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REVIEW: Silent Run by Barbara Freethy

Dear Ms Freethy,

Silent RunRomantic suspense usually isn’t my bag. I hate books with sadistic serial killers who lovingly anticipate their next kill – generally the heroine who has to pull a TSTL moment to get the plot where it needs to be – or who insist on remembering their last one. And ex-cops, ex-SEALs, ex-‘name your macho job of the moment’ are a dime a dozen now. Add to that trying to balance the suspense and the romance – yeah, well I have ‘issues’ with rom-susp books. Which makes me all the more bizarre for me to read the back cover blurb of the book Jane sent me and actually decide to give “Silent Run” a try.

Sarah – if that’s what her name is – and Jake have a past. One which he remembers all to well – including returning from a business trip to find her gone along with their 7 month old daughter and the apartment stripped of all traces of their existence – and which she has no memory of. Until he storms into her hospital room demanding answers. Seven months of searching have turned him bitter and unwilling to listen to her excuses of amnesia. Sarah – well she’ll go by that name since she doesn’t know her real one – has only glimpses and flashes of her past plus an ever present feeling of fear coupled with a need to hide, to stay in the shadows. Someone is after her and has been for a long time.

Jake’s initial skepticism is topped by his investigative reporter younger brother’s. Dylan knew all along that there was something fishy about Sarah but Jake wouldn’t listen until it was too late. Now Jake has to examine his part in her cover up, why he never pressed her for her past, why he was content to live with a woman who never argued, never made waves, why he never thought this was weird. Now that Sarah is released from the lies of her past, she’s giving him plenty to think about and to his horror he’s discovering that the woman who broke his heart, stole his daughter, told him countless lies is still very much in his heart – regardless of if he wants her there or not.

When the attempts on Sarah’s life continue, both know the clock is running. The killer or killers are out there and worse, Sarah has no idea who they are or what they look like. With Dylan’s help they have to find out who Sarah really is, why she’s running and what happened to their daughter.

Sarah’s actions make sense when her past finally begins to return to her. What she does, why she does it, how she got into trouble in the first place are all part and parcel of what happened to her years ago. The network of friends who assisted her seem a little too plot convenient at times but nothing strained my credulity too much. She’s smart, savvy, used to watching her own back and making quick decisions. The final conflict didn’t involve anyone knowingly going into danger nor engaging in any stupid sacrifices.

I like that Jake takes a while to resolve the anger he feels but that he doesn’t hang onto it just for spite. I appreciate that Sarah doesn’t turn martyr about their relationship and makes him think about how it’s a two way street. The villains don’t foam at the mouth and blessedly don’t stop to explain their actions while holding Jake and Sarah at gunpoint. Thank you. Though I have to agree with Dylan that taking a baby-sitter on your honeymoon is strange.

What can I say. Good lead characters, believable suspense, realistic conflicts that are actually based on the past you’ve given each character and their history together lead to a fast, page turning read for me and a B for “Silent Run.” I’m actually even looking forward to the sequel out next month and I can’t say I’ve done that in forever.


In mmp

Another long time reader who read romance novels in her teens, then took a long break before started back again about 15 years ago. She enjoys historical romance/fiction best, likes contemporaries, action- adventure and mysteries, will read suspense if there's no TSTL characters and is currently reading very few paranormals.


  1. Janine
    Mar 18, 2008 @ 15:58:51

    Good review, Jayne! I must confess to a love of amnesia stories. And the setup of this one sounds particularly intriguing. I may just have to read it sometime.

  2. Jayne
    Mar 18, 2008 @ 16:54:50

    Thanks. Amnesia plots can be problematic for me. I hate these books where someone gets bonked on the head and totally forgets everything about their past then, just when it’s needed, they get rebonked and conviently forget everything they did/saw/knew while out of it.

    I vaguely remember an ATBF (I think) article about it at AAR that summed it up much more coherently than I just did. After quickly rereading it, this heroine didn’t suffer from head banging so much as forgetting to keep her from suffering from the memory of a traumatic event.

  3. Janine
    Mar 18, 2008 @ 21:39:09

    Yeah, I know that many amnesia plots are romanticized but let’s face it, so are a lot of things in this genre. Like vampires who don’t feed on human blood, or pirates who turn out to be earls. I don’t want to think about what a boatload of pirates would really do with a beautiful, brave woman if they got their hands on one.

    And yes, I have read (or tried to read) some amnesia books I couldn’t finish. Maybe it’s just my adoration for Mary Jo Putney’s Uncommon Vows that makes me view amnesia books with rose-colored glasses. And in that book, it’s accompanied by prayers, a bolt of lightning and a vision of angels so I pretty much took it to be a paranormal event.

    I think what I really love about amnesia in the context of romance, is not just how dramatic it is but how vulnerable it renders the hero and heroine. One doesn’t know who she or he is, and the other knows that if the loved one remembers, he or she might leave. Something about that just calls to my imagination.

  4. Jayne
    Mar 19, 2008 @ 04:57:34

    Good point re: vulnerability. I guess loss of sight would do the same thing (lots of that in romance too!).

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