What’s the best way to frighten a Deaf person? Turn off the light.

It sounds like the beginning of a joke, but it isn’t funny at all. Annie Black, who is profoundly deaf, finds herself at the heart of a set of brutal murders.  Teaming up with the lead Detective, the pair attempt to understand the psychology driving the killer. Having a voice, and being able to read not only lips, but body language, Annie realises that the killer is targeting people she knows. And Annie has lots of friends.  Friends now at risk. Desperate to save those around her Annie and the police find themselves in a race against time to save people in the deaf community.

And as the murders escalate, the killer’s obsession grows. Will the police untangle the killer’s motivation before it’s too late for Annie?

Shh

This started with such promise and while I did really enjoy it I had reservations. Firstly I don’t believe Annie would have been allowed to accompany the detective Crabb to crime scenes, let alone discuss them in front of her flat-mate Scarlet, or have her own white-board at home. Secondly I am not sure how Crabb worked out the killer’s ‘Game’ with so little evidence – there were clues but they weren’t obvious – but failed to follow up basic leads or even ask people about certain things which I can’t mention due to spoilers.

Personally I didn’t work out the big twist so I never guessed who was the killer. In fact the twist and lots of other things along the way gave me an uncomfortable feeling about the deaf or Deaf community. I suppose some of them have their prejudices like in any other community, but I still didn’t like that part of it.

Then there is the graphic violence and gore, I don’t think it was necessary. The story really didn’t need it. Being a serial killer is scary enough without adding to it. And towards the end it started to descend into the realms of fantasy and over the top madness, which again verges on just silly.

Anyway, it was still an exciting and riveting read, but not quite 5 stars. Many thanks to the Pigeonhole, my fellow Pigeons and Jocelyn for making this such an enjoyable read. I’ll look out for the next book by this author. Maybe a Crabb/Annie partnership (professional that is).

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