3 out of 4 stars
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Detective Robert Collins gets word Monday morning that a couple and their three daughters have gone missing. He is called out to the family’s home where he meets Maggie Borman and her husband. She believes something sinister has happened to her brother’s family as they left without telling her and took no luggage. As Detective Collins searches the home, he makes some interesting observations. He finds a teenager’s room that is meticulously organized, a strange attic bedroom, and cash books of the family’s monetary transactions that are missing. Detective Collins also gets the feeling that some of the people he is interviewing are withholding information about the case.
With some leads coming in, Detective Collins is able to verify a place where the Stevens family stopped to get gas and a diner they stopped to eat. This brings the family close to the Columbia River Gorge. Is it possible they somehow ended up over the going over the edge and into the river? A search of the river is proving to be complicated. There is some debate about where along the river to search for the family. Also, officers who are supposed to be helping Detective Collins keep getting reassigned to different cases. It’s almost like someone within the police department doesn’t want him to find the family and solve the case. With so much working against him, it’s hard to say if Detective Collins will ever find justice for the family.
Silent River is an instantly gripping story. I was drawn to the beautiful cover art and the fact the book was based on true events. I really enjoyed reading about Detective Collins’ investigation into the disappearance of the family. I was constantly trying to figure out what was important to solving the mystery, and who was involved with the disappearance. Detective Collins also has some personal matters that he is dealing with during the book. I enjoyed reading about his healing process as he came to terms with his situation and moved on.
I can’t really think of anything that I disliked about the book. I could see some readers finding the ending frustrating, but I thought it was fitting for the novel. I did feel like there were some loose ends that could have been wrapped up though. Were the Porters, who owned the gas station, somehow involved? Who was the person running from the Stevens’ house and what did they take? Who was the person behind the ominous messages and phone calls? What’s with this random grandma at the end of the book? I suppose C. M. Weaver didn’t think the answers to some of these questions were necessary. I would agree in some cases, but in some instances, I think it should have been addressed before ending the book.
I also was intrigued by the fact that the author states he’s been working on this book for 35 years. That is a really long time to spend on a book. Was he an officer on the actual case or just a very dedicated observer? The editing of the book was good overall, but I did still find four errors. Due to the errors and some of the loose ends, I rate Silent River a 3 out of 4. I think the book will appeal to those who like mystery and crime novels. The book deals with several subject matters that are not appropriate for children. Therefore, I would recommend this for adult readers only.
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