Dead Silent is the second book in Helen Durrant‘s Calladine and Bayliss Police Procedural series.
A body is found in a car crash but the victim was dead hours before the accident. Female students go missing from the university but nobody’s noticed it yet. No mispers reports filed; only one student believes the girls did not vanish overnight. She tries to complain to the local police but nothing’s being done about it. DI Thomas Calladine and DS Ruth Bayliss have yet another serial killer to catch. The killer has their latest victim held as hostage and the detectives must act fast.
Another fantastic police procedural by my favorite author Helen H. Durrant. Leave it to Helen to come up with a gripping and gritty police procedural that keeps the reader hooked on to the story till the end. Excellent storytelling and a shocking twist at the end are the plus points of this story.
In Dead Wrong (book #1), we saw Tom Calladine meet his daughter Zoe. The poor chap did not know his ex-wife was preggers when they separated. The ex-wife passed away and Zoe has no family left except for Tom and his mother. Tom’s mother is in a serious condition as the story ends. Dead Silent starts with Tom and Zoe attending his mother’s funeral. The notorious gang leader and Tom’s cousin Ray Fallon makes an appearance at the funeral and puts on quite a show. A four-year-old girl goes missing from the supermarket and Ruth calls Tom for help. The funeral is over so Tom goes to the station. The girl’s parents seem to be hiding something. Finally, a statement from the girl’s mother leads them to a nursery where they interview a possible suspect.
Meanwhile, a body is found at a pile-up on the highway. The ME calls Tom to the morgue and tells him the woman was dead at least 48hours before the accident. There’s a livestock tag on her earlobe and her mouth is sewn shut. Soon, another decomposed body of a young woman is found in a hearse – mouth sewn shut and a tag on the earlobe. Ruth and Tom race against time to catch the serial killer before it is too late.
In the previous story, we saw Tom cheat on his girlfriend Monika with a news reporter, Lydia. In this story, Tom and Monika are still estranged. Ruth also seems to have problems with her new boyfriend (whom she met while working on the case of Handy Man – book #1). Once again, we have equal importance given to the characters’ personal lives and mystery behind the murders. Ray Fallon also makes an appearance and it looks like Tom will never find any peace when it comes to his notorious cousin. The ever-so-pretty Lydia makes an appearance in the second half of the story.
The mystery behind the serial killings kept me on the edge of my seat. Gore and violent are predominant so this series is not for the faint-hearted. But if you love police procedurals, do not miss this series. Helen is a master storyteller. I have been binge reading (plan is to complete 9 books in a week) and I am addicted to this series! Excellent character development. The identity of the killer is a huge shocker. I couldn’t guess their identity until Tom and Ruth finally catch him red-handed.
Dead Silent by Helen H. Durrant is a gripping and mind-blowing police procedural. Highly recommended!