silenced cry
Homicide detective Sam Harper is torn between guilt and suspicion after his partner is shot and killed in what should have been a routine pick-up for questioning.

The discovery of an infant’s skeletal remains in an abandoned building leads Harper to unearth murky secrets involving those he respects most. His former partner, his revered boss--even his police hero father are under suspicion of hideous crimes that give Harper cause to question his loyalties.  For the first time in his life, Harper must stand alone in a fog of lies where dangerous truths loom forth and the boundaries between pursuer and prey blur. Harper is left to decide how far he must go to hunt down the answers and what will he do when he finds them? Who can he trust when he can’t even trust himself?
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Sam Harper accompanies Gillies his partner, searching for Mellows who had supposedly killed someone an hour previously. Arriving at the Roving Dog, a bar, Sam goes in to see Mellows drinking beer as cool as can be. This doesn't make sense to Sam. Would someone who just killed a man, come to a bar and sit there drinking with a woman? Something was amiss. Mellows was to lead them to Owens, who would lead them, well they really wanted Owens, and Sam was concerned about the set up. After asking Chuck, the bartender, to call them as Mellows leaves, he leaves to join Gillies outside to wait. Then before he knows it, Gillies is dead and he has shot Mellows. What happened and why? None of it makes sense to him. While sorting it out, his chief calls his dad down for moral support. His dad is a former policeman, shot in the line of duty and forced into early retirement and he knows more about the case than Sam does.

Commissioner Flanagan assigns Martin to the case, a detective the other detectives consider an idiot. Sam is reassigned to homicide and told to stay away from the Owens case. Like he would do that with his friend and partner dead. But in the meantime, he and his new partner, Mann get a dead baby case. While a building is being demolished, the bones of a small infant wrapped in a pink blanket are found. Why was she left in the wall? Who left her in the wall? Who killed her?

Through records Sam and Mann figure out a scared 16 year old rented that apartment pregnant and then gave birth to a screaming baby. Then she disappeared. Sam and Mann track down the 16 year old and find a woman who has gotten her life together, and a teenage girl sitting on the couch. Now they are more confused. But they do not give up and get down to the mystery of the baby.

Sam is haunted by his partner's death and it drives him throughout the book. The sub plots and secondary players are well developed and intriguing. Sam's dad is involved not only in Sam's life but he knows more about Mellows and Owens than Sam. What had Gillies gotten himself into? An intriguing story with converging stories and characters. As I was reading SILENCED CRY, I found myself compelled to read more to see if I was right in who was really who and who did what. Who killed the little baby? Why was Gillies killed? Was there a bigger plot? Where did Owens fit into the picture? To get the answers and more read SILENCED CRY, a fascinating journey into deception, lies, and police politics.

Cynthia Clark

Hate Fells the Innocent! 

Gillies and Sam Harper, two narcotics cops of the Chandler (Massachusetts) Police Department have been partners for years but their relationship is about to endure the unimaginable. On Gillies' advice, they pursue a dope peddler; Gillies is shot and another criminal dies. But Harper is tortured with a million questions about that night and Gillies' death, exacerbated by his superior removing him from the case and transferring him to another department. Who's behind the transfer and who wants this event hushed up forever?

Harper begins working with Mann, a cop assigned to be Harper's partner, a cop from a shady precinct riddled with corruption. Add to that the finding of an infant's remains encased in a building in the process of being demolished. On further inquiry, as the suspects slowly emerge, it seems the two events in Harper's life are inextricably linked in a way the reader will never predict or imagine no matter how intelligent he or she is.

Harper doubts Gillies' integrity and other seemingly innocent citizens are responsible, though they assert their innocence. Crime always comes back to the perpetrator as both the rich and poor discover in finding themselves backed into the corner of investigation and truth-telling.

Marta Stephens is a master crime novelist. She knows how to spin a complex, credible, action-packed and gripping story with plot, subplot and more subplot. Every page crackles with intrigue, questions, and clues! This lady could easily write for any TV crime drama and hopefully will continue to keep writing great and greater novels like this superb crime novel! 

Viviane Crystal, Crystal Reviews, NY

Police detective Sam Harper is a second-generation cop in the bustling urban city of Chandler. His father, Walt, had been disabled by a bullet on duty some years back, and his mother was killed a year later by a drunken driver. Sam is the kind of detective who never goes off the job, and his personal life suffers consequently. When his long-term partner Frank Gillies is killed in an unexpected shootout with a low-life criminal, