Silent Kills [NOOK Book]

Overview

Everyone Has What He Wants

The killer picks her up in a Manhattan night club. Another trendy victim of the latest downtown scene. Young. Fresh. Healthy. Perfect. The police find her body in a Bronx park. Pale as a ghost. Peaceful in death. Her life has been drained away. Slowly. Methodically. Brilliantly. . .

No One Survives What He Takes

NYPD profiler Lee Campbell has seen the gruesome handiwork of the most ...

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Silent Kills

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Overview

Everyone Has What He Wants

The killer picks her up in a Manhattan night club. Another trendy victim of the latest downtown scene. Young. Fresh. Healthy. Perfect. The police find her body in a Bronx park. Pale as a ghost. Peaceful in death. Her life has been drained away. Slowly. Methodically. Brilliantly. . .

No One Survives What He Takes

NYPD profiler Lee Campbell has seen the gruesome handiwork of the most deranged criminal minds. But this is something new. Something unbelievably twisted. A blood-obsessed lunatic who chooses his victims with deadly, loving care--and forces Campbell to confront the demons in his own life. No matter who wins this game, there will be blood. . .

Praise for C. E. Lawrence and Silent Screams

"Pulse-racing, first-rate. . .a wild ride down a dark road."--John Lutz

"Lawrence delivers finely honed suspense with unique twists."--Katherine Ramsland

"A dark, intriguing thriller."--Publishers Weekly

"Lawrence nails you to your seat."--Gayle Lynds

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786029129
  • Publisher: Kensington Publishing Corporation
  • Publication date: 12/6/2011
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 201,270
  • File size: 2 MB

Read an Excerpt

SILENT KILLS


By C.E. LAWRENCE

PINNACLE BOOKS

Copyright © 2011 C. E. Lawrence
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-7860-2562-6


Chapter One

Candy Nugent wandered into the cavernous room and looked around. She was feeling insecure, which increased her determination to act utterly confident. Her fingers fiddled with the laces on her leather corset before flitting nervously to her face. She had tied the corset too tight, and could barely breathe, but she liked the curve it gave to her thin torso, pulling in her waist and shoving what little flesh she had on her chest upward, so that her breasts nearly spilled out of the lacy blouse she wore underneath the corset. Her black skirt was short and snug against her hips, showing off her slim legs in their black fishnet stockings.

She especially liked the ankle-high boots with their spiky heels and lace-up buttonholes—sixteen of them in all. The only real problem with her outfit was the goggles, which kept slipping on her shiny hair, falling down to her forehead and over her eyes. She put her hand up and pushed the goggles back on top of her head. They weren't meant to be worn over her eyes, Francois had told her—they were just decoration, part of the look.

Francois knew way more about steampunk than she did. Candy was a follower, and always had been, whereas Francois was an innovator. At least that's what he called himself: an innovator, ahead of the pack, a trendsetter. There could be worse things, she supposed, than having a brother who was a trendsetter—or thought he was. She had learned that with Francois it was usually easier to go along with him than to argue.

And so here she was: in New York City's "first bona fide steampunk club," way downtown in the no-man's-land east of Chinatown. Even the cabby had trouble finding it—and the entrance wasn't marked, which was part of what made it so cool, according to Francois.

The room was dark, but the copper fixtures on the walls gleamed and she had to blink to adjust her eyes. A huge brass boiler in the center of the room dominated the space. Red leather banquettes lined the walls; in front of each was a low table that looked to be made of industrial steel. At the far end of the room a long bar of burnished walnut sported a polished brass railing; to either side of it thick tapestries hung from the ceiling. A lavish chandelier in the center of the room was the brightest source of light, though even with the gas-burning wall sconces, the atmosphere was dark. Plush Persian carpets covered the concrete floors, as deep and soft as summer grass. She took a few steps forward, searching the crowd for a sign of her brother.

She was pleased to see that she fit in—at least as far as her wardrobe was concerned. The room was filled with other people dressed in much the same fashion as she was. The men wore nineteenth-century waistcoats, vests, and cravats; the more elegant ones were dressed in tails and top hats. Some were dressed more informally, in knee breeches and leather aviator caps—always with the ubiquitous goggles. The women wore anything from long Victorian gowns to short skirts like hers, but the scene was just as Francois had described it: nineteenth-century elegance meets industrialized goth fashion.

A tall brunette in a red satin gown approached her and gave her an appraising look. Candy seemed to meet with her approval—a smile flickered across the woman's face and she nodded grandly as she swept by. As she passed, Candy inhaled the aroma of an old-fashioned perfume ... was it patchouli? She wasn't sure.

