Title: Splintered Silence (A Bone Gap Travellers novel) by Susan Furlong
Genre: Currently #956 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank in Kindle eBooks, Literature & Fiction, Women’s Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Women Sleuths
Publisher: Kensington Press
Publication Date: December 26, 2017
Source: Kensington Press and NetGalley
Title and Cover: Splintered Silence – Backwoods road, country setting
Former Marine MP Brynn Callahan and Wilco (her cadaver dog) have returned to the Appalachians of Tennessee to stay with her grandparents who raised her after three tours with the Marines. Brynn and Wilco (Will Comply) are both suffering from PTSD after an IED explosion ended their tour. Splintered Silence is the first in the Bone Gap Travellers Mystery series, featuring the Irish Travellers. Often in conflict with the “settled” of the nearby town of McCreary, the Irish Travellers prefer to keep to themselves as a strong knit clan. Brynn’s Human Remains Detection (HRD) dog reverts to his training when he detects a body in the nearby woods.
Set in first person, the reader resides in the head of Brynn who is in conflict with herself and her grandfather and is only now learning the story of the mother who disappeared when she was a baby; a story her grandmother kept from her. If the IED didn’t kill her, she seems bent on self-destruction. She has returned a scarred edition of her former self, bitter, and beats back the depression and pain with alcohol. Her only saving grace is the powerful connection she possesses with her equally powerful but war-damaged dog.
The prejudice against the Travellers, viewed as gypsies and mistrusted or worst, is palpable and returned by her clan, especially the older generation, toward the settled of McCreary. There is conflict between she and the townspeople, she and her grandparents, and between the “Pavees” and local settled law enforcement. But as a recovery expert, she and her Ex-HRD dog Wilco are valuable outside the clan. Wilco, wholly fleshed as well as his humans, is immensely sympathetic. He only knows that he gets to work again. The first body discovered is a relative, however, and engages Brynn in the investigation.
Neither the sheriff with whom she works in McCreary or any of her clan are knowledgeable in dealing with ex-military with PTSD and symptoms are often mistaken. Meanwhile, it is discovered there are more sinister factors at work and Wilco is called in to search for additional remains. Backstory gradually fills in further information regarding Brynn’s exit from the clan and tours in Marine deployment.
The relationship between her and her dog is compelling. Her Gran has kept secrets from her and the family suffers from dysfunction. The story hooks from the beginning and sets the stage for the suspense that continues throughout the book. Strong characters, interesting and unique premise (and an introduction for myself to an American culture I was previously unaware). The book was a welcome departure from my usual suspense novels.
The climax plopped in unexpectedly and twisted more than once, producing an agreeable ending. The story held tight, gripping dialogue, protagonists (human and her dog) you quickly invest in, believable supporting characters, and a tale that turns pages quickly.
I received this download from Kensington Books and NetGalley and greatly appreciated the opportunity to read and review. Thank you! Recommended as a bone-chilling and very topical thriller suspense.
Rosepoint Publishing: Four point Five of Five Stars
The Author: (From Amazon Author page) Susan Furlong the author of the Georgia Peach Mystery series and the forthcoming dark suspense novel, SPLINTERED SILENCE, the first book of Bone Gap Travellers Mysteries. She also contributes to the New York Times bestselling Novel Idea Mysteries under the pen name Lucy Arlington. She has worked as a freelance writer, academic writer, ghostwriter, translator, high-school language arts teacher, and martial arts instructor. Raised in North Dakota, she graduated from Montana State University with a double major in French and Spanish. She and her family live in central Illinois. Visit her on Facebook or on her website. ©2017 Virginia Williams