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4.3 out of 5 stars
The Silence of Murder
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on February 21, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Hope Long hasn't had the best life, but she's been able to cope. Her father was killed in a pedestrian accident when she was three, her mother, Rita, is a drunk and a pretty poor excuse for a mother. The only family member who really matters to her is her 18 year old brother Jeremy. Unfortunately, Jeremy has problems of his own. He hasn't spoken for ten years, has been given more psychiatric diagnoses than carter has pills and collects empty bottles. In fact three walls in his bedroom are filled with them. Jeremy, however is no dummy. He communicates with Hope by writing elegant letters in perfect penmanship. When the story begins, Jeremy is on trial for murfer, having been accused of killing the high school baseball coach with the wooden bat he carries with him most of the time. Because Jeremy is electively mute and there are no other possible suspects, Prospects for anything other than prison or a very long stay in a psychiatric facility are pretty slim. Hope knows Jeremy is innocent, but how can she prove it?
The bulk of the book involves her efforts to figure out who really did kill Coach Johnson. She's not as alone as she first thought. Her brother's defense attorney is a very decent man who is willing to keep an open mind when Hope starts shaking loose some facts that might alter the outcome of the trial. Her long time friend T.J. (who would like to be a lot more than a friend, but Hope is clueless about that), is willing to help her even though he's creeped out by some of the places she needs to investigate. Enter Chase, son of the sheriff. He's a pitcher like T.J., but has a history of getting into minor scrapes back in Boston where he lives with his mother most of the year. Even though Hope and Chase know they should have nothing to do with each other because of how ugly Chase's dad can get, sparks fly and before you know it, Chase is into the hunt for the real killer as much as Hope.
There are some amazingly good red herrings in this mystery as well as some great bits of information discovered at just the right speed in order to keep the reader guessing. And guessing. And guessing. The ending is a perfect mix of really sad and really happy. This is one of those books you really don't want to end because the story is so good and well told. I hope the author writes more mysteries and I can certainly see why this received an Edgar nomination.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on February 20, 2012
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
Review by Jill Williamson

Coach Johnson is dead, and sixteen-year-old Hope Long is the only person who believes that her eighteen-year-old brother, Jeremy, is innocent. Sure, Jeremy is a little different--he's always been that way--but he's no killer. But there are no other suspects, so Hope sets out to find some and prove that Jeremy didn't kill Coach.

I'm totally impressed! This was a wonderfully creative mystery novel. The writing was excellent, and the characters were even better. I was completely sucked in and didn't see the end coming. I'm so glad I bought this book! This is the first I've read of MacKall's books, but I'm going to keep an eye peeled for whatever she writes in the future. If you like John Grisham, you'd like this book. With the wrongly accused and the search to find the truth, this book was one I couldn't put down. Highly recommended.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on January 20, 2012
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
I read this because I love mysteries and love Dandi Daley's books. I have to admit I began it thinking it was written for teen-agers and wondered if this grandmother (me) would find it simplistic and maybe boring. NOT! The book kept my interest from the first pages and I changed my mind several times throughout the book about who the murderer was---a definite plus for a mystery! Hopefully this will not be the only mystery we'll see from Dandi.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on September 13, 2013
Format: Paperback
The Silence of Murder is an excellent, but pretty formulaic murder mystery with multiple plausible suspects, strong motives and great clues. Author, Dandi Mackall, also included a great realistic fiction story. It is a winning combination that most YA readers will enjoy. Hope is a hard working teen determined not to throw her life away making the same mistakes her alcoholic mother did. Hope is also fiercely protective of her autistic older brother Jeremy. When Jeremy is arrested for murdering the town hero, Hope is the only one who believes he is innocent. Since no one else will do it, Hope decides she must find the real killer. With the help of friends Chase and T.J., Hope uncovers several long held town secrets, and someone desperate for the truth to stay buried begins threatening Hope. Readers will probably change their minds several times as new clues point to new suspects, but they will share Hope's determination to save Jeremy and will come to love Jeremy and Hope.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on September 2, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Reminiscent of Scout in TKAM, the young protagonist is outraged by a rush to judgment because the suspect is vulnerable. Hope's brother cannot defend himself with words against a prejudiced community. His only defense is Hope and her belief in his innocence. Credible characters and a beginning hook keep the reader following the clues to a satisfying conclusion. I will be reading more of Dandi's work.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on October 18, 2012
Format: Audible Audio Edition
Honestly I didn't expect to like this audiobook.. but I was hooked after about 5 minutes. Tight little murder mystery with a completely original ending that still has me thinking. Will absolutely be recommending this book to my friends. Emily Rankin's narration was spot on. Her portrayal of Rita (Hope & Jeremy's mother) gave me goosebumps during some of her drunken rants. Will be looking forward to listening to performances from Mrs. Rankin.
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on August 7, 2013
Format: Paperback
I believe this book is a good mystery. Although there seemed to be a lot of conclusions that the main character, Hope, jumped to in the book, I believe that this is often the case in real life too. People jump to conclusions and answers based on little or no evidence and sometimes can be influenced into decisions or opinions about people because of what others say. This happens in the book while Hope is trying to figure out who murdered the Coach. I think the book would be enjoyable for any reader who likes mysteries, because there are a lot of suspects and not a lot of clues especially in the beginning. It is fun to try and figure out who committed the murder before the end of the book. Although the ending seems a little stunted, I think it is a decent story and tale to read.
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on August 4, 2014
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
In some ways this is a predictable novel - competition between two boys for the female main character, family means everything to girl with lousy family, teen sets out to find the truth that incompetent adults are unable to.

That said, the story is well told. We suspect Jeremy's condition will change, but the story explores aspects of his personality well into the last half of the book instead of exposition of all the characterization at the beginning. The strong female lead who has male friends who aren't also her saviors is refreshing.

I think people of all ages can enjoy this although young adults will probably engage most readily since it is the world of these teenagers that is being explored.
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Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
I won't say much about the plot, as the synopsis has been given several times, but I just loved this book. I read tons of mysteries, so I especially love one that keeps me guessing till the last page. This novel has even more than that though. It has such realistic characters that you'll really care about and root for. [Too many novels that I read may have good puzzles, but I don't care much about the characters.] It has imagery and a thoughtful deeper theme that I've come to expect from Dandi's novels. This mystery has it all! I'm buying a copy for my granddaughter as well...and I only give her the best books I can find.
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on July 2, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
I enjoyed the book and its story line kept me reading. I did feel though that it was very predictable.
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