The Silent Witness (Detective Amanda Steele #3) by Carolyn Arnold

Published September 24th 2021 by Bookouture

About the Book: It’s 4 a.m. when her mom shakes her awake. “Get up baby, we’re going to play hide and seek.” The little girl presses back into the dark space, holding her breath as she hears the shots ring out. She knows she’s next…

When the bodies of a local family are discovered on a quiet street in the small town of Dumfries, Virginia, Detective Amanda Steele takes charge of the case. Brett and Angela Parker were shot three times each, leaving no hope of survival, and their tidy suburban home has been ransacked. But there is no sign of their beloved six-year-old, Zoe.

Zoe is the same age as Amanda’s daughter was when she died, and Amanda can’t bear the thought of another little girl in danger. She’s organizing a search for the child, when she notices something strange about the ottoman at the foot of the Parkers’ bed. She opens it to find Zoe, mute and traumatized, but alive.

With Zoe completely uncommunicative, Amanda must find another way to untangle what destroyed this seemingly perfect family. It’s clear that the killer is searching for something the Parkers had, and until she has this monster behind bars, Amanda fears that he may return for Zoe. When she learns that Brett Parker cut short the family’s recent lakeside vacation, she wonders why. What happened at that lake house, and did it ultimately get them killed?

Amanda heads out to Lake Chesdin on the feeling it might be key to the case, and when she finds a cell phone in the murky waters next to the Parker cabin, she knows she’s made a breakthrough. But then terrible news reaches her from Dumfries; Zoe has been taken from her school playground.

Someone wants to silence the Parker family for good, can Amanda catch them before the little girl she’s desperate to protect pays the price?

A completely gripping and addictive crime thriller that will keep fans of Rachel Caine, Lisa Regan and Robert Dugoni entertained into the early hours.

4.5 Stars:

The Silent Witness by Carolyn Arnold is the third book in the Detective Amanda Steele series. This is the first I have read and although I had no issues following the story, I recommend you begin with the first book in the series. I will definitely be going back to read the two I missed and there is some overreaching story arcs. This story opens with a home invasion where a young couple are executed in their home. They had must enough time, after hearing someone coming up the stairs to hide their daughter. Amanda and her partner Trent are the lead investigators on the case. Finding Zoe, the daughter, they now have to protect her, find out what she saw and solve the case.

I really enjoyed this police procedural/crime thriller. Amanda has some baggage and flaws, but she is a great detective with amazing instincts. I also like Trent, her partner. They have a great working relationship and seem to be able to intuit what the other is thinking. They follow the clues and work with the others behind the scenes to hunt down evidence. Once they figured out what was going on, they take the reader on the journey to uncover what other clues and evidence they can find. Not all the characters were likable and some were downright despicable, but you will have to read this one to find out who they were. Amanda and Zoe have a very interesting relationship that works to help both of them heal a bit. The plot was well-developed and ties up some loose ends from the previous book. I really enjoyed the investigation process, how they questioned witnesses and friends and what kinds of evidence they collected. It made the story so realistic to me. There are twists and turns that point the way to an unexpected conclusion which I loved. A book that I really enjoyed and recommend to those who enjoy police procedurals and crime thrillers. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book upon request. The rating and opinions shared are my own.

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About the Author: Carolyn Arnold was born in a small Canadian town and enjoys spending time outdoors, but she also loves the lights of a big city. Grounded by her roots and lifted by her dreams, her overactive imagination insists that she tell her stories. Her intention is to touch the hearts of millions with her books, to entertain, inspire, and empower. As an international bestselling and award-winning author, she has several continuing fiction series, including her popular Detective Madison Knight series. She offers readers nearly three dozen published books in genres ranging from crime thrillers and hard-boiled mysteries to cozy mysteries and action adventures. She currently lives north of London, Ontario, with her husband and two beagles.

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