The Big Silence

Bernard Schopen, Author Mysterious Press $0 (263p) ISBN 978-0-89296-353-9
Nevada detective Jack Ross plows through deceit and murder to trace the tangled lineages of three families in this successful debut from Ross MacDonald-scholar Schopen. As a favor to a mutual friend, Ross humors a young prostitute and takes up the search for a long-lost grandfather only she believes is still alive. A visit to the Black Rock Desert produces evidence of the grandfather's continued existence, but when Ross returns to Reno he finds the mutual friend murdered and the prostitute missing, in hiding from the killer. The new murder seems strangely akin to a murder committed 40 years earlier by the grandfather, but little more is apparent because almost every one of the novel's many well-drawn characters twists the truth to hide something. The overly elaborate plot makes it hard to keep track of the false leads and changing roles, but the author's deep appreciation for the Nevada landscape and sure ear for local dialect lend the story satisfying credibility. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1989
Release date: 01/01/1989
Genre: Fiction
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