Dead Silence - Brenda Novak

This book took me approximately 8 hours to complete. How do I know this? Because I had started reading it at 2:30 A.M., fully intending on simply getting it started and then getting some sleep so that I could get a head start on my day since I had a rare-two-night-off opportunity that wasn't my usual weekend off. I don’t remember what I’d had planned for the day, because now the day keeps slipping from my thoughts, but… well…

So much for “Let’s read for a couple hours then get to sleep.”

I stopped reading about two and a half hours later to get something to drink and then get to sleep and was hit with a case of insomnia. About an hour after unsuccessfully trying to sleep, I picked up the book and continued reading. At 11:30 A.M., I finished the book even though I kept telling myself to put it down every half hour. The book itself kept telling me, “Let’s read another chapter,” and then “You’ve only got a hundred pages left… give or take.”

And thus, the book was finished.

And sadly, for the life of me, I’m not a hundred percent sure what it was that kept me so entranced in this book, but all of that effort deserves a star, doesn’t it?

I’m not saying this was a terrible book, nor am I saying that this was an excellent book either. I just managed to get drawn into a well-written book with a mystery-thriller-romance-suspense angle after being bored out of my mind with other books previously.

Because, to be honest, Dead Silence wasn’t much in the mystery department or the suspense the department. The story was fairly predictable and there were no surprise twists to speak of. Even the romance department might have been a bit lukewarm. But the atmosphere and the story progression was pretty stellar--I could practically feel the moody small town creepies oozing out of the book while trying to keep up with all the action. So the narration was good as well.

The characters are kind of flat and the only guy I found interesting was Clay Montgomery… which is interesting considering he’s the most aloof guy with monosyllabic lines and little presence. But I still found him more intriguing than the rest of the characters. Except maybe the boys, Heath and Teddy--they were pretty adorable. I mean, on paper the other characters sound great… to an extent. Grace is complex on the inside, but pretty standard on the outside. Kennedy was the typical stock-standard male protagonist inside and out; his only conflict was that he was a douchebag during his teens--I’m sure we can forgive everyone for being young and stupid at some point in their lives.

The rest of Grace’s family got on my nerves (her mother, Irene, and her stepsister, Madeline), because in spite of everything, they still live in such a rose colored world that I’m not sure whether to be jealous or rolling my eyes.

I’m actually much more interested in Molly Montgomery, the youngest sister who managed to get away and have a more thorough life; wondered if she’d ever have to return to Stillwater and watch her perfect life crumble away in light of the scandal surrounding her family. We only get to know her through phone calls to Grace, but I liked her nonetheless.


But alas!


Book number two follows Clay (which I’m cool with and intrigued about), and book number three follows Madeline (which I’m kind of lukewarm about). I will read the rest of the series anyway for the sake of closure, though since the end of Dead Silence seemed to leave much to be desired with its open-ended-ness… that I have a feeling was done on purpose…

And that upsets me a little bit.