Series: Karen Rose's Interconnecting Books, Daniel Vartanian Trilogy
Author: Karen Rose
Read copy: Mass Market Paperback
Published: July 1, 2009
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
HUSH, LITTLE BABY
Six teenage girls have been viciously attacked. One survives. Only she can reveal the secrets of a kidnapping ring that sells teenagers on the black market. But the murderers will do anything to silence her.
DON'T SAY A WORD
Susannah Vartanian and Luke Papadopoulos have their own personal reasons to stop the killers. Their investigation leads them to the shady realm of Internet chat rooms and a chain of deception so intricate they don't know whom to trust. Finding comfort in each other's arms, they begin to make breakthroughs, but their enemies are ruthless and relentless. When Susannah proves to be inexplicably linked to the case, her life is soon in danger—and Luke must risk his to save the woman he loves.
The day of reckoning is drawing near...
This book starts in the last few chapters of the previous one (Scream For Me), this time from Susannah and Luke’s point of view.
Susannah is Daniel’s (the hero in Scream For Me) and Simon’s (villain in Die For Me) sister with a dark and painful past of her own, creating multiple issues in the present. She finally grew a pair and decided to “get her life back” by taking a stand and accusing her rapists from thirteen years ago (though only one is still living), and also confessing to another rape, six years ago on the anniversary of the first one. Since her brother is in the hospital (read the end of Scream For Me), it falls on his partner and friend Special Agent Luke Papadopoulos, who’s taken over the case, to keep an eye on her, help her cope in any way, though she doesn’t particularly want his help.
Well, keeping an eye on Susannah proves to be the least of Luke’s problems, since the investigation into the gang-rapes all those years ago opened a whole other can of worms in the form of a human-trafficking/child-porn/prostitution ring with the HQ right in small-town Dutton, Georgia where it all began.
And soon Luke has to step up from just keeping an eye on Susannah to full-time bodyguard, since someone appears to hold a huge grudge against her. There’re also possible leaks both in APD and GBI, bodies piling up here and there etc. Peaceful small town my heinie.
This book concluded the Vartanian sub-trilogy in Rose’s series with more-or-less-connecting characters. And though it was dark, heinous, and gruesome, it somehow left me a little cold and detached. I know detachedness is a blessing with topics like this, but still it was a bit strange finding myself observing this from such a distance. For me, the two previous books packed more of a punch and pulled me in more (and immediately) than this one. I should’ve been more impacted by what happened, the details, the depravity, the darkness, yet I wasn’t.
That’s not to say this wasn’t a good novel. It was vintage Rose, great pacing, wonderful characterization, tasteful romance, multiple twists and turns, dark secrets, half-truths, big and small lies, the gutter that was small-town Dutton (a true Peyton Place), sick villains, chilling details, great suspense…But it was all portrayed…Well, though a thin veil, that prevented the story from “truly touching me”.