The value of family and friendships is revealed when the Bradleys befriend a wild boy in the woods only to have their own son entrapped in a murderer's kidnap plot.
Author Myrna Ericksen is not afraid to thread a tale that shows a refreshing side of human emotion. Enlightening as it is Suspenseful!
Reader Response to Silent No More
My wife and I have both completed your novelette. I found it an enjoyable read. My wife found the mystery story so interesting she continued reading the book front to back in one sitting; even though it meant taping one of her soaps rather than watching it at the time it showed. A high compliment indeed!George C. Zidbeck
From the murder that took place on page 2, this suspenseful mystery kept me riveted to the printed page until the conclusion. The photographic illustrations and picturesque descriptions of the New England area made me feel like I was really there and part of the small town atmosphere. The author succeeded in making the characters come alive and seem like old friends. I highly recommend Silent No MoreNancy Lanfranco.
I sat on the edge of my chair and did not put the book down until I was finishedDick Holt.
An exciting diversion from the field of engineering in the Silicon Valley! It was a truly compelling mystery with a great ending.Heather Edgecumbe.
Your mind and heart will be opened.Edna Rosa.
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x (d)|
|Age Range:||12 - 17 Years|
Read an Excerpt
David stood at the doorway of the shed behind his house, watching his
mother loosen the top of a wooden box with the claw of a hammer. "A good box
to store the Christmas ornaments," she said, placing the hammer on the floor
beside her. "We'll have to empty it out first. Nothing but a bunch of old
His mother's sudden cry brought David to his knees beside her.
Money. Crisp new $100 dollar bills. Hidden under the heavy wooden hat molds.
"Mom, this box is over half full. There must be a million dollars here." David lowered his voice. "Do you think it's real?"
"It's real all right," his mother held up a stack of bills to the filtered sunlight coming from the dusty corner window. Where did Clyde get it? Where had the money come from?
David reached in the box and flicked through a stack. "There must be $10,000 bucks in each stack at least." He heard his step-father's unmistakable smokers cough outside.
"It's Clyde," his mother gripped thirteen-year-old David's arm.
"What are you two doing in there?"
David felt an upwelling of fear in his stomach. The money dropped from his hand. He curbed an impulse to run.
His mother scooped the money off the floor and threw it into the box. "He'd better not try anything."
Clyde's shadow loomed across the floor. "So you found the money, Marge."
"It was you! The Trusts robbery. You shot that guard." David's mother stumbled to her feet. "I'm going to the police and I'm going to tell them everything."
Clyde reached for something on the floor. His mother fought off her attacker. "Run David," she screamed. David saw the hammer fly through the air. The next instant his mother lay in a pool of blood and Clyde, his step-father, stood over her; blood dripping from the claw of the hammer.
David knew she was dead. It had happened so fast, before he could move. He opened his mouth to scream for help, but no sound escaped his lips.
"I'll kill you next, you interfering brat." Clyde lunged towards him.
David dodged his long reaching arms. Terrorized, he ran outside into the woods opposite the cemetery. He had the advantage now. He could lose Clyde in the brush. The cursing and crashing of branches behind him grew fainter. He ran until he knew his mother's killer wasn't chasing him any more and he fell to the ground from exhaustion.. His breath came in long gasps. His arms, throbbing with pain under his shredded long-sleeved flannel shirt, were covered with swollen welts where he had pushed through the brush.
How could his mother have trusted that man enough to marry him? Only a few short months ago, it was just he and his mother, when she worked as a hostess in a diner. Clyde didn't even exist for them. She told him only once about a man in a fancy hat who had a good job and could buy them a home. She would never have to work again. They were married right after that and came to Vermont. He couldn't stop the tears and the choking feeling in his throat.
He didn't know how long he had been lying face down on the cold ground but he had to get back to see what Clyde had done with his mother's body. It was dark when he crept back to the house. He heard a faint sound coming from the back of the cemetery next to his house, and worked his way down the rows, stone by stone, hiding behind a tall obelisk. The shovel made a scraping sound over and over. A sound he would never forget. He knew what it meant. His mother was in that hole.
His step-father, his breath coming in short gasps, walked back and forth across the corner of the cemetery spreading leaves and twigs over the freshly dug earth. Finally his step-father left and David threw himself on his mother's grave.
