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The Path of Silence

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The Path of Silence
Meg Stanton rides a desk in the cold case unit with the Baltimore PD. Her day starts like any other—with parent-child struggles, a dire need for a large coffee and a partner who is a conglomerate of neuroses. However, it ends like no other day…with a dead body on the hood of her partner’s car that signals a beginning of a strange journey of self-destructing bodies, all fitted with pacemakers that make them vulnerable to the killer. Who is the mastermind behind all this? Who could callously use his fellow man as living guinea pigs for an ingenious new weapon? And how many people will have to die before Meg finds answers even as her life is unraveling around her…?
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Author Edita A. Petrick wastes no time in grabbing her readers’ attention in this crime thriller, The Path of Silence. When Baltimore Homicide Detective Meg Stanton and her partner Ken Leahman leave their desk jobs in the cold case unit and make a quick stop at the local 7-Eleven they are pulled into the strangest case of their careers. On leaving the convenience store they discover a dead man sprawled across the hood of Ken’s car. The body belongs to an economist, Jonathan Brick, who had been reported missing four years earlier. His fiancée Patricia Vanier had believed he had been kidnapped. It wasn’t the first time that Brick had disappeared and the police put her report down to mental illness. Referred to the Baltimore P.D.’s consulting psychiatrist, she was recommended for “extensive mental therapy”.

The question of where Brick had been for the past four years is just the beginning of a suspense laden story loaded with bizarre murders. Brick hadn’t been shot or stabbed; his chest had simply exploded. As the detectives investigate the mysterious deaths they are drawn into a conspiracy that involves a psychiatric institution and even Johns Hopkins Hospital. Supported by medical examiner Joe Smeddin, they struggle to piece together what was happening in Baltimore.

Along with the investigation, Meg has a secret of her own. A single mother of a daughter, Jasmine or “Jazz”, she has kept the identity of the child’s father disclosed from everyone, including her daughter. At ten years old, the little girl is determined to learn more about her family because not only is her father’s identity a secret, Meg refuses to divulge anything about her own family.

Integrating Meg’s hidden past with a taut medical murder mystery, Petrick assures the reader will never experience a dull moment. Even seemingly incidental characters are memorable as they are woven into the story with expert ease. The author even manages to sneak some romance into the tale, although the relationship is not the focus of the events.

Petrick takes a medical miracle and turns it into a tool for murder, revenge, and money-making. As with most good murders, the intention of the killer is first to play God, but when brilliance goes unrecognized, good turns evil and innocent blood is spilled. The plot is original and compelling throughout. Although there are some typos and missing words, they did effect my enjoyment of the book. I recommend this mystery to anyone who enjoys a unique murder mystery and am pleased to give it a Blue Bookworm.

The Path Of Silence is a police crime mystery set in Baltimore. Meg Stanton is a single mother and a cold case homicide cop. The book opens with a late night stop at a 7-Eleven for Meg and her partner, when they return to their car they find it covered by a body with an exploded chest.

The victim has 10 different fake ID's on him and has been a missing person for the last 4 years. Cause of death - an exploding pace-maker. A second victim explodes in the private hotel room of a top US banker and Meg is forced to face a man she's been hiding from for ten years. Meg and Ken soon find themselves on the path of a serial killer who can inflict death at the flick of a switch.

When the FBI are called in to help solve the case Meg's home-life starts to collapse, the man who walked out of her life, now faces her across a briefing room. Forcing herself to focus on the job, they chase a possible money laundering ring with fingers deep in political circles.

This book has a good opening setting and a well paced story follows, I liked Meg and her feisty approach, this book touches on family relationships and there's a chance of romance too. A few red herrings and twists lead to the identity of the cold blooded killer.
The investigation of a cold case turns into multiple murders leading a young police detective along a treacherous road paved not only with clues to bizarre crimes but also an unexpected confrontation with her long buried and painful past.

Edita A. Petrick's The Path of Silence speaks volumes as an effective crime and psychological thriller destined to appeal to the suspense aficionado. Realistic dialogue coupled with descriptive language painting each scene reflects the many merits of the book. The reader will easily find him or herself a junior detective examining a case with no clear answers. In addition to the jammed pack "A" plot of crime solving, the reader is afforded a poignant human interest story of rediscovering the past and examining family ties.

Baltimore police Detective Meaghan Stanton (Meg) finds herself engulfed in an unbelievable mystery when she and her partner, Detective Ken Leahman discover a body one night in an unusual place. As the detectives review their cold case files, connections start to emerge between the victim and a slew of similar deaths.

On the homefront, Meg must deal with her strong willed young daughter Jasmine (Jazz). Jazz's continual probing questions regarding her family history is a source of tremendous tensions between mother and daughter. Why isn't Meg more forthcoming with these answers? Why is she insistent on her desire for these familial roots to remain unearthed? Who really is Meg Stanton? All of these inquiries also play quite nicely into the crime aspect of the book.

Petrick does an impressive job in crafting suspense and allowing each character to become fully invested in the investigation and its outcome. A good mystery is unselfish when it comes to suspense hooks and here, Petrick is incredibly generous with the suspense hooks. Each chapter is like a pulse inducing stop towards an exciting destination. Further, like any mystery deserving of its name, Petrick offers various clues delightfully dressed as foreshadowing. The reader may think he or she has an idea where the story is leading. But changing alliances keep Meg and the reader guessing. When the book reaches its dramatic conclusion, a friend becomes an enemy. Hostilities born from misinformation and misguided approaches are changed into respect and understanding. There is a clear sense when the book ends that Meg is on the path towards a new, more fulfilling life.

The crime thriller aficionado will be inspired by the forensic wealth established in this narrative. Petrick has researched police procedures because the writing speaks to an authentic police investigation. Remarkably, when the FBI becomes an important player in the local investigation, the stakes are raised for Meg both personally and professionally.

I'm a fan of authors who pay attention to character development and are aware how crucial character "voice" is. Meg is a wonderful character. She possesses both flaws and strengths. She is both uncertain yet self assured. This mixture is marvelously portrayed throughout the narrative. Young Jazz has a curiosity that is expected given her circumstances. She wants to know about her family tree, particularly about the father of whom her mother has remained deliberately silent. So mother and daughter angst feels natural in this story. I don't want to spoil the plot for readers, but Jazz does meet and get to know her father, just not in the way that might be expected.

I rarely read crime thrillers. I am not a CSI lover. But I admit to being fully engrossed in this book. Credit goes to Petrick because as intriguing as the mystery is in this story, the selling point for me is that Petrick is the architect of amazing characters. These characters are skillfully built. It was a pleasure for me to dissect them.

I give The Path of Silence a Gold Book Worm and would enthusiastically recommend it to other readers.
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