Thursday, February 26, 2015

Bookish Thoughts: Under a Silent Moon by Elizabeth Haynes

In years to come, Flora would remember this as the day of Before and After. ~ Opening of Under a Silent Moon




Under a Silent Moon (DCI Louisa Smith #1) by Elizabeth Haynes
Sphere, 2013
Crime Fiction; 368 pgs

An excerpt from the Publisher:
Two women share one fate. 
A suspected murder at an English Farm. A reported suicide at a local quarry.
Can DCI Louisa Smith and her team gather the evidence and discover a link between them, a link which sealed their fate one cold night, Under a Silent Moon?

A couple of years ago, I read and loved Into the Darkest Corner by Elizabeth Haynes. It was an intense reading experience that left me checking the locks on my doors and windows more than I had before. Under a Silent Moon is a very different crime fiction novel. While the other had been more of a thriller, Under a Silent Moon is most definitely a police procedural.

Haynes was meticulous in her research and in detailing the investigation of the two deaths as it unfolded over six days time. As a result, I felt as if I was right in the middle of the investigation with the police, rushing to find the truth, waiting for resources and technology outside their control to become available and chasing each lead as it came in, hoping one or two would lead them in the right direction. The novel is told from multiple perspectives, giving the reader a good overview of the various parts of the investigation.

I always find it interesting to be in the middle of a police investigation, seeing how the pieces falling into place as well as the dynamics of those involved in the investigation. At the head of this investigation is DCI Louisa (Lou) Smith. It is her first time at the helm, and she wants to make a good impression. It isn't always easy for her. Her lead detective seems distracted and their history together only complicates matters.

As focused on the two deaths and their possible connection as the novel was, I admit to being concerned character development would suffer as a result. I should not have worried. The reader gets a good feel for many of the players in the book as the investigation unfolds, including the victims. And given this is just the first book in a series, I am sure the reader will get to know more about the various continuing characters in future books. I definitely want to know more about Lou and Jason Mercer, the analyst.

Many possible motives are raised throughout the book, some more likely than others. For the last third of the book, I was racing through to the end to see what the conclusion would be. While I was not surprised by the final outcome, I wanted--and needed--to know how everything would play out. In some ways this book is very similar to other police procedurals out there, but I really like Elizabeth Haynes' writing style and her characters, and I am looking forward to reading Behind Closed Doors, the next book in the series.


Rating:  * (Very Good)

To learn more about Elizabeth Haynes and her books, please visit the author's website.

Source: I bought an e-copy version of this book for my own reading pleasure.


© 2015, Wendy Runyon of Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved. If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.

28 comments:

  1. "Into the Darkest Corner" was a great read! Thus, I'm excited that she has a new series out and needless to say, I've the two book of this series in my pile. I'm glad you enjoyed reading this, Wendy. And that definitely makes me looking forward to reading it. :)

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    1. Melody - Into the Darkest Corner was very good, I agree! I hope to get to Behind Closed Doors soon. I hope you get a chance to read both books in the series soon!

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  2. Yep, I totally agree with all you said. It was different from INTO THE DARKEST CORNER, but my word, I don't think my heart could take too many like that one. I am so looking forward to BEHIND CLOSED DOORS. Soon, soon!

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    1. Kay - I love it when an author has such range. I know the two books are both crime fiction type novels, but they are still so different.

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  3. I really enjoyed this too! I'm looking forward to reading more from Haynes. She was new to me but I've since heard fantastic things about her other books. Great review! I'm really excited to see where this series goes.

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    1. Katherine - She has a couple I really need to read that I haven't yet besides her upcoming Behind Closed Doors. I'm already counting her among my favorite authors.

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  4. I love the forensic aspect of investigating a murder. You know, seeing how all the physical evidence plays out and how it all fits together.

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    1. Ti - I do too. I find it all so fascinating!

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  5. I'm glad you enjoyed this one, she is one of my favourite authors, I loved Into the Darkest Corner and hope to read Behind Closed Doors very soon.

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    1. Lindsay - Have you read Human Remains? I have that one on my shelf to read and am looking forward to getting to it. Behind Closed Doors will be first though.

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  6. I love police procedural novels! This one sounds solid and amazing. I am definitely adding it to the TBR.

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    1. Athira - I do too! I l enjoy reading about the ins and outs of an investigation. I hope you like this one of you give it a try!

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  7. I used to read a lot of books like that but haven't been reading too many lately and I'm not sure why because I sure do enjoy them. This sounds like a winner!

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    1. Kathy - I don't read as many as I used to either. I think it's just because there are so many other books I want to read too. I highly recommend this one, if you get the chance!

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  8. I too really enjoyed Into the Darkest Corner and I've looked at this book by her but didn't pick it up because it wasn't a thriller as the first one. Maybe I should give it a go although I'm not really fond of police procedural novels. It looks like you really enjoyed it so maybe ill see if the library has the audio. Like you I really enjoy her writing style.

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    1. Darlene - Under a Silent Moon isn't as intense as Into the Darkest Corner, but it brings its own thrills, especially towards the end. If you do give it a try, I hope you like it!

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  9. This sounds very interesting. I've never read a "police procedural" novel before (well, not any that are even remotely realistic).

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    1. A.M.B. - I think with the police procedural there will always be a bit of dramatization (and sensationalism) to help keep the reader interested. I value authenticity too though.

      Slightly off the subject, but you just got me thinking about Linda Fairstein's Alexandra Cooper, Assistant D.A. series, which I really like--but is completely unrealistic. I get so caught up in the story and characters that it doesn't bother me all that much, but if life was truly like that for a prosecutor . . . that would be one very hazardous job!

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  10. How did I miss this author? I'm a fan of police procedurals as you know, but I have not read anything by Elizabeth Haynes. That's a good thing because I love finding a new author!

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    1. Jenclair - I hope you do give her a try, Jenclair! I've enjoyed the two books I have read by her so far.

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  11. This sounds very good. I must go check it out on Netgalley's shelf.

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    1. Mystica - I hope you get a chance to read her books at some point!

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  12. This sounds intense. When written well the police investigations can really draw you in. Glad you enjoyed it.

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    1. Naida - I agree! A well written police procedural can be quite fascinating.

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  13. Darn, I had this one borrowed from the library but had to return without getting to it. Sounds like a great read and one I would really enjoy!

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    1. Iliana - It's hard to fit in every book we want to read, isn't it? You can check it out again when you have more time for it. :-)

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