Silencing Sam

Silencing Sam

4.2 24
by Julie Kramer, Renee Raudman

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The newest thriller from award-winning author Julie Kramer finds intrepid heroine Riley Spartz charged with the murder of a despicable gossip columnist.


The newest thriller from award-winning author Julie Kramer finds intrepid heroine Riley Spartz charged with the murder of a despicable gossip columnist.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Cartoonish characters and thin prose mar Kramer’s third media-savvy thriller featuring Minneapolis, Minn., TV reporter Riley Spartz (after Missing Mark). When someone shoots to death newspaper gossip columnist Sam Pierce, who recently raised questions in his column about Riley’s relationship with a former cop, Nick Garnett, so soon after her husband’s death, Riley becomes a murder suspect. Another thorn in Riley’s side is showboating Texan Clay Burrel, a fellow Channel 3 investigative journalist, who will stop at nothing to bury the competition, including Riley, with stories about such topics as a decapitated female corpse, Sam’s murder, and the hijinks surrounding a wind turbine farm disrupted by explosive protests. Clay’s corny, over-the-top John Wayne manner and an unconvincing subplot about Sam’s personal life weigh down the action, though Kramer registers some sharp observations regarding the changes rocking the journalism industry. (June)
From the Publisher
"Kramer has delivered her finest Spartz novel to date; fiction readers will love this riveting, action-packed journey into television news investigations." —Library Journal Starred Review
Library Journal
Trouble erupts for television reporter Riley Spartz as she becomes the latest victim of Sam Pierce, an unscrupulous gossip columnist. After Sam publishes slanderous information about her in his "Piercing Eyes" newspaper column, Riley retaliates publicly. When Sam turns up dead, Riley is number one on the suspect list. Has Riley snapped? Is she guilty as charged? Will this be the move that destroys her career? As Riley struggles to save her good name, she must also contend with a cocky new reporter who seems to be jockeying for her job. Refusing to allow her fractured personal life to distract from active investigations, Riley seeks the identity of a headless victim and ardently attempts to uncover a possible plot behind local wind turbine explosions. VERDICT Best-selling author Kramer (Stalking Susan; Missing Mark) has delivered her finest Spartz novel to date; fiction readers will love this riveting, action-packed journey into television news investigations. [Ebook ISBN 978-1-4391-7803-4.]—Mary Todd Chesnut, Northern Kentucky Univ. Lib., Highland Heights
Kirkus Reviews
Minneapolis investigative reporter Riley Spartz's third case is a murder whose leading suspect is pictured on her own driver's license. Nobody likes Sam Pierce, whose "Piercing Eyes" gossip column plays to its fans' meanest fantasies and its subjects' deepest fears. But very few of his enemies have just been served with a restraining order forbidding them to approach within 1,000 feet. That order, entered after Riley replies to his latest sally by throwing her pinot noir in his face, is rendered null and void when Pierce is shot to death. Now Riley (Missing Mark, 2009, etc.) has bigger problems than fighting with newcomer Clay Burrel over stories like the dine-and-dash thief who stiffs restaurants, the terrorist who's bombing wind turbines and the headless female corpse Clay has made his own. As she runs the minefield of cops who want to jail her, colleagues who want to eat her lunch and wackos who'd be ready for their close-ups if they weren't too foul-mouthed for Channel 3's live feed, Riley struggles to identify suspects who have motives for killing Sam at least as plausible as her own. It's quite a challenge, because the cops aren't interested, the list of possible perps is endless, and, despite her credentials as an investigative reporter, Riley is no great shakes as a detective. Middling fare for readers with an appetite for inside tidbits about TV news. Every single one of those readers, however, should beat Riley to the killer.

Product Details

Tantor Media, Inc.
Publication date:
Riley Spartz Series
Edition description:
Unabridged CD
Product dimensions:
6.50(w) x 5.50(h) x 1.10(d)


What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
"Kramer has delivered her finest Spartz novel to date; fiction readers will love this riveting, action-packed journey into television news investigations." —-Library Journal Starred Review

Meet the Author

Julie Kramer is a journalist turned novelist. She writes a series of thrillers set in the desperate world of TV news. Julie has won the Daphne du Maurier Award for Mainstream Mystery/Suspense, RT Reviewer’s Choice Award for Best First Mystery as well as the Minnesota Book Award. Her work has also been nominated for the Anthony, Barry, Shamus, Mary Higgins Clark, and RT Best Amateur Sleuth Awards. She formerly ran WCCO-TV’s investigative unit before becoming a freelance network news producer for NBC and CBS. She lives with her family in White Bear Lake, Minnesota.

