Full disclosure – I was provided an advanced reader’s copy of this book by the author or their representative but have voluntarily provided a review. All opinions are my own.
Through the eyes of a child
An upscale neighborhood sees a family murdered in the early hours of the morning. With the only witness being a small child, the stakes are high to find the culprits while protecting the sole eyewitness. What would prompt the brutal murders of the couple? Was it a jealous lover, motivated by the top-secret nature of the work of the deceased and potential leaking of government secrets, drug-related, or something entirely unknown? And with everyone who comes into contact with the sole survivor targeted for further attacks, Amanda finds herself the personal protector of a six-year-old girl. As Amanda develops a bond with the shy little girl she can’t help but draw parallels between Zoe and her own daughter Lindsey; but will the growing attachment to the girl help her solve the case or dredge up painful memories that she has tried so hard to suppress? As the case begins to unravel, Amanda discovers a bombshell that not only could blow the case wide open, but also has the potential to take down a few prominent players in a much larger game.
The Silent Witness is the third in the Detective Amanda Steele series of novels by international best-selling author Carolyn Arnold. In this offering, Trent and Amanda are on the case to solve the brutal murder of a couple in their upscale Virginia home, but this is not just another case by any means. With the sole survivor being a six-year-old girl, Amanda’s mothering instinct engages in a way that is terrifying yet strangely comforting to her. As the clues and leads take her dangerously close to the lingering unsolved human trafficking case with implications on a legislative and legal level, Amanda must tread more lightly than ever before. Add in the fact that her mother’s murder trial is also currently in full swing rekindling lingering family tensions and exposing long-buried secrets, and Amanda has more on her plate and more at stake than any other case to date. The Silent Witness serves as a transition piece to wrap up some unresolved cases and issues while still leaving the door open for this amazing series to continue to move forward. The character of Detective Amanda Steele is a strong, confident woman in a primarily male-dominated profession. It is refreshing to see characters such as hers, and Arnold excels at writing stories that feature strong female leads. Also, as with all of Arnold’s stories that I have read to date The Silent Witness can be read either as a part of the larger series or as a standalone offering without the reader feeling as if they are missing major parts of the story. With this arc in Amanda’s larger story apparently coming to a close, and a new series of challenges awaiting her I am really looking forward to book four to see what Arnold has in store for Detective Steele next.