Publishing, September 2014
Reviewed by Cherie Jung
SILENT PARTNER is a police procedural thriller with a dash of the paranormal. The main character, Detective Francis “Frankie” Ryan, dubbed “the feminist vigilante,” in a recent newspaper column, is just coming off suspension. She teams up with a tabloid reporter, who may or may not be psychic (as opposed to just going crazy) while investigating a brutal double homicide.
Sea View has a darker underbelly. S&M and issues of gender identity are woven into the fast-moving plot.
Readers will find the author’s writing style reminiscent of hardboiled detective tales yet not so hard edged. The characters, pacing, and plot will appeal to a wider reading audience than traditional police procedurals normally do. The trick will be to convince those readers to give the book a try.
Some of the publicity information concerning SILENT PARTNER compares the writing style and main character to Harry Bosch, of Michael Connelly fame. The author, Stan Schatt, has written a non-fiction book about Michael Connelly so presumably he would know if his character is indeed in the vein of Harry Bosch however, I think it is a questionable publicity tactic and does a disservice to Mr. Schatt by potentially limiting the appeal of the book. When we received the digital arc of SILENT PARTNER for review, it first went to two of our reviewers who are ardent Michael Connelly fans. Both declined to review the book, citing they didn’t like the paranormal aspect of the book. Whoa! Paranormal? I love paranormal, so I grabbed the arc next. The author had me on page one (pre-paranormal) when Francis “Frankie” Ryan took the wake-up call from Lieutenant Marks, “It’s a double homicide at a motel on Adams. Should be right up your alley. Sounds like some guy caught a man with his girl and cut off his Johnson.”
By the time I read page 52 where the author introduced the Josh character, followed by page 53 where Josh begins chatting with what he thinks might be an hallucination but is really something else entirely, I was hooked. I couldn’t stop reading. I wished my digital reader could “turn” pages faster. I know lots of readers who would love this book but may be put off by the Michael Connelly comparison.
I also know lots of people who will probably feel as I do, that Josh and Andrea (“Andy”) steal the show…erh, book. I realize that Frankie is the main character and that if a series develops, it will no doubt be her series, but I do wish Josh and Andy could have their own series, too.
Bottom line. If you are a Harry Bosch fan, give the book a try. Since I’ve never read any books by Michael Connelly, I can’t say if Frankie is a “female Harry Bosch” or not. If you’re not a Michael Connelly fan, give the book a try. You may become Josh and Andy fans. Either way, you’re very likely going to enjoy SILENT PARTNER by Stan Schatt.
Over My Dead Body! Online.