LJ's Reviews > The Silent Hour

The Silent Hour by Michael Koryta
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Mar 20, 10

bookshelves: contemporary_post_1945, male_author, mystery, ohio, private_investigator
Read in March, 2009

First Sentence: He’d sharpened his knife just an hour before the killing.

PI Lincoln Perry is on his own after his partner, Joe Pritchard, decided to spend the winter in Florida. Lincoln is receiving letters from a paroled killer wanting to hire him to find the missing daughter of mobsters. The woman and her husband disappeared a decade ago from a unique and valuable rural home where they ran an unlicensed half-way house for violent offenders. When the skeleton of the husband turns up, having a less-than-desirable client, and a case connected to the Mob, Perry questions his abilities and commitment to being a PI.

It is so frustrating to have an author whose previous books I’ve loved, write one I find disappointing. Perhaps because I liked the previous books so well, I didn’t notice them, but I did here: portents.

I intensely dislike the use of portents, particularly where they broadcast the plot and thus, detract from the suspense or surprise of the story. They were unnecessary.

The plot, itself, was interesting, but it bogged down in the middle. Lincoln’s introspection nearly overwhelmed the pace and appeal of the story, even though some of it was well done…”It stacked up on you, after a while. The violence.”

I understand wanting to focus on a single protagonist in a series where the protagonists have been a team. In this case, having Lincoln with Joe reminded me of soda without carbonation; flat. I like Lincoln as a character. I appreciated learning more about is background, particularly his mother. At the same time, without Joe, an older, ex-cop who brought Lincoln into his PI agency, Lincoln’s inexperience showed in a frustrating way. The scenes where Joe is present, is when the book came back to life.

The biggest challenge was that beyond Joe, Lincoln and his girlfriend, Amy, none of the rest of the characters was appealing or interesting. There was nothing in them to make me care whether the case was solved.

If you've not read Koryta, I do recommend the first four books in the series and his standalone "Envy the Night." Shall I continue reading Koryta? Probably, but I'll hope the next book is much better.

THE SILENT HOUR (PI-Lincoln Perry-Cleveland, OH-Cont) – Okay
Koryta, Michael – 5th in series
Minotaur Books, ©2009, US Hardcover – ISBN: 9780312361570

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