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Child of Silence (Bo Bradley #1)

3.91  ·  Rating Details ·  526 Ratings  ·  78 Reviews
Padgett's gritty and absorbing debut novel featuring a San Diego child abuse investigator evokes the emotional and psychological intensity of Jonathan Kellerman's bestselling Alex Delaware books. Bo Bradley loves her job as an abuse investigator, but a troubling new case threatens not only a child's life but her own.
Paperback, 199 pages
Published February 1st 1994 by Warner Books (NY) (first published 1993)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Amanda Jane
Apr 15, 2015 Amanda Jane rated it it was ok
Shelves: crime-fiction
I noticed that the majority reviewers seemed to really like this book...sadly, I was not one of them.
I didn't particularly like the author's writing style but having said that I think she did a great job of describing the Bipolar protagonist's thoughts and reasons for doing things they way she does.
Unfortunately, it was still not enough for me to be interested in reading anymore of the "Bo Bradley" series.
Jan 26, 2011 Laurel-Rain rated it it was amazing
In a complex world of the juvenile court system in San Diego County, bureaucrats and individual social workers struggle daily to save the children in danger. For one social worker, Bo Bradley, the daily battle is enhanced because of her own condition of manic-depression (bipolar disorder). Only one person with whom she works knows of this condition—her friend and colleague, Estella Benedict. But whenever the symptoms begin to reappear, a difficult job becomes almost impossible.

When one day a fou
Jun 13, 2013 Judie rated it really liked it
Bo Bradley, a social worker with the San Diego’s Children’s Protective Services, finds more than expected as she investigates the case of a boy found tied to a mattress in an abandoned building on a Paiute Reservation. Because he doesn’t communicate or seem to understand what is said to him, he is labeled “retarded” and the system proceeds to institutionalize him. Because of her family history, Bo realizes the boy, who calls himself “Weppo” is not retarded: He is deaf. Apparently, no one has ...more
Kirsty Darbyshire
I found this a bit of a departure from Padgett's two Blue books that I've enjoyed, though this series comes with higher recommendations. It's a more traditional mystery story, though the main character is still a far cry from your average sleuth.

Bo Bradley is an investigator into child abuse with the social services but her main characteristic is that she suffers from manic depression. I think Padgett did a pretty good job of portraying someone with a mental illness without making them out to be
Feb 17, 2016 Margaret rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Child of Silence

From the Book
A wise old Paiute woman finds a four-year-old boy tied to a mattress in an abandoned shack in the hills above San Diego. Child abuse investigator Bo Bradley gets the case. Staff at St. Mary’s Hospital for Children assume the boy is mentally impaired because he cannot talk, but Bo remembers a little sister named Laurie. She knows that the boy, like Laurie, is deaf.

Complicating things is Bo’s manic depressive disorder, a troubling but occasionally valuable problem for
Dec 22, 2014 Wendy rated it liked it
An elderly Native American Woman finds an abandoned boy on the Barona Ranch Indian Reservation; he is tied up and unconscious. In the first mystery written and published by author Abigail Padgett, Bo Bradley, Juvenile Court Investigator working for Child Protective Services in San Diego, is assigned the case. What is supposed to be a slam-dunk case turns into a race for the little boy’s life as well as her own as Bo tries to unravel the mystery of who the boy is and where he came from with two ...more
Douglas Cook
Nov 10, 2012 Douglas Cook rated it liked it
Shelves: mysteries
Bo is a social worker who is bipolar and gets very involved with one of her cases - an abandoned deaf child.

First sentences "1 - 3: 00 a.m. Fog Wisps of fog drifting through the open balcony doors of Bo Bradley's San Diego beach apartment wafted aimlessly and then evaporated. But not before settling damply on her unruly mane of silvery auburn hair. And not before capturing the attention of an almond-shaped structure called the amygdala, nestled deep within Bo's brain. More highly evolved in dogs
Catherine Nobles
Oct 25, 2013 Catherine Nobles rated it it was amazing
“Child of Silence” stunned me. At first it seemed as if it would be another interesting mystery, so I was unprepared for the depth in Padgett’s characterization of the protagonist, Bo Bradley, and her profession. Having worked in Social Services myself for a short while, I understand how difficult it is. One must develop the skill of anesthetizing the spirit, preferably at will, in order to cope with the horrific things seen, heard, and experienced. It is almost as if one must put feelings into ...more
Feb 29, 2012 Helen rated it it was amazing
Child of Silence is the first in Abigail Padgett’s Bo Bradley Mystery series. I believe there are eight other books out in the series. Child of Silence is very interesting with a lot of action. What most fascinated me was the main character, Bo Bradley. Bo, a child advocate deals with memories of her sister, as well as her own manic depression. Being in her mind brought her to life and kept me turning pages.

