In Stan Schatt’s Silent Partner, a tabloid reporter into S&M and his lover of the week are found dead in a motel room, and Detective Frankie Ryan is back on duty just in time to get the case. As a woman in a male-dominated profession, things are complicated enough— especially with a legacy partner who has political aspirations and dislikes her—but they’re further confused when the murdered man’s colleague Josh Harrell turns up with details on the case he shouldn’t know. It turns out that the lunacy running rampant through the Harrell line is actually psychic ability. And now that Josh has just turned thirty, he’s having visions and coming face-to-face with his snarky guardian angel. He’s also starting to understand why all the men in his family were alcoholics.
Schatt’s various careers have included police department administrator, autopsy assistant, and, of course, indie author, and this inside knowledge is one of the book’s greatest strengths. There are no romantic views of police work here, and the self-publishing process is accurately portrayed. The subplot of a sadistic killer who self-publishes books detailing the torments he’s enacted, labeled as fiction, is chilling.
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