Thursday, June 17, 2010
Marta Stephens, SILENCED CRY, Bewrite Books, 2007, 284 pgs
As a writer, I'm well aware of how difficult it is to write a good pitch. For that reason when I read the publisher's blurb for Silenced Cry, I bought a copy. Bewrite Publishers promised that Stephens' novel would keep me entertained from start to finish.
Author Marta Stephens delivers on that promise.
Homicide detective Sam Harper stands by helplessly as his partner is shot dead at what should have been a routine pick-up for questioning. His late-partner was so certain of the lack of danger that he declined to wear his vest before confronting the witness. Now Harper is left with more questions than answers. And to make matters worse, he's taken off the case and assigned to Homicide and a new partner.
When Harper is called to investigate a cold case, (the body of an infant is found stuffed in the wall of a building due for demolition) the investigation leads him to a possible involvement by his police hero father and his boss, a man he respects and trusts. As more leads surface, the investigation becomes baffling. What is surely a horrific crime also involves rape and police brutality. Stephens' depiction of the grieving mother Roxanne Lewis is unforgettable and deeply moving.
Someone once said that if you've read one mystery, you've read them all. That is so far from the truth here. Sam Harper is not your run-of-the-mill hero. Though the book is about a good cop, it's not reminiscent of any other good-cop novel. Harper is his own man, troubled, sincere, loyal and complexed. Silenced Cry is an intelligent story about a police detective determined to do the right thing even if it means it might destroy him.
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The Author - Marta Stephens
Marta Stephens is a native of Argentina who has made Indiana her home since the age of four. This mild-manner lady turned to crime with the publication of the first in her Sam Harper Crime Mystery series, SILENCED CRY (2007).
Stephens resides in Indiana with her husband and two children. The first novel in her Sam Harper Crime Mystery series, Silenced Cry (2007) received honorable mention at the 2008 New York Book Festival and ranked among the top ten in the 2007 Preditors and Editors Reader Poll.
The second book in the Harper series, The Devil Can Wait won the bronze in the 2009 Independent Publishers Book Award (IPPY) in the mystery/suspense/thriller category and ranked in the top ten in the 2008 Preditors and Editors Reader Poll.
Stephens is currently working on the third book in the series. Look for her novels in both trade paperback and e-book formats. Her collective authors’ blog, Murder by 4, was selected by Writer’s Digest among the 2009 101 Best Websites for Authors.
Stephens holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism/Public Relations from Ball State University (IN) where she is employed in human resources. She is a member of Sisters in Crime International, Sisters in Crime Speed City Indiana Chapter, and the Midwest Writer's Workshop. In addition to writing, she also enjoys oil paintings, gardening, the family’s pet Boston Bulls, mini Daschunds, and shared moments with family and friends.