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Say Nothing

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  3,800 ratings  ·  710 reviews
"The work of an author who continues to raise his sights and refine his immense talent."--Richmond Times-Dispatch

"Terrific book. Truly terrific. Tension throughout and tears at the end." --Sue Grafton

Judge Scott Sampson doesn't brag about having a perfect life, but the evidence is clear: A prestigious job. A loving marriage. A pair of healthy children. Then a phone call be
Kindle Edition, 448 pages
Published March 7th 2017 by Dutton (first published March 2nd 2017)
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Average rating 3.94  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,800 ratings  ·  710 reviews

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This is a fast paced and tense hybrid domestic and legal thriller set in Virginia that kept me totally glued to the book until the end. It all begins with Judge Scott Sampson receiving a text from his wife telling him she will pick up their six year old twins, Sam and Emma, from school. Whilst resentful of missing the opportunity to spend time swimming with them, he thinks nothing more of it until his wife, Alison, comes home without them and says she sent no such text. At this point, Scott and ...more
Mar 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Gripping is the word best suited to describe this wonderful phsychological thriller from Brad Parks.

Alison thinks her husband (Judge Scott Sampson) has picked the kids up from school as he usually does on a Wednesday, but Scott received a text from Alison saying that she'd pick them up - the only problem being, it wasn't Alison who sent the text! When Alison arrives home without the kids, Scott is about to ring the school when he receives a call saying the kids have been kidnapped and that he m
Aug 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A Traveling sister read with Norma, Brenda and Holly!


Scott and Allison are living the ideal life. Both highly successful in their careers and blessed with adorable 6 year old twins named Sam and Emma.

Receiving a text from Alison that she’ll be picking the twins up from school, Scott doesn’t think twice about it. That is until Alison arrives home without the children.

“What text?”

When the phone suddenly rings… the true nightmare begins!

“You will do nothing. You will say nothing.”

This is a very
Aug 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Traveling Sisters Group Read Review by Norma, Brenda, Kaceey and Holly

*4.5 stars*

SAY NOTHING by BRAD PARKS is a wonderfully blended tale with an extremely engaging storyline that includes child kidnapping, a legal thriller, and a psychological thriller that was tense, thrilling, and gripping that kept us guessing and wondering right to the very end.  This book really grabbed our attention quite early on and the ending was so powerful that it had a few of us actually weepy and having to grab tha
Diane S ☔
Mar 09, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lor
2.5 A well respected judge and his wife of many years. Two abducted six year old twins. A text that advises the judge to "Say nothing" if he ever wants to see his children again.

Intriguing premise, so why did I utterly fail to connect with this story, one that has garnered many high ratings and reviews? Well for one, from the very beginning I found the tone irritating, off putting. I can't imagine anything worse then having your children abducted, not knowing where they are, would you ever see t
Holly  B (semi-hiatus until Jan)
This was a great book to read along with the Traveling Sisters Group! Including Norma, Brenda, Kaceey and myself! We had so much fun pointing fingers at all the characters we suspected of the kidnapping! I really needed Lindsay to help me out with a believability issue I was having, but she was no where to be found!

I was transfixed to this book after the first chapter. There is no slow build-up here, we go straight into the horrifying conclusion that someone has kidnapped the children of Alison

My reviews can also be seen at:

“A good routine is the bedrock of a happy family”

Judge Scott Sampson seems to have it all, an important job, a wonderful marriage and two children, six-year-old twins, Sam and Emma, who are the light of his life.

Wednesdays are "swimming with dad" day. Scott loves swimming with his children, so he’s a little bit miffed when a text from his wife comes in saying that the children have a doctor’s appointment and can’t
Maxine (Booklover Catlady)
Actual rating 4.5 stars. This is a brilliant combination of child kidnapping, a legal thriller and a psychological thriller.It's blended wonderfully. I was really into this book from very early pages and the ending just about ripped my heart out!

Judge Sampson, his wife Alison and his two twins are a happy family. The Judge is well-respected and regarded for his decisions in the courtroom and life is fairly peachy.

Until one day when it all changes and darkness descends upon the family...

This boo
Dannii Elle
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to the author, Brad Parks, and the publisher, Faber & Faber, for this opportunity.