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Silencing Sam 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 24 reviews.
cjsthoughts More than 1 year ago
Julie Kramer's third novel in her series is an excellent read. It held my interest all the way through. Her character, Riley Spartz, finds herself investigating the homicide case of a gossip columnist, where she becomes the prime suspect. She now not only has to prove her innocence, but also try to find out who the real murderer is. As in her previous books, Riley is usually working on other news stories. In this novel, she is also following a story about rural wind farm bombings in southern Minnesota. Living in Minnesota I found all of the local references interesting, and it made the reading more enjoyable to me. Silencing Sam is well-written with memorable characters and very humorous. It is full of wit, charm, and suspense, and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys thrillers - a real page turner. You won't be disappointed. Looking forward to the fourth one!!!
Tessa62 More than 1 year ago
This is the third in Kramer's series and is my new favorite! I really like the first person narrative, it pulls me into the storyline more and I really feel Riley Spartz's emotions. I like having the subplots, it keeps the storyline moving, she keeps the dialogue moving and it is hard to put it down. It hard to say more without maybe giving something away. It was a very enjoyable read.
ethel55 More than 1 year ago
This is my favorite Kramer novel to date. Riley Spartz, a Minnesota based news reporter, finds herself in the midst of a murder investigation, this time as the prime suspect. In the meantime, she tries relentlessly to interest her newsroom boss in what could be the next big sweeps piece, about wind turbines and bats. Riley's parents are a charming addition to this story and other secondary characters that play a big part in Riley's life return as well.
tommyrugger More than 1 year ago
Julie Kramer shows her power as a raconteur in Silencing Sam. The third book in her Ripely Spartz series takes you directly into her story. Allow yourself plenty of time for this novel as you won't want to put it down. Her entertaining cast of believable charactors draw you into a fast paced plot as you race along collecting clues. You have met people like these in your own life. The unexpected twists of the plot keep you turning pages as you try to solve the mystery. Finally she satisfies us at the conclusion by wrapping up all the details with the protagonists getting their due. This novel gave good value and I was well entertained.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Worst book ever
Wandalee More than 1 year ago
I,be read several from this series and have enjoyed each one! Looking forward to the next one!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have purchased all four of Julie Kramer's books and am just beginning to read "Killing Kate". Ms. Kramer is a great writer and the books kept me coming back for more. In fact, I purchased the books and the Nook Books! (I was traveling and wanted the convenience of using my Nook). I know "Killing Kate" just came out, but I am already looking forward to her next book.
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Suspensemag More than 1 year ago
Riley Spartz-Kramer's daring heroine-is the first to admit that things haven't been going her way recently. As a female reporter at the Twin City's very own Channel 3 news station, she watches, open-mouthed as her new, male, chauvinistic, in-house competition saunters in. Handsome and knowing it, his Texas drawl is lost on her from the start. Little did she realize the barrage of questions she received and ignored-about her new nemesis-earlier in the day by viper-penned, gossip columnist, Sam Pierce would cost her so much. The bad day started out from such a minor item, just a harmless argument on the street with Sam and quickly spiraled into a nasty, gossip column and flying drink in this obnoxious writers face. When Sam's body is discovered their very public disagreement makes Riley's look incredibly guilty and her lack of alibi isn't helping the situation. Kramer's richly developed characters and spot on delivery make "Silencing Sam" a sit back, put your feet up, laughing good time! Reviewed by Shannon Raab with Suspense Magazine
SheilaCE More than 1 year ago
Riley Spartz is no stranger to the territory of breaking news: as an investigative reporter for Channel 3 Minneapolis, she has done her fair share of delving into a variety of cases, each of which has its own particular outcome. But the latest newsworthy incident in Minneapolis has an outcome that might prove a little more personal. After all, she is the prime suspect in the case of Sam Pierce's murder. In the eyes of many people, Sam, the star of the newspaper gossip column, deserved every part of what came his way--he made his fair share of enemies in his time with articles that sensationalized the weaknesses of others. Of course, this does not excuse the police from investigating the case, and, because of a recent public altercation with Sam, Riley is their best target. Now she must find a way to make sense of his mysterious demise before her incarceration is the latest headline. With enigmatic sources as her only guide, Riley must investigate and solve the most intense case of her life before it becomes her last. Join her as she struggles to understand who is responsible for Silencing Sam? Julie Kramer's latest novel, Silencing Sam, is an exciting thriller with elements of murder mystery and "deadpan humor." Kramer herself is an award-winning investigative reporter, as well as the author of novels that have been well-received by both critics and the reading public. Her next release is bound to captivate avid readers of murder mysteries and it will make a perfect addition to your thriller collection. If you are already familiar with Kramer's previous work, Silencing Sam will not disappoint.
SKByrd More than 1 year ago
Seriously, if you haven't read "Silencing Sam", you must do so!! And while you're at it, read "Stalking Susan" and "Missing Mark" as well. I read them in order -- you don't have to. "...Sam" is the best and will keep you turning the pages so fast you won't have time to grab one more pretzel! Julie Kramer is a talented Minnesota-based author that will hook you with her combination of suspense and subtle humor. Janet who????
CKB57 More than 1 year ago
Silencing Sam is the third book in the series featuring Riley Spartz, a seasoned news reporter whose murder investigations land her in the middle of the mystery. Author Julie Kramer continues to grow with each novel and Silencing Sam is my personal favorite so far. The different plot lines in the novel are all woven together well and the characters are people we can care about. The final chapters that put together all the puzzle pieces are very well written and keep the reader turning the pages for more action. In this novel Julie also added spots of humor which often had me laughing out loud. Overall, this was a really fun read and I look forward to more novels by this author.