She turned to see a young man sidling toward her. He was tall and thin, but in the wiry way she liked, with long, stringy muscles and taut pale skin. He had shiny black hair that bounced when he walked, and full red lips. He wore his grey morning coat and striped stovepipe trousers with such ease he looked as though he had been born in them. A maroon cravat was tied rakishly around his throat, and he carried an elegant black silver-tipped walking stick.

"Why, hello," he said in an affected English accent. "I say, I haven't seen you around here before. What's your blood type?"

She stared at him, then burst out laughing. "Does that really work for you as a pickup line?"

He smiled down at her. "Don't you think it's better than asking what your sign is?"

"Not really."

He shrugged and glanced around the room, twirling his ebony cane between his fingers like a baton. She couldn't help admiring his long, delicate hands and perfectly manicured nails. She also noticed the handle of the cane was a grinning skeleton head.

"Well?" he said. "I'm waiting."

"Why do you want to know?"

He tapped the top of his head lightly with the cane. "Call it ghoulish curiosity. Haven't you heard? We're all mad scientists here. Come along, humor me—there's a good girl."

"I'm O Negative," she said, looking around the room for any sign of her brother. The crowd at the bar was thickening, and was now three bodies deep.

"Ah," he said, "lucky you—the universal donor."

"Hey," she said, "do you know my brother, Francois?"

His face broke out in a grin. "Francois's your brother? I should say I do know him!"

She smiled at the mannered British accent. That was an aspect of steampunk she found kind of—well, geeky. All these nerds and geeks walking around pretending to be English gentleman scientists and explorers ... it was actually kind of embarrassing.

"Is he here yet?" she asked.

"He jolly well is," the young man replied. "He's in the Boiler Room."

She frowned. "The Boiler Room?"

"Oh, we just call it that," he said. "It's a separate room off the main one, and it's a bit stuffy, so we call it the Boiler Room."

"Oh," she said, craning her neck to see through the crowd.

"I say, shall I take you there?" he asked cheerfully.

"Uh—okay."

"Walk this way," he called over his shoulder, striding away from the crowd toward a more secluded corner of the vast room.

Candy gave a last glance behind her at the swarm of people laughing and drinking and flirting at the far end of the room. The aroma of—mutton?—floated to her nostrils, and her stomach burbled with hunger. Saliva spurted into her mouth, and she had a sudden desire for whatever it was they were serving to the guests at the party.

"Come along, now!" he barked at her, tapping his cane impatiently on the floor. "Mustn't keep Brother Franky waiting!"

"Coming!" she chirped, scurrying after him as fast as her spiky heels would allow. The notion registered dully in her head that no one who knew her brother ever called him "Franky"—he always insisted upon "Francois." But the thought evaporated as swiftly as it had formed, like a soap bubble bursting in midair.

Later, no one at the party could remember having spoken with her, though one or two people vaguely remembered seeing her. One of the guests, an elegant woman in a red satin gown, remembered her and thought that perhaps she was the same girl who left the party early, looking very drunk, but she couldn't say for certain. She was leaning on the arm of a tall young man, and appeared to know him—but the witness saw them leaving only from behind, and couldn't positively identify either one of them.

Chapter Two

"You gotta be kiddin' me!"

Detective Leonard Butts leaned back in the heavily scarred captain's chair and folded his stubby arms over his round stomach. They just barely reached. His pockmarked face, as deeply grooved as the carved arms of the chair he sat in, wore an expression of aggrieved disbelief. It was a look NYPD criminal profiler Lee Campbell had seen before, and he thought it suited Butts.

"I mean, come on!" the pudgy detective continued, scowling up at his commander, Chuck Morton, head of the Bronx Major Crimes Unit. "Cause of death exsanguination? For god's sake, what is this, The Bride of Dracula?"

Chuck Morton tossed a manila folder at Butts, who caught it in one hand.

"Look at the lab report yourself," he said, turning away to pour himself a cup of coffee from the Krups automatic machine on the windowsill. A fly buzzed halfheartedly on the ledge, a leftover from a summer that had seemed too long and wasn't over yet. Chuck didn't seem even a little bit perturbed by the detective's reaction. By now, Lee figured, they both knew Butts well enough to let it slide until he calmed down—which he would eventually.