The terrifying subject of abduction is explored here in a twisted and yet sensitive light. When Judge Scott Sampson receives a text from his wife, stating that his weekly swim with his six-year-old twins has to be postponed due to a doctor's appointment, he feels nothing but slight disappointment. When he arrived home, however, to find his w
3.5 stars

The book begins with every parent’s worst nightmare. Judge Scott Sampson & wife Alison get a phone call one afternoon & just like that, life as they know it is over. Someone has snatched their 6 year old twins. The instructions are simple: say nothing.

The next call concerns a drug case Scott is due to pass sentence on. It’s pretty open & shut but if he wants to see the twins again, he has no choice but to follow the kidnappers’ directions. He doesn’t know it yet but it’s just the first
Dec 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Kevin by: Kaceey
This one grabs you by the throat and doesn't let go!

Scott receives a text from his wife, Alison, telling him she is picking up their 6 year old twins to take them to the doctor so he does not need to pick them up from school. She arrives at their home a few hours later with no children. She never sent any text. The children have been kidnapped and won't be let go unless Scott who is a judge gives the right verdict in a federal court case.

An excellent and enthralling read!
Feb 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ng
Absolutely addictive,this is a fantastic page turner, that grabs your attention, from the very first page and never lets up.
Can't recommend this enough.
Mar 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: physical-arcs
All of my reviews can be found on

This is another book, that as a parent shattered my heart. Scott Sampson has a pretty awesome life, he’s a federal judge and has been married to his wife Alison for years and they have adorable six year old twins, Sam and Emma. Then one day Scott gets a text from Ali saying she’s picking up the kids from school even though it’s his day. When they meet up at home it’s immediately clear that something has gone horribly wrong. Sam and Emma have b
Liz Barnsley
Dec 21, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The tension in Say Nothing is palpable – and that is what you want from a decent thriller, for it to actually feel like you are right on the edge of a cliff..

This novel featured many nail biting cliff hanging moments and is written beautifully to drag the reader into an impossible decision making process taking place within the pages. Judge Scott Sampson is stuck between a rock and hard place, from the moment he and his wife Alison realise their children are gone, you are hook line and sinkered
Susan Johnson
Feb 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: net-galley
3.5 stars

A federal judge's twin children are brazenly kidnapped. It turns out someone wants to fix a lawsuit that's on the judge's docket. They give it a test run and the judge comes through beautifully so he is rewarded. Then the major case comes up. What will the judge do this time?

There were a lot of implausibilities in this book for me. I have a hard accepting a federal judge would not involve law enforcement no matter what the kidnappers threaten. I find it hard to accept that an armed pa
Kevin Dowson
Feb 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really need to get better at writing reviews more promptly after finishing a book!

This one is a really good suspense story. Without giving too much away, well respected federal judge Scott Sampson has his life torn apart and career and lifestyle threatened when his twin children get kidnapped. He quickly figures out that the kidnappers will want him to throw a verdict but which case? Which side will he have to rule for? Who is behind it? Will he see his kids again even if he complies? Can he e
Cody | CodysBookshelf
Say Nothing, by Brad Parks, is a crime thriller about a federal judge whose two young kids are kidnapped. He and his wife must do exactly as the kidnappers say — and they certainly have reasons; they've planned it out very thoroughly — or else.

This is a fine novel. It has all the elements of addictive crime reading, but . . . it just never came together, for me. The writing isn't emotional; the prose is very pedestrian, matter-of-fact. I couldn't warm up to any of the characters and, therefore,
Craig Sisterson
Apr 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thrillers, crime

This is a terrific five-star thriller with darkness, humour, and depth from a very talented author who's not yet that well-known to the broader reading public on the European side of the Atlantic.

Brad Parks is an award-winning writer from the United States (he's the only author to ever win the Lefty, Shamus, and Nero Awards), and is extremely well-regarded over there. But this standalone, which steps away from Parks' books starring investigative journalist Carter Ross, is being touted as somethi
Laura Rash
Jan 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the true definition of a thriller! A lil Grisham thrown in for good measure & maybe Grippando! All added together made for a true page turner!

Thanks to Dutton for this early copy in a Goodreads giveaway in exchange for review!
Mar 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed, publisher
The plot of this book depends on a lot of people saying nothing, when the sensible thing to do would be to call the police or give warnings or to say something. But if they did the sensible thing, there wouldn't be a book and that would be too bad, because this was an enjoyable thriller.

