cover image The Woman Who Couldn’t Scream

The Woman Who Couldn’t Scream

Christina Dodd. St. Martin’s, $27.99 (352p) ISBN 978-1-250-02848-8

Mute-but-not-deaf Merida Falcon takes center stage in bestseller Dodd’s lively fourth novel set in Virtue Falls, Wash. (after 2016’s Because I’m Watching). At the beginning of tourist season in Virtue Falls, the newly opened Good Knight Manor Bed and Breakfast thrums with a diverse and curious guest list, including, besides Merida (who communicates via computer tablet), billionaire Benedict Howard; Dawkins Cipre, an Oxford and WSU literature professor, and his wife, Elsa; and Lilith Palmer, the stepsister of Sheriff Kateri Kwinault. None of whom has descended upon the tiny town (pop. 2,487) for its bucolic serenity or its picturesque canyon views. They all bring weighty personal baggage, ranging from the mildly malicious to pure evil. Merida, who has her own agenda, soon learns that her life is in danger but why and from whom remains unknown. Meanwhile, tension builds and suspicion shifts with breakneck speed, as it’s anybody’s guess who’s behind a sudden rash of grisly murders. Suspense fans will find a lot to like. Agent: Mel Berger, William Morris Endeavor. (Sept.)