The three of them were gathered in Morton's office to discuss the bizarre murder of a young woman found in the Bronx two days earlier. The original primary on the case, Detective Fernando Rodriguez, had taken a sudden leave of absence due to a family illness, so the case had been assigned to his colleague, veteran Bronx homicide detective Leonard Butts.

Chuck's office was small and, as usual, rather stuffy. Slices of midmorning sunshine slid in through the grimy Venetian blinds, heating up the dust drifting in through the cracks in the window. The ancient air conditioner rattled and puffed energetically, cranking out only a meager semblance of cool air, which smelled of dirt and exhaust fumes.

Butts studied the report, frowning, the pockmarks on his forehead merging into a single deep crevice. "Okay," he admitted, "you got me. That's what it says here. So unless this is some kind of practical joke"—he glanced at Lee—"accordin' to this, we got someone who likes to drain victims of their blood."

"Or most of it," Chuck corrected.

"Whatever," Butts said. Heaving his thick body from the chair, he lumbered over to the desk and slapped the lab report down on it. "What we got here is some kinda high-tech vampire—right, Doc?" he asked Lee.

Lee looked at Chuck, who raised a single eyebrow. That could mean many things, as he knew from their days as roommates at Princeton, but this time he figured it meant he should humor the detective, whose scowling face resembled a grumpy English bulldog. Lee rested his lean body on the front of Chuck's desk and ran a hand through his curly black hair.

"The method of killing is bizarre enough that we have to consider the possibility this is the work of a—"

"Yeah, Doc, I know—a serial offender," Butts interrupted. "Otherwise, you wouldn't even be here—right?"

"Right," Chuck said.

Lee Campbell was the only full-time criminal profiler on the NYPD. This unique position was both an asset and a liability. He didn't carry a gun or a badge, and was essentially a civilian employee, albeit one who dealt with the most dangerous of criminals. Some of the beat cops didn't think much of him or his position on the force, while others, like Detective Butts, respected him, even if that respect was tinged with condescension.

"Where was she found?" Lee asked.

"Van Cortlandt Park," Chuck said. "Not far from Woodlawn—Gun Hill Road. Any significance to that, you think?"

Lee shook his head. "Too early to tell."

"Okay, let's have it," Butts said. "Whadda we got here?"

Lee picked up one of the crime scene photos and studied it. The girl lay on her back, face peaceful, arms at her sides. There were no obvious signs of assault—she might appear to be napping if it weren't for the grey pallor of her skin. She was young—too young—with soft brown hair and a sweet, angelic face. She looked to be about seventeen, but he caught himself hoping she was older. What a desultory thought, he mused—she was dead now, so what did it matter? She wore an odd costume—at least that's what it looked like, though Halloween was almost two months away.

He perched on the other captain's chair and spread the photos out on Chuck's desk. The victim wore a thick leather corset over a tiny silk skirt. The corset was festooned with half a dozen little metal flywheels and gears, like something from the interior of an old machine. On her head was a pair of leather goggles, and on her feet were ankle-high lace-up boots. The whole outfit gave the impression of Victorian fashion gone awry.

"What's with the getup?" Butts said, poking his head over Lee's shoulder.

"That's steampunk fashion," said Chuck.

Butts picked at something between his teeth with his thumb and forefinger. "What's that?"

Chuck opened the door and called out into the hall.

"Sergeant Ruggles, can you come in here, please?"

He barely had time to turn around before his ever-attentive sergeant appeared at the door, pressed and polished as a new penny.

Ever since Ruggles had taken over as Morton's desk sergeant, Lee noticed that things at the station house ran more smoothly. Telephone calls were returned promptly, the duty roster was met with less griping, and—most important—his old friend seemed more relaxed, better rested, and happier. Not that happiness was a liqueur Chuck Morton allowed himself very often. He was a creature of duty, and had been ever since Lee had known him. But Lee was grateful for Ruggles, and thought Morton was too, even if he would never allow himself to show it.

Ruggles stood at attention, the morning sun gleaming on his shiny pink head. He couldn't be older than thirty, yet he was bald as a piglet. His small blue eyes shone brightly in his bullet-shaped face.

"Yes, sir?" he said, his accent pure North Country—England, not New York state. "What can I do for you?"

"Tell Detective Butts and Dr. Campbell about steampunk," Chuck said.

"Very good, sir." He turned to Butts and Lee. "Well, you see, sir, it's a recent variation on cyberpunk. It started out as a literary movement of science fiction and fantasy, and has its own set of aesthetics. They're all into Victorian clothing by way of Jules Verne and H. G. Wells—that kind of thing."

