Monday, November 29, 2010
Book Review -- Silent Partner by Jennifer Chase
Author: Jennifer Chase
Publisher: JEC Press
Genre and Target Market: thriller; fiction; criminal psychology
Publication Date: 2011
Book Length in Pages: 308
Jennifer Chase has rightfully earned a strong fan base following the release of her first two novels to feature heroine Emily Stone—Compulsion and Dead Game. I have been fortunate enough to review both of these books as well as interview the author upon their publication, so it was with great anticipation that I waited to find a copy of her newest release in my hands. And, I was not surprised to find that Chase had produced yet another thrilling page-turner. Silent Partner is a novel that will chill you with the callous evil of its criminals and have you engaged in the dramatic life of Deputy Jack Davis in his dedication to caring for both strangers and loved ones who cross his path.
For those not already familiar with the character of Emily Stone, she is prominent in Chase’s first novels. Stone tracks the pedophiles, rapists, and killers who are terrorizing small towns, gathers evidence against them using technology and great instinct, and then anonymously leaves her files of proof with the local police department before moving on the next case. While Emily Stone does play an important role in Silent Partner, readers should not expect her to be featured as she was in Chase’s previous work. Instead, we are introduced to Deputy Jack Davis. He is a man who is still haunted by what happened in the home of his childhood friend many years ago and, upon a chance reunion, realizes that the girl who watched her mother die at the hands of her father is still living the nightmare every day.
The reemerging relationship between Davis and his childhood friend, Megan O’Connell, is set against a series of vicious murders that are carried out by men who seem to carry no remorse or sense of value to human life. It is during these scenes, in which Chase calls upon her expertise in the field of forensic psychology, that I believe her writing is at its finest. I found myself having a physical reaction to the brutality faced by some of the victims in the book and the killer’s thirst for more violence and blood. And, the way in which Chase weaves her multiple storylines and characters together makes for a shocking ending. Even though I was anticipating a twist as the book progressed, the final scenes took me in a direction that I did not expect.
The emotional heart of this book comes from the mutual love that exists between the humans and their dogs. From Jack Davis and his K-9 dog Keno to Megan and Eddie, whose need for an emergency trip to the vet is the only reason that the troubled woman can force herself to leave her home, the importance of a loyal dog is a theme throughout Silent Partner. In fact, this special bond is the inspiration for the book’s title. Jennifer Chase often shares the love for her own dogs on her website and other writings, and I know the words used to express the adoration between dog and owner could only come from a person who carried those feelings in her heart.
Silent Partner forms a definite break with the previous offerings by Jennifer Chase in both its style and perspective. Two constants in all of Chase’s work, though, are the quality of the story development and the rich psychological insight. When you add a spotlight to members of our law enforcement who often go unheralded, the trained dogs, Silent Partner is another wonderful product. Whether you already count yourself among Jennifer Chase’s followers and were waiting for the release of this new book or you are discovering this author for the first time, Silent Partner is a compelling read.
Posted by Yvonne Perry at 10:00 AM