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Child of Silence (Bo Bradley Series Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Abigail Padgett
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (226 customer reviews)

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Constant Fear "firmly places [author] Palmer alongside the likes of Harlan Coben and Lisa Gardner." — The Providence Journal

Book Description

In Child of Silence, the first award-winning Bo Bradley Mystery, a wise old Paiute woman finds a four-year-old boy tied to a mattress in an abandoned shack in the hills above San Diego. Child abuse investigator Bo Bradley gets the case. Staff at St. Mary’s Hospital for Children assume the boy is mentally impaired because he cannot talk, but Bo remembers a little sister named Laurie. She knows that the boy, like Laurie, is deaf.

Complicating things is Bo’s manic depressive disorder, a troubling but occasionally valuable problem for which she always, well sometimes, takes her meds. The prime directive in Bo's job is "Don't become emotionally involved with the child!" But the little boy is so bright inside his silence, and so alone. Bo feels the ominous first ripples of an oncoming manic episode and grabs her meds, but they won't have much effect for weeks and the child is in danger now!

Risking her job and ultimately her life in a perhaps-delusional race to protect a four-year-old whose only word is his own name - "Weppo" - Bo finds herself alone with the child in a desert night fraught with terrors as she tries to reach an imagined safety among the Paiute. But political intrigue, desperate secrets and a relentless evil lurk in every shadow of a moonlit landscape in which Bo has only her own intense and uncanny perceptions as guide. She knows she's "crazy," but sometimes crazy sees what rational cannot. And "crazy" is now Weppo's only chance for a life!

“A sensationally fine first novel… breathtakingly well-told…”The Los Angeles Times

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This powerful and suspenseful debut features an unusual heroine, San Diego Juvenile Court child abuse investigator Bo Bradley. A closet manic-depressive, Bo fights to keep her job and her equilibrium when she is assigned the case of a four-year-old boy found tied to a mattress in an abandoned house on an Indian reservation. She realizes that the boy is deaf, not retarded as she first thought, and hopes to place him with a family who will teach him to sign. But her intuition and her own experience with a deaf sister tells her that the boy had been tied up to prevent him from straying. Could someone have intended to return to him? She finds a grocery receipt, the only clue to the boy's identity. When two men attempt to shoot him and she receives a threatening note, her mission becomes increasingly urgent. Recognizing and resisting the manic phase of her own disorder, she traces the boy's past to Houston and an important political race. Padgett's deft handling of Bo's mental state and her empathetic rendering of his deafness add originality and depth to a gripping story.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1609 KB
  • Print Length: 208 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,601 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
52 of 52 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A completely new type of detective - fascinating... March 4, 1998
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The main character of this book is a woman named Bo Bradley who also happens to be a manic-depressive. Sounds strange at first - but it is fascinating. Seeing things through her eyes is educational and makes it hard to put the book down. I learned a great deal about the prejudices and tribulations that a person with this condition has to overcome - and the incredible gifts that can come with it. The author never lectures, though - the book is a quick read. The ending was a little lame, unfortunately. Not uninteresting, just a bit overly complex and unlikely. Her other books are also very good.
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Compassionate Ride on a Rollercoaster March 24, 2007
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
Mix a child-protection officer with her Irish grandmother's Gift of "knowing," an elderly Indian receiving beneficient messages from The Spirit, and the officer's bi-polar illness, and you have a marvelous ride on a merry-go-round. Add a French pediatrician, a cold-eyed Texan running for office, and the "severely retarded" child who unites all. Allow plenty of time, because you won't want to stop for bedtime. A rare treat.
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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Child of Silence January 5, 2005
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I absolutely loved this book. I couldn't put it down. Being Bipolar myself, I could completely identify with the main character, Bo's, inner challenges. The author has done a very, very good job of capturing and describing what goes on inside the mind of a high-functioning person struggling to stay sane, and she's done it in a way that brings a lot of humor. Bo is so likable, so determined, so admirable. The central storyline is very engrossing, and the whole southwestern setting and mystique are icing on the cake. I highly recommend this book and can't wait to read the next one.
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26 of 32 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Old served up as new July 13, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
It is frustrating when Amazon serves up an old book as though it is new. The Bo Bradley series is over 20 years old, and I read them then. I recall that I enjoyed them, and was sorry when no more appeared, but I expect they are dated by now since the child welfare biz has changed a lot since 1990. Although this one is free on BookBub, and I remember the titles, if I had paid for it and discovered that I already read it I would not have been a happy camper. It seems it would be better business, and more honest, if Amazon ran in a line in the description as to the original publication date, not just when the book became electronically available, which seems to be the recent date of publication attached to many offerings.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent September 7, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The first of five in the incredible Bo Bradley series. The first four are newly released on Kindle.

Bo is a child abuse investigator in San Diego CA, which means some of the details in the series can be intense. But this book was more of an old fashioned puzzle, then hunt and chase.

The real story is the lead character, a forty year old closet manic-depressive embarking on a manic episode. She knows what to do; the problem is surviving without revealing until the meds kick in. At the same time, she is assigned a case of an abandoned child who is being sought by killers, and her mania has her convinced that only she can save him. In the end, of course, she is right.

