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The Silent Girls

(Canaan Crime #2)

3.71  ·  Rating details ·  12,612 ratings  ·  1,096 reviews
With the dead of a bitter Vermont winter closing in, evil is alive and well …

Frank Rath thought he was done with murder when he turned in his detective's badge to become a private investigator and raise a daughter alone. Then the police in his remote rural community of Canaan find an '89 Monte Carlo abandoned by the side of the road, and the beautiful teenage girl who owne
ebook, 411 pages
Published November 25th 2014 by Witness Impulse
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Average rating 3.71  · 
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 ·  12,612 ratings  ·  1,096 reviews

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Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

3.5 Stars

“Nowhere was safe. No one. Violence lurked here as it did the world over, most often exacted by known parties. Intimate, familial, and unspeakable.”

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The Silent Girls is a book that hits the ground running. The opening sequence is a deliciously gory stabbing scene committed by a very surprising culprit. The story then unfolds into a well-paced thriller revolving around a missing distant relative of one of the local cops
Apr 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-fiction
The Silent Girls by Eric Rickstad was for me one of the best crime thrillers I have read in a while he takes you into the mind of a serial killer & the incomprehensible torture of his victims.
The plot was well written & I thought a lot of research had gone into the mind of serial killers in general. this book started off with a bang & the ending was a brilliant finish to this novel.

Set in Canaan Vermont Frank Rath was a former Detective who's career was nearly over after the brutal killing of hi
Nov 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
What a gem of a book this turned out to be!

Frank Rath is a retired detective, has a back that's acting up and misses his adoptive daughter who's gone off to college.
Alone and with too much time on his hands, he gets drawn into a missing person's case as a consultant.
But there is more to this case than meets the eye, and the disappearances of other missing girls might be linked to it.

This story offers more than the reader can expect from the blurb. It raises questions of morality and good vs. ev
Aug 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

The Silent Girls opens with a shocking and creepy prologue that made me eager to learn more. It was so crazy, intense and scary that I read it out loud to my husband so he could be creeped out as well, and he is NOT a reader whatsoever and even he was captivated. It’s Halloween in 1985 and a woman opens her door to a trick or treater expecting to have an ordinary interaction and it’s anything but. I’ll just say there is bloodshed and the hair on the back of my neck was standing up, a truly
Jun 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Dark, gritty and full of depravity. I was really surprised how good this was and I can’t wait to read the next one in the series.

Stay tuned full review to follow shortly.
Jul 27, 2015 rated it it was ok
I picked up Eric Rickstad’s novel, The Silent Girls, on a whim. Creepy cover. Compelling blurb. Killer opening. But. (Trust me, you’ll get it in a moment.)

So, Frank Rath is a former cop turned private investigator who lives in Canaan, Vermont. He’s a single dad to daughter, Rachel, who is away for her first semester at college. By his own admission, Rath was a womanizing asshole, until his sister and her husband were brutally murdered in their own home. Now he’s a middle aged ex-cop with a bad b
Krystin Rachel

There better be a fucking sequel.

I started reading this before Christmas, then life got in the way blah blah blah, and the e-book expired on my tablet and I had to wait until two days ago to borrow it again. The wait was torturous. #firstworldproblems.

About a retired detective-turned P.I., Frank Rath, who gets dragged into a missing persons case as a favour to a cop friend, The Silent Girls starts off with a nightmarish bang, violently grabbing your attention. As Frank follows up on clues and le
Diane S ☔
Nov 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Danielle (The Blonde Likes Books)
The Silent Girls opens with a super creepy murder of a pregnant woman, and I was immediately hooked. Unfortunately, that opening chapter was the best part of the book for me and the rest was just okay.

Retired-detective-turned-private-investigator Frank Rath is pulled into a missing girl case by a friend of his. As he begins to help his friend, a string of murdered women are uncovered and are seemingly being killed by the same person in the same way, however Frank can’t initially figure out their
Jon Recluse
Feb 07, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
This novel starts off with one Hell of a creepy bang that had me expecting a John Connolly style thriller.

Sadly, the meat of the story loses some of the promised edginess, gearing down into a well written, but unspectacular mystery involving a missing girl in rural Vermont.

