THE SILENT VICTIM By Dana Perry

SYNOPSIS

The woman’s golden hair is spread out beneath her on the bed of leaves where she’s fallen, her beautiful blue eyes open wide. The police are calling it a random attack, but Jessie Tucker isn’t so sure – she’s seem this crime before…she was the victim.

Twelve years ago, Jessie Tucker was attacked as she made her way home from an outdoor concert. She still walks with a limp from that night, and everyday since has been a struggle to rebuild her life. The police told her she was unlucky – that she was safe after they charged a local man for the crime. But Jessie has never managed to shake the feeling that there was someone else in the park that night… someone she knew.

But then Margaret Kincaid’s Murder file lands across her desk, and Jessie knows she can’t keep silent any longer. Margaret’s sounds so exactly match her own it’s spooky – but Jessie’s attacker is in prison, and Jessie has never met the victim. What links her to Margaret Kincaid, and why did the attacker let one woman live, and the other die?

MY REVIEW

A great debut novel, and the start of a new series. Jessie Tucker is a crime reporter, for the New York Tribune, although this isn’t the job she has always had. 12 years earlier she had decided to walk home alone through Central Park New York City, where she was brutally attacked and left for dead. She sustained some really bad injuries and was lucky to survive, the only physical reminder she is left with from that night is a slight limp, which means she sometimes needs to use a cane for, but she never uses it when working. The man who attacked her was identified as Darryl Jackson, he had been sent to prison where he ended up being killed.

It was after her attack that she became a top crime reporter, she reports crimes from the viewpoint of the victim. She gets a call from her editor Danny Knowlton about a new story, the seemingly random death of 29 year old Margaret Kincaid, an aide to Senator Frank Lonsdale, which had happened as she walked through Central Park. The attack seems to be so similar to her own. But the police have identified and shot the person they believe to have killed Margaret. But have they acted a little bit too quickly, with everything tied up neatly, and with the suspect a known petty criminal dead, who is going to look into it?

Jessie feels there is more to this case than meets the eye. Margaret had been dining with the Senator’s son, who she had also been dating, but during the meal she had become upset, she went to the ladies room, then never came back to the table, leaving the restaurant talking to someone on the telephone in tears, she had fled, the doorman had shouted to her, to see if she wanted a taxi, but she had waved her arm to dismiss this, heading across Central Park. Who had she been on the phone to? What had she been distressed about over their meal?

Jessie believes the police got the wrong man, she is also convinced that the attack on Margaret was too similar to her own attack to be a coincidence. Some of her work colleagues think she has gone mad. But Jessie isn’t deterred, she is determined to get to the bottom of what happened. She starts to feel less secure herself, as she digs deeper. She is like a dog with a bone. When Margaret’s brother arrives from California the case becomes even more complex.

The story ends up going in different directions from the Gulf War in Iraq, war veterans, NYC mayoralty, US Senate and national politics, as well as the media and a case of mistaken or false identity. Why wasn’t the victim raped? If it was a sexually motivated attack. Was the attacker interrupted?

Jessie is a very strong person to have gone through what she went through and to then go on and become a crime reporter. She is a likeable and relatable character. Some of the plots and twists were a little bit predictable and some not so predictable. You think you have guessed who the killer is but then at the end totally out of the blue wrong. The story goes to show that how we see people isn’t how they always are. To trust no one. We have seen this with true crimes for instance Ted Bundy, he looked normal, good looking guy, but most definitely not what he seemed. My only criticism is that some of the description and dialogue was a little too long, and it didn’t add to the story, so to have cut bits out you wouldn’t have missed it. But I look forward to seeing more of some of the other characters as the series progresses. A great debut novel, well plotted, the pace is good, keeps your attention, and great characters. Everything you want in a novel.

I give this book ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ out of ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ look forward to more of Jessie Tucker.

I would like to thank #netgalley and #Bookouture for an eARC of this book in exchange for and honest, fair and unbiased review.


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