The author contends that the manic in manic-depressive makes Bo an human lie detector. No nuances get by her. The problem is too many details, any one of which can assume huge significance that only she can understand. By the end of the book, her thought processes are lyrical, often amusing and highly engrossing.

Note: These books were written in the mid-90's and tech-wise, they come across a little dated. No cell phone in every pocket, no quick Internet search to research something, no CDs or MP3s in the car, etc. Since these are character driven stories, it was note worthy, but not impactful. Another example of time passing is the label itself: manic-depressive, instead of bipolar.

Highly recommended.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Private Eye with Manic Depressive Illness April 12, 2009
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This book is an intelligent page-turner. The protagonist
is a child protection worker named Bo who has manic depres-
sive illness. The mystery deals with an abandoned deaf
child and Bo's attempts to rescue him and find some murder-
ers while in a manic phase and waiting for her lithium to
kick in. For thosee of you not familiar with manic depres-
sion, the manic phase is when you are all over the place -
needing no sleep, spending money you don't have, buying
things that you don't need, having grandiose ideas, etc.
Lithium is the medication that is used to stabilize the ill-

This book provides a realistic and resectful portrayal of
someone with Manic Depressive Illness. On top of that, it
is a very good mystery. I also recommend The Caveman's Valentine.
It has a private eye who suffers from mental illness and is
a very well-written book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Labeling traps June 12, 2013
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Bo Bradley, a social worker with the San Diego's Children's Protective Services, finds more than expected as she investigates the case of a boy found tied to a mattress in an abandoned building on a Paiute Reservation. Because he doesn't communicate or seem to understand what is said to him, he is labeled "retarded" and the system proceeds to institutionalize him. Because of her family history, Bo realizes the boy, who calls himself "Weppo" is not retarded: He is deaf. Apparently, no one has attempted to teach him to speak or use sign language.
As she tries to locate his family, she encounters the powerful Rowe family who seem to be willing to do anything to keep her from resolving the case.
She also has to deal with her own bipolar health condition, trying to balance the benefits of using lithium with the side effects it causes.
The book explains how "the system" works, the effect of bureaucracy, the roles of the supervisors, and what a dedicated social worker has to do to best serve her client's interests. It also tells about the Paiute culture.
The first of a series of Bo Bradley books, CHILD OF SILENCE was well written and kept my interest. I found the main characters believable and cared about them.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I enjoyed Bo Bradley's character. Well written.
Published 6 days ago by Liz Heighway
5.0 out of 5 stars Child of silence
Good read! Pretty much kept you guessing the whole book. You could really feel for No and Well I. Definitely recommend.
Published 9 days ago by Leilani Corley
4.0 out of 5 stars Engrossing
I really liked that Bo was a manic depressive who was able to control her illness and still be a productive member of society. Read more
Published 17 days ago by Jeanette
4.0 out of 5 stars Moving story line
Anyone who likes sentimental stories. Also anyone who works with children with disabilities. Overall it was a good read. I enjoyed it
Published 20 days ago by Fred Oakman
5.0 out of 5 stars keep me fascinated and resolved beautifully. At times exciting or...
This is only my second Abigail Padgett book and very different than the first I read (Paper Doll Museum). Read more
Published 23 days ago by Ellie Winslow
5.0 out of 5 stars I enjoyed this book.
The story is compelling and the subject is interesting. It moves along at a fast pace. I am looking forward to reading more of the Bo Bradley Series.
Published 24 days ago by Leone
5.0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENT!
What a rare find, an excellent story line with a protagonist so richly developed that I wish I could be her friend in real life. Read more
Published 25 days ago by Nancy Brown
3.0 out of 5 stars Child Of Silence ( Bo Bradley series book 1)
I wasn't sure how many stars to give this book. As an avid reader this book didn't hold my interest very much till the last few pages as I got bored with the way it was written. Read more
Published 29 days ago by Unknown
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed reading this book
It was great getting to know a manic/depressive investigator and a deaf child who functioned in this world....Great must read!
Published 29 days ago by Michel C. Collins
5.0 out of 5 stars great story
Wonderful story. My mother was deaf and we spoke sign language incur home from the time I could spell the alphabet. ,, reading some of the symptoms of bi-polar disease. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Jeanne Loriol
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More About the Author

Abigail Padgett grew up in Vincennes, IN, and holds degrees from Indiana University, the University of Missouri and Washington University, St.Louis. She has taught high school English and college courses in Sociology and Creative Writing in San Diego and Boston, directed an ACLU chapter in Houston and worked as an advocate for the mentally ill, plus enduring some truly weird temp jobs.

Abbie is the author of seven highly acclaimed mystery novels that have been translated into five languages, one novel among which, CHILD OF SILENCE, was made into a movie in France. (Which must have been challenging, since the novel's action takes place in the California desert and features Native American Paiute people.) Her eighth mystery, BONE BLIND, is set in the Boston suburb of Newton, where two horror novelists and a detective just months short of retirement investigate a decades-old unsolved murder the spin from which proves even more deadly than the original crime. THE PAPER DOLL MUSEUM, also a mystery, steps over the line into speculative fiction.

San Diego is home, although Abbie spends much time on the East Coast and in France. She is a dog person happiest in the company of dachshunds, a lapsed vegetarian with heartland food preferences, and a lifelong fan of Poe, Algernon Blackwood and the Graveyard Poets.

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