I gave Silent Sentry 5* out 0f 5 *
Dr. Joe Scarfili runs. He’s a runner. It’s how he copes with emotional pain. When his wife was murdered, he ran from violent Detroit to insular Grosse Pointe. He ran from his smothering, caring family to long hours in the operating room. But when he falls for Gianna, another run could cost him everything. Nurse and entrepreneur Gianna Donnatelli is on the verge of making her dreams come true. Her company is poised to go public with a product guaranteed to revolutionize medical care and at the same time help revitalize Detroit, only she’s attacked, stalked, and flattened by an explosion. Then the danger escalates. With Gianna’s life at stake, Joe can’t run. Despite the fact that he has no police or tech experience… Despite the fact that Gianna’s penchant for aiding Detroit’s underprivileged is the same kind of altruism that got his wife killed… Despite the fact that Gianna pushes all his insecurity buttons… This time, Joe will do whatever it takes to keep her safe. And Gianna protects those she loves just as fiercely. Together they’ll fight to save each other and their love… Or die trying.
To say I enjoyed Silent Sentry is an understatement. Normally a slow reader anyway, I savoured each and every aspect of this novel. Theresa Rizzo’s writing style is outstanding; her ability to put together a series of complex plot-lines, populate the story with fascinating characters, place them against such brilliantly described diverse settings as run down, inner city Detroit and the rich trappings of Grosse Point, is exceptional.
The impeccable research is obvious on each and every page: from medical knowledge to comprehensive expertise in the IT field, the intrigues of the Italian and Russian Mafia, to the machinations of business and families; each layer builds the world her characters live and work in.
And what characters! They leap off the page. Joe and Gianna are rounded characters, each with flaws and strengths, honesty and deceits. Portrayed with depths that is revealed in both their spoken and internal dialogue, the reader is shown how they think and why they act as they do. Yet, every now and again I was taken by surprise by the direction that they suddenly move in. And the supporting secondary characters are equally well portrayed, given characteristics, personalities and habits that bring them to life. There is humour in the description of some (take Aunt Rosie for example), a sinister element in others. But don’t be taken in; sometimes what is written about one or the other of these secondary characters turns out to be a ploy; what we read is not what we initially understood. And that’s just one aspect of what makes this such a good read.
And just look at that cover! Say no more.
There were only two things that occasionally brought me out of a suspension of disbelief. I’m used to there being double spaces between time-shifts and flashbacks. In the edition I read this novel, there were none. But that might have been down to the formatting, so I’ll leave that there. The other problem for me, and this is a personal one probably. I do enjoy reading novels that are told by an omniscient narrator such as this is. I really enjoy those where chapters are devoted just to one character’s point of view. Those are my favourite. But I also read and enjoy a roving omniscient narrator, if it’s consistent throughout the story. In Silent Sentry however, the bulk of particular chapters is following one ( or even two) perspective when , all at once, another character’s short viewpoint pops in. As I say, this is a purely personal preference- but it did distract me.
For me Silent Sentry crosses different genres: crime, thriller, mystery, romance. And it works perfectly. This is one book I would thoroughly recommend.
I reviewed this book as part of Rosie Amber’s Review Team: #RBRT