Butts scratched his chin. "Why 'steam'?"

"The stories take place in an era when steam power is still widely used, sir," Ruggles replied, "but they tend to have fantastical or science fiction storylines. They have their own music, too, and there's a theme of rebellious outsiders—that's the 'punk' element, you see."

"Jeez," Butts said. "How do you know all this?"

The ruddy hue of Ruggles's face deepened. "Well, you see, sir, I, uh—"

"It's all right, Ruggles—you can tell them," Chuck coaxed.

"I played in a steampunk band myself, you see, sir—back home."

"In England?" Lee asked.

"Yes, sir."

"What was it called?" Butts said.

Ruggles bit his lip.

"Go on," said Chuck, with a little smile, obviously enjoying his sergeant's discomfort. "What was the name of the band, Ruggles?"

Ruggles cleared his throat. "The Dastardly Gentlemen." Butts stifled a cough. "Really?"

"Yes, sir," Ruggles said miserably, staring at his polished black shoes.

"Thank you, Sergeant," Chuck said, releasing him from his torment. "That's all for now."

"Very good, sir," Ruggles replied, and fled.

"So," said Lee, "this outfit means the victim is a steampunk fan?"

"Or at least she's tryin' to be," Butts remarked. "Why do you mean 'trying'?" asked Chuck.

Butts poured himself a cup of coffee from the white Krups machine. He heaped in two large spoonfuls of sugar and stirred thoughtfully. "There's somethin' about her that doesn't ring true. Can't quite put my finger on it. Like she's just pretending or something, you know?"

"That's interesting," said Lee. "So maybe she's a newcomer to the scene?"

"Yeah, somethin' like that. I dunno," Butts said, taking a large gulp of coffee. "Ow—that's hot," he said, fanning his mouth.

"I'd be inclined to trust your instincts, Detective," Morton remarked.

"I think I know what he means," Lee said, leaning in toward the photo. "Everything she's wearing looks brand new—like she bought it just for the occasion."

"Yeah—you're right," Butts agreed. "That's it! Hey, we make a good team, Doc."

Lee smiled. This was their third case together. After an initially rocky start, he had developed a fondness for the chubby detective, and had to admit they did work well together.

"How did he get the blood out of her?" Lee asked. "I don't see any sign of trauma."

"There was a small puncture wound in her right arm."

(Continues...)



Excerpted from SILENT KILLS by C.E. LAWRENCE Copyright © 2011 by C. E. Lawrence. Excerpted by permission of PINNACLE BOOKS. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 23 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 23 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 5, 2013

    Silent Kills is a kind of procedural, but a lot more, and C.E. L

    Silent Kills is a kind of procedural, but a lot more, and C.E. Lawrence is that rare item, a series writer who gets better. Her Precinct is a little grim, nuts and sometimes funny. Try a rugby-playing boss cop married to a dangerous femme fatale and a detective who’s very afraid of dogs forced into close proximity with a German Shepherd.

    Most crime books are all plot, stripped and dead. Lawrence doesn’t have this problem. She can go into the perp’s mind and find interesting thoughts, then show them slipping into sick, damaged thinking. Princetonian profiler Lee Campbell was interesting from the outset of this series, living at the edge of clinical depression, exasperating and very real. Everyone knows someone like this – really cool, good-looking, but dragging through life without hope. Campbell just happens to be smart and interesting, and unlike many of this type, he just won’t quit. Not a high energy guy, but somehow he maintains an enticing exotic girlfriend along with his work and his neuroses. Lawrence puts him in a very believable New York City world that somehow co-exists with her Gothic imagination in a natural unforced way. Silent Kills moves at a pace that is hard to match, without losing depth. It’s taut and relaxed, and it never stops moving. When she goes off the genre reservation, she gets away with it, because she goes to interesting places. A meeting of the Vidocq Society for example, where Campbell’s Armenian girlfriend meets Someone New.
    And Lawrence’s characters lock in. You never ask yourself who someone is, even if they’ve been out of the narrative for a while. Her subliminal branding-iron identifies them indelibly – steampunk kid, sloppy cop, atheist Muslim street-vendor, crazy-beauty wife, whomever. You don’t forget the well-named Detective Butts and his appetite or a horny Valkyerie like Elena Krieger, or the smell of lamb as the street-vendor’s wife get him hot.
    Lawrence is right on top of what’s going on in this century. As the narcissist-escapees of steampunk fake their way along through the anniversary of 9/11, you get the dark side of American Exceptionalism. It’s a perfect world for Davey, her well-bred good-looking steam-punk killer, who needs fresh blood to really be himself. Davey is sharp, he has style, and he’s convincing, and his evolution is artfully traced. None of your generic vampire teeth-to-the-throat – this isn’t Anne Rice warmed over. Davey is very professional, and he works hard. It takes a lot out of him finding appropriate victims, but it comes back in the cocktail that follows, or a transfusion. But he needs more and more blood, and even the most careful serial killer gets caught up in a rising tempo.
    Likewise the reader. When cops, profiler, killer, and victim's brother drive upstate and converge on a steampunk gathering in Troy, Lawrence gives you the same frantic madness that capped Silent Victim. If you’re on the subway, you probably miss your stop.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 10, 2012