She’s called out to advocate for a young boy who’s found on the Barona Reservation tied
Bonnie Brody
Mar 07, 2012 Bonnie Brody rated it really liked it
This book is an intelligent page-turner. The protagonist
is a child protection worker named Bo who has manic depres-
sive illness. The mystery deals with an abandoned deaf
child and Bo's attempts to rescue him and find some murder-
ers while in a manic phase and waiting for her lithium to
kick in. For thosee of you not familiar with manic depres-
sion, the manic phase is when you are all over the place -
needing no sleep, spending money you don't have, buying
things that you don't need, having grandiose
Linda Branich
This is a Bo Bradley book. Bo is a closet manic-depressive who gets an unusual case. A elderly Paiute woman found a 4 year old boy tied to a mattress in an abandoned house. Bo figures out that he is deaf, like her deceased sister, and begins to champion for him.

While the boy is in the hospital, some thugs try to kill him, and do succeed in killing a hospital orderly. Bo goes into manic mode while trying to figure out who this child is and gets involved in the treachery of ruthless politics and
Mar 27, 2013 Kami rated it liked it
Really 2 1/2 stars. On the plus side, Bo is a very interesting character - a bipolar artist who works as a child protective worker to make money. While art is her passion, social work also feeds/relieves the guilt she feels at the death of her sister. Sounds promising, right? I thought so & I really wanted to love this book. But the plot is really thin and predictable and relies on my least favorite stock mystery character: the feelingless psychopath. Everyone else in this book other than Bo ...more
Apr 21, 2010 Eunira rated it really liked it
The main character of this book is a woman named Bo Bradley who also happens to be a manic-depressive. Sounds strange - but it is fascinating. Seeing things through her eyes is educational, I learned a great deal about the prejudices and troubles that a person with this condition has to overcome - and the gifts that can come with it. We see it all through her eyes - the book is a quick read. The ending was a little complex and very unlikely, but I would like to read her other books.
Jul 01, 2012 Emily rated it it was ok
I read this because it is taught by another instructor in English 301; I wanted to get a feel for the reading level of the students in the course. It is a mystery told by a woman of Irish descent with manic depression who recovers a lost boy with the help of Native Americans near San Diego. A predictable story but fascinating main character. I wonder, though, how much the class would connect with such a story or protagonist.
Shaquita Wilson
Dec 11, 2015 Shaquita Wilson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good read

This was overall a good book. I found myself going backwards a few times just because some parts got to be a little confusing. The author did a great job at capturing the mindset of a manic depressive individual and being able to write about it with the character Bo Bradley.
Lisa Vegan
May 13, 2007 Lisa Vegan rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: those interested in psychology (particularly bipolar disorder), children, Native Americans
One of my very favorite mystery writers and this series (she has 2) is my favorite of hers. Terrific well written first book in a relatively short series, and Padgett’s first book. The likeable sleuth protagonist has bipolar disorder and is a child abuse investigator. Takes place in southern California and includes interesting Native American characters. Unique and exceptional mystery series.
Don't let my rating discourage you from reading this book. The story isn't bad. I just don't care for the way this author writes. You may like this book.
Oct 31, 2016 Chava rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebooks, wobble
review to follow
Jul 13, 2012 Pam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Kept my interest. First in a mystery series introducing Bo Bradley, a closet manic-depressive child-abuse investigator with San Diego's juvenile court system. She would rather be painting huge canvasses based on ancient Native American rock drawings or reading her books on Indian lore, but her job does pay for these indulgences. She is assigned the case of a four-year old boy found tied to a bed in an abandoned cabin. Bo discovers he is deaf, not retarded as first diagnosed. Two men try to shoot ...more
Mar 23, 2013 Tracy rated it liked it
This is Padgett's first book, and I'd definitely recommend it--although it's not the kind of mystery novel I typically read (traditional mysteries). Bo makes for a different protagonist because she has bipolar disorder. So choices that would have readers rolling their eyes if they were made by other protagonists go over better in this book because we know that Bo isn't thinking clearly.

