Harlequin HQN, Jun 21 2011, $7.99
Casey Cantrell never recovered mentally from a brutal beating while at Colorado State University. Upon graduating she becomes a forest ranger to conceal her fears. Her first assignment is giving a lecture on raptors to second graders.
Firefighter Lieutenant Matthew Sinclaire’s wife died in an arson-set blaze. Their eight years old daughter Megan called 911 but could not save her mommy as she and Tickle Me Elmo escape the inferno. Suffering from survivor guilt as she feels she failed her mommy, Megan has a deep rooted child form of post traumatic stress disorder, which has left her mute.
At the lecture Casey is kind to Megan who becomes very attached to the ranger. Matt sees the connection between a woman he is attracted to and his daughter. Casey feels for the child and likes the father, but has own issues. However irate Senator Carter Peyton loathes Matt who he holds culpable for his first wife and two children dying in a blaze near Jackson Hole; he will destroy anyone the firefighter cherishes such as Casey.
Deadly Silence is a character driven suspense thriller Matt and Carter grieve their respective losses but react differently to the deaths of their loved ones. Although Peyton’s lunatic “eye for an eye” logic can be arguably caused by grief turning him insane, he remains in my mind as way over the top of the Grand Tetons. With a strong romantic subplot between two cautious adults to enhance the taut thriller, fans will appreciate the warmth of loving nurturing helping a little child regain her zest for life.