    Burn Around the Clock!

    "Silent Kills" opens at a steampunk club in downtown New York City in a no-man’s-land East of Chinatown. It ends in Oakwood Cemetery in Troy, New York, where profiler Lee Campbell comes face-to-face with a serial killer who has become known as the Van Cortland Vampire because of a peculiar ritual he inflicts on each victim postmortem. In between, C.E. Lawrence takes us straight into the mind’s eye not only of the killer, but that of her remarkable main character.

    Campbell is a psychologist of considerable depth, a man with insight and intelligence, but he’s also damaged by a tragic past that drives him forward into his work. The fact that he moves into the dark heart of the case even though he’s scared or uncomfortable makes him unique and memorable. Lawrence surrounds him with a sturdy but eccentric ensemble cast, and in elegant prose, gives us a love-letter to the city of New York in its post-9/11 melancholy.

    What I liked most about the book was that there were no false shocks or manufactured action. The book felt true. It takes a writer of great confidence to turn her lamp down low and let it burn around the clock as she slowly builds to the suspenseful final scene that is definitely worth waiting for.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 1, 2013

    The third book in C.E. Lawrence's psychological thriller series

    The third book in C.E. Lawrence's psychological thriller series featuring forensic profiler Lee Campbell, Silent Kills further explores the lives of Campbell’s intriguing colleagues as a new deranged murderer drains victims of their blood. 

    The team is hunting a killer who does not harm his victims in any way – unless, of course, you count their deaths by exsanguination. As Lee builds his profile and his colleagues research the steampunk culture in which the killer seems to hunt, readers get to see the inner workings of the mystery man’s mind through chapters from his point of view. The result is an on-the-edge-of-your-seat thriller that explores the psyches of both detectives and criminals.

    This book is perfect for readers who enjoy really well-developed characters -- Lawrence's detectives and crime specialists are much more realistic than those in other books in this genre. The author does a great job of creating complex relationships between Lee Campbell and his colleagues and even between the killer and his victims. Strong female characters like Lee’s love interest forensic anthropologist Kathy Azarian and Elena Krieger, the linguistic expert, complement a host of male detectives who use professionalism to hide a grab bag of insecurities. Lee himself suffers from severe depression and general anxiety disorder stemming from his sister’s disappearance and an insatiable need to hunt the worst evils haunting New York City. Even though this is the third book in Lawrence’s Lee Campbell series, readers will have no trouble jumping into these characters’ lives.

    The thriller also offers a peek into post 9/11 New York City, steampunk culture, and Lee’s traditional Scottish upbringing. It is a very smart book full of literary references and a healthy understanding of a long tradition of detective literature. C.E. Lawrence does a fantastic job of weaving many different cultures and people together to create a very realistic picture of crime solving in one of America’s biggest cities. Readers should be prepared for quite a bit of character and setting description that occasionally pull away from the otherwise fast-paced plot.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 21, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    THe Series Is Awesome

    I can so totally identify with the main character of Ms. Lawrence's books. The development of each of her characters transfers me New York and I feel as if I am there solving the crime along with the main Character Lee. I read the first two books in two days, and waited patiently for the third in the series. You will enter the world of Steampunk, which I had NEVER heard of so it was a real education for me as well. My one critique was Lee's backstory which the author has advised there will be a big reveal in the nest book!!!

    Ms. Lawrence's writing style, sense of drama, and intellectual twists into my own psyche makes her books a worthwhile read. It will not disappoint.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 5, 2012

    Recommend

    Cant wait to read the 4th book, came out 8/12

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  • Posted July 28, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Crime Drama

    This is a very compelling crime novel. Very grusam murders take place and the murder must be found. I did enjoy this book but will probably not follow the series.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 27, 2012

    SILENT KILLS will keep the thriller lover tense and tumbling.

