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October 4, 2010 / C.T. Henry

REVIEW: The Silent Hour by Michael Koryta

Whisper Ridge is a multimillion-dollar piece of architectural majesty that once housed a unique program for paroled murderers. The program never got off the ground, however, despite the passion of Alexandra Cantrell, daughter of a notorious Mafia don, and her husband, Joshua. Twelve years later, the uninhabited house is in ruins. It remains a strange monument to dangerous secrets…until Joshua’s bones are found buried deep in the forest.

This isn’t your typical Lincoln Perry P.I. mystery. It’s not fast-paced, and the mystery isn’t truly resolved until the last few pages. The Silent Hour is really for fans of the series who want to see what happens next to Lincoln Perry. The book doesn’t work as a stand-alone because you really have to know what he’s been through in previous books to understand his action in this installment.

While the resolution was certainly satisfying, the book was more about Lincoln’s personal struggle whether to be a P.I. or not. In previous books, we’ve seen his partner shot and his girlfriend kidnapped. In this more psychological tale, he’s really wondering if the job is worth it. Feeling guilty that he’s the only one who has remained unharmed, he doesn’t want to take any more risks that might cause pain to the people he loves.

He makes the decision to solve the case on his own terms and with no help from anyone he cares about. In the end, his girlfriend tells him: “You can’t protect everyone you love from harm. From the world. Trying to do that will break you, eventually. It will. And you know what? Something bad will still come for the people you love. You can’t stop that, and it’s not your job to try. It’s your job to be there for us when it does.”

Overall, it’s a slow, but poignant story. And much like Lincoln Perry, it seems that Michael Koryta has decided to take a break from his P.I. novels.  Instead, Koryta’s new novels are more supernatural and suspenseful.  Like Perry, Koryta is trying new things, but I hope that both of them decide to continue with P.I. work.

Good, but not great.

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