Review: Amanda Delany was a 24-year-old British actress who was finally hitting A-list status … only to be found murdered in her bed the day after returning from an evening shoot on her latest film in Silent Scream, the fifth mystery in this series by Lynda La Plante.
Detective Inspector Anna Travis is assigned to the case, and she's presented with no shortage of suspects, especially among the cast and crew working with her on the set of the film. But when Anna is pressed to release a statement to the press, she ponders, "What could they release? They still had no suspect and, as yet, no motive for the murder, apart from the fact that Amanda had been promiscuous and caused a lot of heartbreak and tension. But would any of the people listed as her lovers really have a motive to kill her, especially as the main three were all well-known actors with substantial careers?" The suspect list gets longer when Anna learns Amanda was considering changing agents, and there seem to be some substantial discrepancies in her financial records involving her business and investment manager. And the list grows longer still as Anna discovers others within Amanda's orbit who may have had reason to kill her.
Silent Scream is an ambitious police procedural that has the added element of a diva-like film star with the requisite glamour, sex, drugs, and secrets that are inevitably implied with such … and yet, it's all rather tedious and somewhat boring. Anna methodically goes through the obvious suspects for Amanda's murder, interviewing each, confirming alibi and motive (or lack thereof), then moving on to the less obvious suspects before moving on to the least obvious suspects and then circling back and starting all over again. This process may mimic a real-life police investigation, but here, it gets to be simply monotonous after a while. There's very little action or even a (typically unwelcome) unexpected plot twist to punch things up a bit. The revelations during the investigation are hardly surprising and it's disappointing how the killer is eventually identified, coming out of left field, as it were. There's also a subplot involving Anna's personal and professional relationships that is poorly integrated, and which seems to be included mostly as an afterthought for the sake of series continuity.
Acknowledgment: Simon & Schuster provided an ARC of Silent Scream for this review.
Review Copyright © 2010 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
Touchstone (Hardcover), September 2008
ISBN-13: 9781416586678; ISBN-10: 1416586679
Touchstone (Hardcover), July 2011
ISBN-13: 9781439139318; ISBN-10: 1439139318
Location(s) referenced in Silent Scream: London, England
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Silent Scream by Lynda La Plante — An Anna Travis Mystery
Publication Date: July 2010
List Price: $24.99