There was no sign, no symbol, not even an initial to mark her existence on earth. Tears filled David's eyes again, but he didn't utter a sound. The murderer. He wasn't going to get away with it. David vowed that one day he would make Clyde pay for this terrible crime. One day he would be big enough, if he could stay alive 'till then. He knew one thing for sure: his stepfather would come back someday to kill him, but David would be waiting for him.
On the third day of hiding David slipped back to the house. His step-father was gone. The house was empty except for a few cans of food and half full boxes of cereal. He thought about going to the authorities; they probably wouldn't believe him and they would put him in some home. He wasn't going to be put in a foster home. Nobody was going to take him away from his mother's grave. He'd just stay there, in the house his mother had dearly paid for with her life.
He could hardly bring himself to peek into the shed which showed no trace of the terrible events of that night. He found a partially burned picture of his mother in a pile of ashes behind the shed and gently placed it in his shirt pocket next to his heart.
In the months to come David spent his days in the woods where he practiced the boy scout training he'd had at the YMCA, and he spent his nights in the house where he felt his mother's closeness. Four months later new owners came to live in the house by the cemetery and David was forced to go back to an abandoned boy scout camp he had discovered earlier in the woods.
When summer came he stayed in sugar cabins scattered throughout the mountains or in empty mountain cabins that people used occasionally for hunting. He kept a watchful vigil on the house by the cemetery where his mother had taken him at age thirteen and whenever he saw it was vacant he returned there to stay.
September 2, 1995:
A tall blond eighteen-year-old, muscles flexed, lifted and wedged a large river rock up the hill to the back of the century old Vermont cemetery where his mother was buried. On this moonless night he would have it in place, the first rock of many.
For five years he had carried an intense desire inside of him to place a marker on her grave and he was finally strong enough to do it. The river. It had kept him alive since he was thirteen years old and he would build her monument from it. The symbolism of life going on and on in water, pressed on his mind. He would stack the rocks in the river all the way to her grave. Tonight he had succeeded. The first one was the hardest. She deserved a better headstone than this, next to the worn, initialed slate headstones in the last few rows, but it was all he could do for now. One day he would replace it with a marble one.
A deep pang went through him. Why had his mother married that man and come to live here? He still remembered the city lights of New York city and the long drive to Vermont the day after the wedding.
He was only a little boy when his mother told him, "David. It's a good bible name. David was strong and brave." He hadn't heard his name since that horrible night his mother called out in terror, and he hadn't uttered a word since then.
The woodland animals had been his food. He wore a scabbard with a long knife strapped on one side of his waist which he could throw dead-eye at sixty feet. On his other side he wore a small frying pan strapped to his leg which he kept so polished with sand from the river that it reflected the sun during the day and the moon at night..
It was safe for him to come down from the mountain top and visit his mother's grave without being seen, now that the trees were thick with leaves again.. He headed down to the river, waded into the cold water, and picked up a large flat rock. He could only work at night.
Tonight he would check out a favorite vacation house next to the brook. It was vacant and it would be safe to stay there until it was rented or the owners returned. Here he could watch TV in the secluded downstairs apartment. He had to be careful since it was close to a populated area.
From the Author
What began as a business trip with my husband in the Green Hills of Vermont, became a year long love affair with the West River Valley.
Leaving with a fresh outlook, I was compelled to put down on paper my many dispositions drawn from long walks in the deep woods, and the unique characters I encountered while living there.
Although this is a work of fiction, its spirit was born in the kaleidoscopic woods and seasons of the Vermont hills. As a Californian I couldn't help but feel the isolation that spawned much of the inspiration for this book.
The existence of a wild boy and the tale woven around the setting is purely fictional.
My decision to make this a b/w picture book was to delight the reader as much as I was delighted at what I found in West Townsend.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This is the best book I have ever read!!!! I could not put it down until I finished it. My heart was racing faster after every page!!! If you read this book you'll be on the edge of your seat throughout the whole book. You won't be able to put it down guaranteed!!! Read it to your kids, friends, family, anyone!!! To avoid the murder start on page 3. Take it from a pre-teen age 12, You'll love it!!!!!!!!!
Here is a compelling family drama that you can read aloud to the kids! With a strong sense of place (Vermont) and an engaging plot (murder/revenge), this is a G-rated murder mystery that the whole family can enjoy. When a young boy is traumatized by watching his mother's murder, it starts him on a fascinating journey that includes becoming mute, learning to survive alone in the wilderness, and an eventual reconcilliation with society five years later. A visiting family from California helps put all the pieces together in this charming, brief book that clearly has ties to the author's own life.