Unfortunately, after writing a few books in this series and a couple others in another series, Padgett stopped
Jun 09, 2010 Denise rated it liked it
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting main character, try it. 3.5 stars!, May 23, 2009

This review is from: Child of Silence (Paperback)
A manic-depressive child abuse investigator with San Diego's juvenile court system rescues a deaf child from a diabolical plot to kill him. Bo Bradley teams up with some unlikely allies to save Weppo from death by killers who are intent on finding him. The child is discovered tied to a mattress on an Indian reservation by an elder, Annie Garcia, who helps Bo solve the
SweetCheeses And Coffee Dreams
Oct 15, 2012 SweetCheeses And Coffee Dreams rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 5-star
I really loved this book. I love that the protagonist is successfully battling BiPolar Disorder, and how her intellegence shines over her chaotic thoughts, and how it portrays her innermost thoughts so well. Because she is able to think outside the box, she finds answers in a mystery like no other person could. I also loved the subject matter, a deaf boy, whom everyone assumes is mentally handicapped has been found tied to a mattress in an abandoned building by an old Native Anerican woman. And ...more
Glenda Lynne
Sep 19, 2015 Glenda Lynne rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 15, 2014 Hyacinth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mental-illness
This emotionally stirring story of a child advocate who suffers from Manic deression sickness but has to keep it a secret so that she can keep her job was so moving. It was as if I was right there with her and Weppo/Wilhelm her deaf charge that she fought with her own life to keep him alive. I liked the story of the Pauite Indians as well. This book will be kept in my library to be read again. I liked how it dealt with mental illness as just what it is, an illness. I didn't like the ending ...more
Feb 11, 2014 Verona rated it liked it
Chill of Silence dealt with a very interesting topic, deafness, especially in children. I enjoyed what I learned about this subject through the interesting characters that the author created. The vocabulary in this novel was of high caliber, so I feel like I benefitted from that aspect of the book. The story line moved along at a fast pace with enough twists and turns to make it a page turner. The ending was very satisfying as well. The one drawback to reading this author again was the ...more
Jul 05, 2012 Patricia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, kindle
Most of this book is set in my hometown (San Diego) and it's fun to read about places I know well. The heroine lives in Ocean Beach on the street where my daughter once lived! In addition to the locale the book has interesting characters and explores manic depressive disorder.

I'm fairly sure that I read other books by this author some years ago. It's a vague memory and doesn't spoil the ending.

No sex or foul language
limited violence
Jun 11, 2014 Denise rated it really liked it
I got this book either free or for $1 on my Kindle and did not have great expectations. I was very surprised that it was well written, had an interesting heroine and storyline and it was well-edited. The heroine is a manic-depressive social worker who is desperately trying to keep a deaf child out of harms way until her lithium kicks in. The situations are plausible and the author moves the story along quickly. I would definitely read the other books in the series.
Susan F
Jul 17, 2013 Susan F rated it really liked it
I really liked this book. The main character is a social worker - investigator who happens to be living life with manic-depression. Her character is incredibly strong as she feels that a child's life is in danger and fights to rise above herself to save him. So many things comes together in the plot. It is definately a thriller.
Aug 06, 2013 Heather rated it really liked it
I loved that Bo was such a committed CPS worker. I loved that she risked her life and job and ran to save Weppo. I loved that Bo was able to come full circle with her own sister. I love the spiritual experiences. I loved that all the bad guys got theirs even though there were several casualties along the way. I was hoping to find out if Bo and the Dr got together but not in this book.
Dorothy Soest
Jan 27, 2016 Dorothy Soest rated it it was amazing
Rarely have I been so into a book that I can't put it down until it's finished but that was the case with Child of Silence. I read it in one day and reading it was a priority over everything else. A masterpiece! Engaging page turner with characters that are compelling, real, and lovable. A must read!! I can't wait to read the next in Padgett's Bo Bradley series!
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“It occurred to Bo that Texas songs were always about the sky because there simply wasn't anything else. No hill, no mound, not even a ripple of earth to break the dizzying sweep of the eye toward infinity. “Flat,” she decided, was a term insufficient to the terrain. It was more than that. It was actually a negative pull, an inverted gasp of ground beneath a firmament so boundless it might threaten the sanity of even those who weren't already pushing the edge.” 0 likes
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