Book Review: "Silent Screams" by C.E. Lawrence
Rating: 4 WaterTowers (Awesome!)
Lee Campbell works with the New York Police Department as a profiler. A former practicing psychologist, Lee has recently overcome debilitating depression (over the disappearance of his sister five years ago) to work with NYPD.
His friend from college, Detective Chuck Morton, has asked Lee to help profile a particularly gruesome murder. A young woman was found naked and dead in a church, on the alter, with the words: “Our father who art in heaven” gouged into her torso. The lack of blood indicated the words were written after the woman had died of strangulation.
Based on the evidence Lee gathers from this murder, he surmises that the killer is a virgin, possibly lives at home, that some precipitating life event sent this person over the edge, and, most disturbing, that this is is only one murder of many yet to come.
Lee comes to the conclusion that this is not the first murder. A Jane Doe was murdered some weeks before. Although not the same MO, Lee concludes that Jane was the first and that the killer did not have time to complete his task properly. More evidence comes to light: the killer is attacking religious women, they seem to have curly black hair, and they wear a cross that he takes after killing them.
Considering the fragile nature of Lee’s state of mind, Chuck is concerned that Lee might be better not investigating this case, but, Lee continues despite his struggles.
One night bones were found in a remote area of a park. Fearing that they may be the remains of his sister, Lee asks a new acquaintance, Forensic Anthropologist Dr. Katherine Azarian if she could look at the remains. At the morgue, Kathy instantly knows the remains are not Lee’s sister’s. Although Lee knows Laura is long dead….there is still some hope that she could still be alive.
The case of the murdered women is baffling so Lee calls on his old mentor, Professor John Paul Farragut Nelson who teaches Criminal Psychology at John Jay University, for assistance.
Teamed with NYPD, and after another murder, the newly formed task force is working hard to find the serial killer before others are killed.
Unfortunately, more people die and someone decides to stop the investigation by attacking Lee. The profile of the serial killer indicates that there may be two people involved. Are there two killers? Who is the serial killer? Who is after Lee? Why? You will just have to read “Silent Screams” to find out.
“Silent Screams” is an awesome read. Lee Campbell is as imperfect a hero as you will ever meet, and the look into the psyche of both Lee and the killer is fascinating.
I don’t remember reading a book where the reader is more aware of the clues than the hero. As I was reading, there were times where I was urging Lee to pay attention.
I highly recommend picking up a copy of “Silent Screams”. If you love a good mystery, and a great set of characters, you will love it.