Dead Silver

( 2 )

Overview

After a twenty-year absence Renee Callister is back in Helena, Montana, to bury her estranged father. John Callister was a local pariah believed to have had a hand in his wife's murder when she was protesting the opening of a controversial silver mine. But the discovery of disturbing photographs and one silver earring in her father's home is causing Renee to reexamine her stepmother's death in a shocking new light—and sending her to Hugh Davoren for help.

A California ...

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Dead Silver

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Overview

After a twenty-year absence Renee Callister is back in Helena, Montana, to bury her estranged father. John Callister was a local pariah believed to have had a hand in his wife's murder when she was protesting the opening of a controversial silver mine. But the discovery of disturbing photographs and one silver earring in her father's home is causing Renee to reexamine her stepmother's death in a shocking new light—and sending her to Hugh Davoren for help.

A California expatriate, Hugh Davoren makes his living under Montana's Big Sky, working as a carpenter with his Blackfoot pal Madbird—and he's always there for a friend. But the truth Renee Callister seeks is buried in dark and dangerous places, and Davoren's going to make some powerful, unforgiving enemies when he digs too deep.

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Editorial Reviews

Larry Watson
“Imagine the Lone Ranger and Tonto as a pair of witty, profane, shot-and-beer construction workers. . . It’s a terrific read-worldly-wise, scary, and as fast moving as a runaway truck on a steep mountain grade.”
James Patterson
“Reading DEAD SILVER is like discovering that the great Raymond Chandler wrote a mystery about Montana. ”
Publishers Weekly

Like Lone Creek, McMahon's first novel to boast a Montana setting, this fine crime novel fairly glows with the big skies, rough country and outsize characters of his home state. Ex-journalist Hugh Davoren, working in Helena as a carpenter with his buddy Madbird, a Blackfoot Indian, is contacted by an old friend, Renee Callister, back in town to bury her father, John Callister, after a 20-year absence. John had lived the latter part of his life in disgrace as the chief suspect in the murder of his second wife, Astrid, and her lover. Renee finds old photographs of a nude Astrid and decides they are clues that will exonerate her late father. She asks Hugh to help her, and, smitten by her beauty and plight, he readily agrees. McMahon ties up several subplots-in particular, Madbird's troubles with his niece, Darcy, who's having an affair with a state representative-in a rather unwieldy knot by the end, but it's the compelling prose, sense of place and sympathetic characters that make the book a joy to read. (June)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Kirkus Reviews
Reopening the murder case of a wicked stepmother. When would-be environmental terrorist Astrid Callister dies in the arms of her lover, an employee at the Dodd Mines, in a Montana mountain cabin, her much older husband John, a respected wildlife biologist, is suspected but never charged, although innuendo ruins his community standing. On his death, Renee, his daughter from his first marriage, asks her childhood crush, Montana carpenter/sleuth Hugh Davoren (Lone Creek, 2007), to redeem her father from ignominy. Renee has found a stash of semi-porno pictures of Astrid and one flashy earring hidden in the old homestead. Do they point to someone else as the murderer? With an assist from his pal Madbird, who takes time out from seeking vengeance on his niece's married lover to help, Hugh investigates possibilities from Helena to Missoula. For his trouble, he winds up with gun-shot ribs, a trashed pickup truck and a maimed tomcat-not to mention a dust-off from the formerly willing Renee-while the story implodes with a chase after a heretofore unlikely suspect. Hugh and Madbird, a western variation on the Spenser-Hawk pairing, trudge through some great scenery and a glaringly inadequate plot. Who knew Montana was home to so many red herrings?Agent: Jennifer Rudolph Walsh/William Morris Agency
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061340772
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 8/11/2009
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 5.31 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.64 (d)

Meet the Author

Neil McMahon holds a degree in psychology from Stanford and was a Stegner fellow. He has published ten novels, in addition to the bestselling thriller Toys, coauthored with James Patterson. He lives in Missoula, Montana, where his wife directs the annual Montana Festival of the Book.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    superb investigative thriller

    After two decades away, Renee Callister comes home to Helena, Montana to bury her disgraced father John. She is just about the only person who believes her dad did not kill his second wife Astir or her lover as assumed by just about everyone else. --- While going through the estate, Renee finds photographs of Astrid posing nude, which she believes are clues to the cold case homicides. She contacts her friend former journalist Hugh Davoren asking for his help. Although he insists he is a carpenter in partnership with his friend Blackfoot Indian Madbird, he reluctantly agrees especially when he sees how beautiful Renee is he hides from her his motive and his belief that her dad did the double homicides in a fit of rage. --- DEAD SILVER is a superb investigative thriller starring strong characters including Big Sky Country. Hugh¿s inquiries are fun to follow as they are cleverly designed with red herrings, dead ends, and danger, but his motive makes him human. Madbird has his woes too in a supporting role. Neil McMahon provides an engaging low key cold case investigation that will send readers seeking the previous collaboration between Davoren-Madbird (see LONE CREEK). --- Harriet Klausner

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    Posted May 13, 2011

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