The ending proved to be surprisingly bonechilling.

Sufficient potential to get me to read more from this author.

Solid 3.5 star read.
Lori Anderson
Apr 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller, mystery
I picked this up on a whim and boy am I glad I did! It's one of those books I couldn't put down (but had to when the melatonin kicked in!) :-)

The subject matter is polarizing, a missing girl, murders, and abortion, so that's a caveat I'll throw out there.

The book kept me riveted. There were times I had no idea who to suspect, I developed a relationship with the main character (bless his bad back, I know the feeling, man), and there were constant twists.

The end, the very last sentence, read at
I've been in the mood for thrillers recently. And yet they all seem to be $12-$16 on Kindle, so I've turned to my local library's Overdrive collection, which is where I stumbled across this one.

Stories where (almost) all the investigators are male and all the victims are female can be a little hit-or-miss. So I was pleasantly surprised when this one turned out to be pretty stinking good. It starts out hella creepy, and it gets creepier from there. The story kept me guessing throughout, and the
Mar 08, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2014
This book is a very slow moving, took several chapters to even get "into" the story.

This started off as a promising dark thriller/mystery. However, into the mid-way through the book, the quality began unraveling. The characters became grossly inconsistent.

The story also goes in an all-too predictable direction and an unnecessary cliffhanger ending.
Jul 07, 2015 rated it liked it
Generally interesting tale from Rickstad where the best parts are the beginning and end. A mystery about missing girls starts off strong but devolves into a pretty run of the mill police procedural until the last thirty pages, when it picks up strongly and finishes with a jolt you don't see coming. Pro lifers and religion take a heavy beating here. There's also an odd use of one-word sentences throughout the story, like "But.", "And.", which are distracting. Overall, a worthwhile read, just not ...more
Jen from Quebec :0)
As I read this book, I updated all along whilst reading, each time I made progress, so I really was NOT going to write ANY kind of review, and simply give a rating. BUT- THAT ENDING. That ending COMPELLED me to write something.

This novel was great. For the most part, it was freaking fantastic. It was well constructed, with great characterization, tone and was full of emotion. I was really enjoying it- MUCH more than I usually enjoy mysteries...Then? THAT ENDING.

What a cheap, flimsy cliffhanger
Jul 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
Any book which name checks both Poe and Edward Gorey’s The Gashlycrumb Tinies has to be an instant winner for the Raven, and this Vermont set thriller from Rickstad neatly does both in addition to simply being a great read. I found this a slick, well- plotted and engrossing thriller from the outset, bolstered by the assured characterisation of the central protagonist, private investigator, Frank Rath, and his police associates, particularly the wonderfully feisty Sonja Test. Rath was a great cha ...more
The Silent Girls by Eric Rickstad is a 2014 Witness Impulse publication. I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher and Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

This is a slow paced thriller with several suspenseful threads and a whale of an ending that left me with my mouth hanging open.

Frank Rath's days as playboy cop came to a sudden halt seventeen years ago, when his sister and her husband were murdered, leaving their small daughter, Rachel, an orphan. The killer, a man dubbed “Pr
May 15, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Could have been great, wasn't.

How many fiction books have you read where you got completely involved the the characters? I've read so many it's impossible to count. Now, of those books, how many do you know the characters political leanings? Very few, I would venture. There is a reason for that. When you start insulting half the populations political or religious beliefs, you lose them. This could have been great if he hadn't made it so drastically against certain people. If you want to be subtl
Amanda McGill
Dec 08, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2016
Meh just didn't grab me like the other reviewers.

I found that The Silent Girls was a slow thriller and I ended up getting bored during a lot of it. The mystery was good and I was surprised by the ending, but not enough to get the novel a higher rating.

If you like thrillers, try it out. A lot of others really enjoyed it!
Ann Werner
May 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A well written whodunit with complex characters, riveting plot and terrific atmospherics. This story captured me from the first page and never let me down. There are a lot of reviews here, so I won't go into the intricacies of the plot. Suffice it to say, that the author fleshed out his characters, made them come alive and made the reader feel a connection. The descriptions of the New England cold made me shiver. The relationship between characters was well defined and there was a steady build t ...more
Nov 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Silent Girls was the first Eric Rickstad novel for me, and I must say I enjoyed it. I enjoyed the atmosphere of the story and Rickstad's prose. The story is somewhat dark, and the protagonist somewhat damaged, but what good protagonist isn't?

What I found distracting, however, was Frank Rath's seeming unwavering opinions both personal and political. Don't get me wrong, I think a conflicted protagonist is great, but Frank often seemed to be his own worst enemy.

Still, I enjoyed the story and would
May 30, 2015 rated it liked it
Feeling rather ambivalent about this book.

Firstly, the past is much more interesting than the present-the initial murder is a knockout and the death of the main character's sister is intriguing. The last section of the book seems to suggest it'll be the focus of the next novel so there may be a good story in that.

Secondly, I cannot stand it when characters look at evidence, announce to themselves that they've got the answer and then don't tell anyone till later.

Thirdly, I just didn't connect
Kim Brown
Apr 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
Here's the thing about this book...1) I have no idea why this was chosen as the title and 2) It doesn't get good...I mean REALLY GOOD until about chapter 45. Before that the action is waning and didn't really hold my interest. But I am a nerd and couldn't stop until I finished reading and I'm so glad I did!! Once the action gets going it is in your face and non-stop. You find yourself torn between wanting to scream out and stop but you just have to turn the page. And the ending...pure genius!! I ...more
Jan 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
The Silent Girls set in Vermont, just over the border from where I grew up in the Eastern townships of Quebec, so familiar territory and locale. This page turner police procedural concerns a missing girl and snow balls into a story that gets bigger and bigger. An excellent plot, good story pacing building faster to the end, authentic characters and nice unexpected twist at the end. In short everything you want in this genre.

I will be looking for more books by this writer, the best compliment fro
Really enjoyed this quite a bit - went into it with zero expectations and came out pleasantly surprised and somewhat freaked out. I think people should go in with the same sort of mind set, so I won't say too much more. There will be a full video review of this out tomorrow!
May 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
This was a really good read! That ending though was not fair at all, I really hope there is a sequel!
Apr 28, 2020 rated it liked it
When I first started this book I was completely unaware that it was the second in a series of books. But the synopsis sounded so great that is in part why I chose it as my next read. Also, I do love a great bloody crime novel. And let's be honest it did sound like it was going to be one. There is however always the chance that jumping in beyond the start would reveal certain facts that will spoil the previous book. But as I said I was already partway in when I discovered this. To best of my kno ...more
Rosina Lippi
Dec 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed-here
These days there are not many writers with a truly distinctive style of their own. Annie Proulx is one of them. I think Rickstad may be another. I'll have to read the rest of his work to get a better fix on it. The prose ranges from lyrical:

"But peril pressed in at the edges of a girl’s life, and worry planted roots in Rath’s heart and bloomed wild and reckless."

To gritty:

"Gale Duffy had the gaping eyes of a frog. Her cheeks were peppered with moles, her lips plump and bunched like a guppy’s.
Oct 29, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A terrifying psychological thriller which uses an extremely controversial topic as the basis for a tale of what happens when extreme religious and political viewpoints are used by a twisted mind to justify murder. All the characters in the book are well fleshed out in a story that grips from the opening and doesn't let up until the final page - and even that leaves the reader with a sense of dread! The main character is Frank Rath, an ex cop who does occasional work for a rural community police ...more
May 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
A strong, compelling mystery/thriller from a new-to-me author. I will definitely seek out more of his work.
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Eric Rickstad is the New York Times, USA Today, and International bestselling author of WHAT REMAINS OF HER, one of the most addictive and creepy reads of the summer of 2018. Now on sale.


"Atmospheric, moving, and deep. As much a complex, beautifully wrought meditation on love and family, as it is a relentless mystery to keep you riveted page after haunting page." —

Other books in the series

Canaan Crime (3 books)
  • Lie In Wait (Canaan Crime, #1)
  • The Names Of Dead Girls (Canaan Crime, #3)

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