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36 of 36 people found the following review helpful
on January 30, 2012
C.E. Lawrence's Silent Kills is thrilling, frightening and I started reading it at 3:00 in the afternoon and couldn't put it down until 2:30 in the morning. C. E. Lawrence constructs a fully developed protagonist who is both damaged and dangerous. A man with a past, little future, and nothing to lose. He returns after a deep depression only to find himself caught up in a case that could not only re-establish his depression but deepen it. It is a beautifully drawn character and I could hardly wait to find out what was coming next and how Lee Campbell would unravel this scary mystery. Read it, then put it on your shelf, you won't be sorry, you will find yourself reading it again.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on January 19, 2012
Lawrence throws us headlong into a lot of complex relationships and one really deranged serial killer. Lee Campbell is NYPD's only full-time profiler and he has been asked to help on a case being dubbed the "Van Cortlandt Vampire." The serial killer drugs his victims and then drains them completely of blood. Campbell knows that the killings will only escalate. After interviewing the brother of one of the victims, Francois, Campbell instantly feels a bond and wants to help him. Campbell too has been through tragedy with the fall out of the disappearance of his sister which to this day has not been solved. Knowing that Francois will want to do whatever he can, Campbell decides to keep a close eye on him.

One thing that they know they have to do is immerse themselves in the steampunk world that this killer seems to gravitate towards. With the help of Campbell's girlfriend, Kathy, he starts to create a profile of the killer and what the significance is of the draining of blood.

Psychologically this page turner will leave you breathless. The added vulnerability of Campbell and his inner struggles day in and day out will have you fully vested in him and all the supporting characters. Each one has their own flaw but what makes them even more interesting is that the flaw they have do not hinder them for very long. Another aspect that adds to the story is that Lawrence sets her story one year after 9/11. These wounds are still fresh and every character in some way was impacted by the event. The switching view points gives the reader a look into each character and when Lawrence writes from the killer's perspective you literally see inside a mad man.

Great read for anyone that loves a good thriller.

(Book was provided by publisher for an honest review)
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on January 18, 2012
All of the novels in C. E. Lawrence's "Silent" series are superior thrillers, but the latest one is certainly the best yet. The difficulty in praising C. E.'s writing is that one runs out of superlatives!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on December 29, 2011
This story takes place in New York City one year after 9/11 takes place. Not only is profiler Lee Campbell trying to catch a murderer, he is also still trying to deal with the loss of his sister, and the emotions that goes along with the healing that is still going on after 9/11. Lee must help catch a killer. A killer who is draining his victims of all their blood and posing them the most obvious places. This killer is not trying to hide his kills at all. Lee, and his fellow detectives involved in this case, must enter the Steampunk world to find their killer before he kills again.

I do not read very many mystery/thriller books, but I do like to read them from time to time. This book sucked me in. The characters seemed almost real to me. You could almost feel the emotion in this book. There was nothing perfect about Lee Campbell and the things he is dealing with in his personal life. I love flawed characters. I was not sure how this book would end and the ending was not what I expected. I do think I am going to have to add C. E. Lawrence to my read list and keep an eye out for his next book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on January 5, 2012
C.E. Lawrence joins the vampire craze with a playful wink at the world of steampunk nightclubbing in New York. This is a good thriller without overwrought gore -- not a simple accomplishment given the M.O. of the killer. Good knowledge of police work -- but where this writer really excels is in depicting the spirit-dampened world of Manhattan in the year following 9/11. A little bit noir, a little bit police procedural, and a lot of good, sorrowful writing.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on July 1, 2013
The third book in Lawrence's psychological thriller series featuring forensic profiler Lee Campbell, Silent Kills further explores the lives of Campbell's intriguing colleagues as a new deranged murderer drains victims of their blood.

The team is hunting a killer who does not harm his victims in any way - unless, of course, you count their deaths by exsanguination. As Lee builds his profile and his colleagues research the steampunk culture in which the killer seems to hunt, readers get to see the inner workings of the murderer's mind through chapters from his point of view. The result is an on-the-edge-of-your-seat thriller that explores the psyches of both detectives and criminals.

This book is perfect for readers who enjoy really well-developed characters. The author does a great job of creating complex relationships between Lee Campbell and his colleagues and even between the killer and his victims. Strong female characters like Lee's love interest and forensic anthropologist Kathy Azarian and linguistic expert Elena Krieger complement a host of male detectives who use their impeccable professionalism to hide a grab bag of insecurities. Lee himself suffers from severe depression and general anxiety disorder stemming from his sister's disappearance and an insatiable need to hunt the worst evils haunting New York City. Even though this is the third book in Lawrence's Lee Campbell series, readers will have no trouble jumping into these characters' lives.

The thriller also offers a peek into post 9/11 New York City, steampunk culture, and Lee's traditional Scottish upbringing. It is a very smart book full of literary references and a healthy understanding of a long tradition of detective literature. C.E. Lawrence does a fantastic job of weaving many different cultures and people together to create a very realistic picture of crime solving in one of America's biggest cities. Readers should be prepared for quite a bit of character and setting description that occasionally pulls away from the otherwise fast-paced plot.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on May 5, 2013
Silent Kills is a kind of procedural, but a lot more, and C.E. Lawrence is that rare item, a series writer who gets better. Her Precinct is a little grim, nuts and sometimes funny. Try a rugby-playing boss cop married to a dangerous femme fatale and a detective who's very afraid of dogs forced into close proximity with a German Shepherd.

Most crime books are all plot, stripped and dead. Lawrence doesn't have this problem. She can go into the perp's mind and find interesting thoughts, then show them slipping into sick, damaged thinking. Princetonian profiler Lee Campbell was interesting from the outset of this series, living at the edge of clinical depression, exasperating and very real. Everyone knows someone like this - really cool, good-looking, but dragging through life without hope. Campbell just happens to be smart and interesting, and unlike many of this type, he just won't quit. Not a high energy guy, but somehow he maintains an enticing exotic girlfriend along with his work and his neuroses. Lawrence puts him in a very believable New York City world that somehow co-exists with her Gothic imagination in a natural unforced way. Silent Kills moves at a pace that is hard to match, without losing depth. It's taut and relaxed, and it never stops moving. When she goes off the genre reservation, she gets away with it, because she goes to interesting places. A meeting of the Vidocq Society for example, where Campbell's Armenian girlfriend meets Someone New.

And Lawrence's characters lock in. You never ask yourself who someone is, even if they've been out of the narrative for a while. Her subliminal branding-iron identifies them indelibly - steampunk kid, sloppy cop, atheist Muslim street-vendor, crazy-beauty wife, whomever. You don't forget the well-named Detective Butts and his appetite or a horny Valkyerie like Elena Krieger, or the smell of lamb as the street-vendor's wife get him hot.

Lawrence is right on top of what's going on in this century. As the narcissist-escapees of steampunk fake their way along through the anniversary of 9/11, you get the dark side of American Exceptionalism. It's a perfect world for Davey, her well-bred good-looking steam-punk killer, who needs fresh blood to really be himself. Davey is sharp, he has style, and he's convincing, and his evolution is artfully traced. None of your generic vampire teeth-to-the-throat - this isn't Anne Rice warmed over. Davey is very professional, and he works hard. It takes a lot out of him finding appropriate victims, but it comes back in the cocktail that follows, or a transfusion. But he needs more and more blood, and even the most careful serial killer gets caught up in a rising tempo.

Likewise the reader. When cops, profiler, killer, and victim's brother drive upstate and converge on a steampunk gathering in Troy, Lawrence gives you the same frantic madness that capped Silent Victim. If you're on the subway, you probably miss your stop.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on April 11, 2012
Silent Kills promises to be a bit creepy but is not at all gory. The story, like a tapestry, is woven much like the tales of Charles Dickens, as the writer moves between crime scene, investigation, and personal tragedy. Bit by bit throughout the book we learn more about three men - the killer, the profiler, and the detective. Their characters and relationships are defined to some extent by their responses to women and the resolution of both the mystery and their potential entrapment come in tandem as the end flows organically from what has gone before. The reader is left with the same sense of melancholy relaxation that the profiler - Lee Campbell - feels as his tension eases in the wake of the capture of a strangely demented serial killer and takes stock of where he is in his own life.

Another star of this book is New York City. The action takes place a year after 9/11. Where these New Yorkers were and what happened to them and their loved ones in that national tragedy is a thread running throughout the story. Readers are treated to some of the history of this multi-faceted metropolis where Washington fought for a new concept of freedom and Poe is honored among the devotees of the somewhat weird Steampunk movement.

This mystery buff found Silent Kills a satisfying read. No pages are missing in the Kindle Edition.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on April 10, 2012
Silent Kills opens at a steampunk club in downtown New York City in a no-man's-land East of Chinatown. It ends in Oakwood Cemetery in Troy, New York, where profiler Lee Campbell comes face-to-face with a serial killer who has become known as the Van Cortland Vampire because of a peculiar ritual he inflicts on each victim postmortem. In between, C.E. Lawrence takes us straight into the mind's eye not only of the killer, but that of her remarkable main character.

Campbell is a psychologist of considerable depth, a man with insight and intelligence, but he's also damaged by a tragic past that drives him forward into his work. The fact that he moves into the dark heart of the case even though he's scared or uncomfortable makes him unique and memorable. Lawrence surrounds him with a sturdy but eccentric ensemble cast, and in elegant prose, gives us a love-letter to the city of New York in its post-9/11 melancholy.

What I liked most about the book was that there were no false shocks or manufactured action. The book felt true. It takes a writer of great confidence to turn her lamp down low and let it burn around the clock as she slowly builds to the suspenseful final scene that is definitely worth waiting for.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on March 9, 2012
Silent Kill is an engaging thriller featuring a modern vampire on a murderous mission in New York City's steampunk scene. (Who knew about steampunk? Great window into another subculture.) This is a worthy addition to the Lee Campbell series. Campbell, a criminal profiler, is a compelling protagonist with an interestingly complicated personal life. And who wouldn't love his gross and lovable colleague, Dectective Lieutenant Leonard Butts or the gorgeous, androgynous Elena Kreiger? Wonderful cast of characters. Strong central plot and interesting subplots - altogether a fine read.
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