The Silence of Darkness

Fiction - Drama
336 Pages
Reviewed on 01/10/2019
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Author Biography

Bradley Tall spent much of his youth visiting his grandparent's dairy farm in Southwest Wisconsin, where he fell in love with the rural lifestyle and dreamed of farming. He wrote his first novel as a journalism student in college, and while working at a small publisher after graduation, he authored a series of youth books on the American Revolution. While life took many turns, his return to Wisconsin with his wife Jo-Ann and son Taylor inspired him to write again, when they purchased a small farm in Door County. Now a farm owner, Brad learned that 21st-century farm life did not always mirror his childhood memories. He found that rural America struggled with many of the same issues of the country at large. In The Silence of Darkness, Brad combines his youthful idyllic past with present-day reality to create scenes, characters, and events that capture the reader's attention, involving them in a story uniquely personal.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Amanda Rofe for Readers' Favorite

The Silence of Darkness by Bradley James Tall is a fictional novel set in Prairie View, a small rural town near Lake Michigan. It tells the story of a farming community with a sinister secret going back twenty years when Bobby, the young son of a notable local farmer, commits suicide. His death is linked with the present day disappearance of Hector, a young Hispanic boy, but it is not immediately clear what that connection is. Billy, the deputy sheriff, involves his best friend, a veterinarian who has just moved to the area, in the investigations. Paul is a widower and brings his young daughter with him. They become intimately involved in local affairs and make new friends. Unfortunately, these friendships lead him along a very dangerous road.

The mix of crime and forbidden romance in The Silence of Darkness provides a well-rounded and thoroughly satisfying novel. The deep dark secrets held by powerful families in the area serves to give the story an edge. I was never quite sure just how far they were prepared to go and it left me anxious for the safety of the more innocent members of the community. The main protagonists are down to earth and very likable. They ably lead the reader through the twists and turns of the plot and finally uncover the perpetrators of more than one crime. This novel has just the right amount of everything and I enjoyed it very much. Bradley James Tall writes a thoroughly good yarn with a cast of solid characters. I couldn't have asked for more.

Lit Amri

In The Silence of Darkness by Bradley James Tall, 16-year-old Hector Gonzalez was last seen by his parents leaving Saturday morning for the Delmore farm where he worked doing odd jobs. His disappearance further highlights the social and economic inequalities that divide the small community of Prairie View. As one of the last people who saw Hector on Saturday night, Deputy Billy Truax feels guilty about not being able to provide any crucial clues for the case and vows to solve it. Meanwhile, Billy’s long-time friend, Dr. Paul Thornton, a widower, is settling down in the community with his daughter as he accepts the job as the local vet. He meets Carrie Delmore, the unhappy wife of JD Delmore, and falls in love with her. As Paul offers some insights into Hector’s case to help Billy, Carrie surprisingly turns out to be the person that will provide an important clue to Hector’s disappearance.

The rustic and picturesque setting of The Silence of Darkness serves as the perfect background for dark secrets, lies, and deception in a seemingly quaint community. I instantly find Billy and Paul easy to root for. It’s interesting how inevitable it is that Paul gets deeply involved with the case. The story is well plotted and compelling with clear-cut prose. The pacing is appropriate; neither too fast nor slow. A couple of scene transitions were temporarily confusing for me between Billy’s dream about Hector and his waking moments. This is, however, just a minor dent to the narrative. The story has enough intrigue and edgy moments to keep crime mystery fans engaged from start to finish. I enjoyed trying to piece all the clues together. On the other hand, some readers might be disturbed when the nature of the crime is revealed. Nevertheless, this is an impressive crime mystery from Bradley James Tall.