Book Review: “Silent Victim” by C.E. Lawrence

Book Review

Genre:  Thriller / Mystery

Rating:  3 Watertowers (NYPD Profiler Lee Campbell returns)

“Silent Victim” by C.E. Lawrence. This is an ARC sent to me by C.E. Lawrence. It was due in stores in December 2010.

Lee Campbell (from “Silent Screams”) still suffers from debilitating bouts of depression.

Helping him fall into the depths of depression is the person who keeps calling Lee letting him know that the caller knows about “the red dress” that only the police know Lee’s sister (Laura) was wearing the day she disappeared.

As “Silent Victim” opens, someone has killed two men (one by drowning, one by electrocution) leaving them in the water (one in the Bronx River, the other in his bathtub) to be found days later with “suicide” notes written by, the police think, the killer.

Shortly after an ex-patient of Lee’s stopped by his apartment to tell him she was being followed and was concerned about her safety, Ana Watkin’s body was found floating in the Spuyten Duyvil body of water between Manhattan and the Bronx.  Attached to her body was another “suicide” note:

“I have been a very bad girl.  Bad things happen to bad girls.  I should have taken the advice to get thee to a nunnery.  Please forgive me.”

Lee’s long time friend Detective Chuck Morton forms an investigative team led by Detective Butts (also from “Silent Screams”) that includes Lee and newcomer, Forensic Linguistic specialist Detective Elena Krieger.

Together the team follows a dizzying array of leads as the death toll mounts and the killer’s MO changes to include cutting the eyes out of his victims.  Lee forms a profile of a man in his late 20’s to early 30’s, who had a traumatic experience in his youth that involved water.

“Silent Victim” is not as exciting as “Silent Screams” but is very interesting favoring a good deal of character development, including a background love affair between Lee and Dr. Kathy Azarian as it develops from their meeting in “Silent Screams”,  as the clues to the multiple murders unfold.

To find out who the killer is, and why he (or she) is killing is a very interesting look into the mind of an insane person.  All in all “Silent Victim” is a very good, complex, thriller giving us sufficient background into the main characters as we move forward to a third novel in the series (assuming the next book will be in this series).

I do not think this will ruin anything, but, at the end of “Silent Victim”, the body of Lee’s sister (assuming she is dead) has not yet been found, and the person who knows about the red dress continues to taunt Lee, as does his depression.

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