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

Abigail Padgett
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (202 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $3.99
 
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Spectrum by Alan Jacobson
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Book Description

First in the award-winning Bo Bradley mystery series, CHILD OF SILENCE introduces the much-loved sleuth whose big heart and quirky wit help her deal with both an impossible job and a psychiatric disorder her Irish grandmother called "the sight." An amateur artist, Bo would rather be painting, but when a child is in danger she risks everything, even her life.

Thirty miles east of San Diego, in the dusty heart of the California high desert, lies the Barona Ranch Indian Reservation. This is desolate country, marked by lone pines, winding canyons, and granite hills. It is here that the boy was found, tied to a mattress in an abandoned mountain shack.

The case is assigned to Bo Bradley, a child abuse investigator with San Diego’s juvenile court system. It is meaningful job, and it pays for Bo’s few indulgences, like her books on Indian lore and the huge canvasses for her paintings, based on ancient Native American rock drawings.

Bo takes her profession seriously, and she abides by its cardinal rule; never get involved with the child-victim. This has not always been easy for a sensitive woman whose emotions ride perilously close to the surface. Now, with this four-year-old boy, it proves impossible.

He is a non-Indian who calls himself Weppo, and he has been classified as mentally impaired, making him a high risk for abuse. But something in Weppo’s intense gleaming gaze strikes a deep chord in Bo. She knows that look. In the eyes of her late, deaf sister, she has seen it before. Weppo is not at all impaired; he is deaf.

Inspired by this new knowledge, Bo sets out to interview the Paiute mystic, the woman they call “Seize the Dark,” who found the boy. Driving along pine scented trails into the Indian country she so loves, Bo feels as if a strange force is leading her onward, an intuition that builds when she meets “Seize the Dark” and the old crone confides that “spirits” led her to Weppo; “I saw the boy with blood on his mouth.”

After visiting the shack, Bo wonders, had the deaf child been tied up because there was no other way of saying “Stay here. I’ll be back”? An inner voice tells her as much. And she knows she must listen, for it also tells her that Weppo is in great danger.

A poisoned-tipped bullet soon proves the point–as two thugs break into the hospital and attempt to murder the boy. Pushed beyond the point of no return and into a dangerous manic state, Bo bends the rules and swings into action.
Risking personal involvement and professional ruin at the hands of her by-the-book supervisor, she vows to unearth the truth surrounding this child of silence. It is a mission that will take her from the ancient sands of the California desert to the gilded mansions of Houston’s political set and back, as Bo Bradley mounts a desperate struggle to save Weppo–and herself–from certain death.


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: 382 KB
  • Print Length: 208 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004MPRAMU
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #138,391 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
48 of 48 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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27 of 28 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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29 of 32 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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24 of 28 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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5 of 5 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-
ness.)

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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4 of 4 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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4 of 4 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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A brave and touching story.
As an ex child abuse worker, I had a special feeling for Bo Bradley. There were many true things written in this book. Read more
Published 3 days ago by Ann L. Allen
5.0 out of 5 stars Abigail Padgett blends fact, fiction and danger into a tale to...
Child of Silence, a book of fiction, which gives enough factual information to give the reader a glimpse into the shadows of mental illness and undiagnosed illnesses and... Read more
Published 26 days ago by Patricia L. Polster
5.0 out of 5 stars Child of Silence - a great read!
Wow. Kept me on the edge of my seat - I think I read it in two evenings, but that's only because I forced myself to sleep (and work) in between. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Also the bad guys are shooting at people trying to get this ...
Just finished this last night and boy does it keep you on the edge of the chair. It has family dynamics and Native American history. Read more
Published 1 month ago by sophiesmom
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
I read it but don't remember what it was about!
Published 1 month ago by Ronda G. Heppner
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Book
What a wonderful book. All of the author's twists and turns come together in a very satisfying read. I can hardly wait to read what Bo will be up to next.
Published 1 month ago by Kathleen
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
This is really good. love her writing and the series. Can't go wrong
Published 1 month ago by Joyce Buckingham
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome
I like the way the writer involves you in the story. I wanted to cry at the end of the story.
Published 2 months ago by Audrey N. Bates
5.0 out of 5 stars Several different elements of great interest, such as seeing manic...
Intriguing, fascinating, and deeply moving! Several different elements of great interest, such as seeing manic depression from the inside, attitudes toward the deaf, and Indian... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Sam Frisk
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
It kept me interested, but it was not very long.
Published 2 months ago by johaines
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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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