The Silenced Women

Frederick Weisel. Poisoned Pen, $16.99 trade paper (320p) ISBN 978-1-4642-1418-9

The discovery of a young woman’s body in a public park in Santa Rosa, Calif., drives Weisel’s strong debut and series launch, which introduces troubled police detective Eddie Mahler and his Violent Crime Investigations team. Two years earlier, two young women were strangled in the same public park within 72 hours of each other. Mahler bears the weight of failure in having been unable to solve those crimes. While his team doggedly works to identify the victim, Mahler focuses on prior suspect Irwin Partridge, whom he believes guilty of murder and likely to strike again within 72 hours. Unrewarding interviews with the suspect and his girlfriend don’t weaken Mahler’s conviction that Irwin is responsible. Meanwhile, VCI team members come up with three fresh suspects, and new recruit Eden Somers, a gifted FBI analyst who has suffered a nervous breakdown, uncovers a vital link between the murders through cold case reports. Bolstered by careful attention to detail and authentically drawn characters, this finely paced story builds to a satisfying finale. Police procedural fans will look forward to more. (Feb.)
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