    SILENT KILLS will keep the thriller lover tense and tumbling.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 13, 2012

    Great read

    Good story i will read other books in series

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  • Posted March 11, 2012

    Tired same-ol..same-ol

    Same old gory gruesome story about murders, just by different author. Really getting tired of the same stories. Bored the living daylight out of me. Sorry. Couldnt even finish it. I actually threw it across the room. Geez...get out of your "what will they think" frame of mind and write whatever comes into your head and shock me, upset me, make me think long after ive read ur book. Im doing it! Why cant u? Sorry. No, Im not. But u will be if u spend ur money on this old worn out story. DM

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 9, 2012

    Psychological page turner

    This exciting thriller features a modern day vampire on a murderous mission in New York City's steampunk scene. A profiler becomes informed regarding 'steampunks" which to leads dangerous encounters & an exciting read.

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  • Posted January 19, 2012

    I Also Recommend:

    You can't put it down!

    I just finished this exciting mystery and stayed up way too late to find out who was killing people in NYC (someone with a blood fascination and Steam Punk ties...) The dark world of Steam Punk was presented with intriguing detail. I am getting hooked on this series, book 4 is coming soon? I hope?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 13, 2011

    Exciting read!

    Once again C.E. Lawrence thrills with Silent Kills. I really was glad to be back with the old gang of characters in Silent Screams and Silent Victim. Lee, Lisa, Charles, and the others are near and dear. This novel was set in the "steampunk" world...(you'll have to read it to find out what that is)...it was a very good read. Looking forward to her next book set to come out Dec. 2012.

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  • Posted December 2, 2011

    Interesting read

    Having never read any of the other in this series, I was expecting the run of the mill thriller, filled with who dun its and chases especially given that the murderer was a serial killer. I found that, but a whole lot more as well. This is very much a psychological book about grief, loss and death. I found it havinga quality of introspection, making me (the reader) look at my own feelings about death. To me this book felt very "deep" and for that I was both surprised and delighted. It is so much more than it appears.

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  • Posted October 14, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    terrific police procedural

    NYPD criminal profiler Lee Campbell has returned to work after a leave of absence, but the depression caused by his sister's disappearance led to a nervous breakdown that crippled and hospitalized him The depression remains strong just at a lesser degree of intensity. His current case is profiling the killer of Candy Nugent who was seen at a steampunk club before dying from exsanguination. While Bronx Major Crimes Unit Chief Morton comments about The Bride of Dracula, Lee fears this draining of the blood indicates that the cops are dealing with a tyro serial killer just starting a reign of terror.

    Lee's prediction proves true when three more victims are found from a predator who injects his victims with a sedative to make it easier for him to remove his target from a club crowd before draining the blood. What the police do not know is that this psychopath drinks the blood. The young dead females remind Lee of his sibling, which increases the level of his depression.

    Although insane serial killers running rampart (see Silent Victims and Silent Screams) are as frequent as mindless zombies and angst vampires, C.E. Lawrence refreshes the theme with a mentally wounded protagonist struggling with a nasty case that reminds him of the cause of his depression. The story line occurs when 9/11 remains fresh in the minds of New Yorkers, which adds tension to the tale. Rotating point of view enables the audience to understand the beast's motivation while the protagonist displays his raw sensitivities on his sleeve. Scream III is a terrific police procedural.

    Harriet Klausner

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  • Posted October 11, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Highly Recommended.

    This story takes place in New York City one year after 9/11 takes place. Not only is profiler Lee Campbell trying to catch a murderer, he is also still trying to deal with the loss of his sister, and the emotions that goes along with the healing that is still going on after 9/11. Lee must help catch a killer. A killer who is draining his victims of all their blood and posing them the most obvious places. This killer is not trying to hide his kills at all. Lee, and his fellow detectives involved in this case, must enter the Steampunk world to find their killer before he kills again.

    I do not read very many mystery/thriller books, but I do like to read them from time to time. This book sucked me in. The characters seemed almost real to me. You could almost feel the emotion in this book. There was nothing perfect about Lee Campbell and the things he is dealing with in his personal life. I love flawed characters. I was not sure how this book would end and the ending was not what I expected. I do think I am going to have to add C. E. Lawrence to my read list and keep an eye out for his next book.

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    Posted May 27, 2012

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    Posted April 14, 2013

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    Posted February 14, 2012

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    Posted February 10, 2012

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    Posted February 22, 2012

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