationships and melodrama, domestic violence, conspiracy theorists, hatred, anger, and much more. The suspense was top-notch. This book can be read as a stand-alone, but the reading experience will be enhanced by reading the first book in this series and the Callahan and McLane series. This is the second book I have read by Kendra Elliott, but I am happy to say that I own four others and can’t wait to read them. If you enjoy crime novels and police procedurals with a small amount of romance, then I recommend that you check out this series.
I purchased a digital copy of this novel. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own and are not biased in any way. Publication date was August 25, 2020.