The six year old twins of federal judge Scott Sampson are kidnapped and the judge is told to say nothing to anyone and to just await instructions. The kidnappers seem intent on manipulating the outcome of a tria
Brad Parks
Apr 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
Author's Guarantee:

I cried when I wrote the end of this book, and you'll cry when you read it.
Sherri Thacker
Wow!! A gripping thriller that I highly recommend. I could not put this down. Loved it!!!
Amanda McGill
The first 100 or so pages had me hooked, but then the legal procedures took over.

Judge Scott Sampson lives a good life. He is happy at work and he loves his family and home life. Then one day, he gets a text from his wife saying that she will pick up their twins. When she gets home it's clear that she didn't pick up the kids and she didn't send that text. Then he gets a phone call. Someone has kidnapped the twins and Scott needs to follow what this man is saying including making certain court r
Apr 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A judge and his wife twins are kidnapped from school. As Sam and Emma leave school at the end of the day, the car looks like their parents car and the woman in the drivers seat looks like their mum, but they are being kidnapped. The parents are put through an ordeal if they want to see their children again, say nothing. A story filled with tension throughout and with twists in and with tears at the end.
Carol Irvin
Oct 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
4 and 1/2 Stars ✨ what a suspenseful read!!
Chandra Claypool (wherethereadergrows)
Judge Scott Sampson has a pretty good life - married to Alison, who he's been with for 25 years and in love with his six-year-old twins, he really couldn't ask for more. On his usual day to pick up the kids, he gets a text from his wife saying she'll pick them up instead. He gets home and finds his wife there, without the kids... and she's saying she never sent him a text. With the ring of the telephone, their nightmare begins. He must do exactly as he's told and SAY NOTHING to anyone or his kid ...more
Mar 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I lapped up this standalone novel by Brad Parks, devouring it in one evening.

Scott is a wonderful character. We’re in his head the whole time so privy to his every thought. And suspicion. His love for his children is palpable and he’s prepared to do whatever it takes to get them back, including offer inexplicable verdicts that will have his credibility and ethics questioned and possibly even see him impeached. (In fact I admired the fact he didn’t once feel torn about what he ‘needed’ to do.)

Sam (Clues and Reviews)
What. A. Book.

Say Nothing by Brad Parks was unputdownable. Parks was able to create a rare balance that is uncommon in thrillers; a fast paced plot, gut-wrenching scenarios and likeable characters. I was literally on the edge of my seat. I read this one easily in the course of a couple sittings; once I started, I simply could not stop. I was completely sucked into this plot.

The story follows Judge Scott Sampson, doting husband and father to twins Sam and Emma. After receiving a life chang
Andy Weston
Apr 25, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
It's books like this that put me off the genre, the crime thriller genre that I have enjoyed so much in the last thirty years. I must accept some of the blame as it's clearly written as a bestseller with plenty of media hype, and those should be warning signs enough, but the premise did sound interesting.

On the eve of a big trial the 6 year old twins of a leading judge are kidnapped. The judge decides not to go to the police and the story continues. Many aspects are difficult to accept that the
Sep 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Brad Parks's SAY NOTHING is novel that is both conventional and very cleverly written. A major public figure, Judge Scott Sampson, is forced to compromise his legal responsibilities in response to the demands of the kidnappers of his six year old twins.

Parks carefully leads the reader down the family's terrifying path as demanded by the kidnappers. A major financial / patent law trial pulls the Sampson's into a deadly contest pitting the fate of the twins against the deceitful actions of those r
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International bestseller author Brad Parks is the only writer to have won the Shamus, Nero, and Lefty Awards, three of American crime fiction's most prestigious prizes. His books have earned starred reviews from every major pre-publication journal.

A father of two and a husband of one, Brad lives in Virginia, where he spends four hours a day at his local Hardee's, writing his novels. When not at H

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“In some ways, no one is tougher on one another than sisters. Like parents, they're hyperaware of another's past foibles and faults; but, without the infinite parental capacity for love and forgiveness, they judge one another far more harshly for them.
I swear there are times when they really might kill one another. Until, of course, one of them is in trouble or threatened by an outside agent, in which case they band together into an unbreakable front.
Internally fractured yet externally united. The world over, it's the very definition of sisterhood.”
“[Federal prisons] are dreadful institutions whose procedures are designed to dehumanize the people they contain. And when you look at our rates of incarceration - roughly seven times higher than those of our peer nations, higher even then the Soviet Union under Stalin - you can't help but feel there is something wrong with a society that feels the need to lock so many of its citizens in cages.” 0 likes
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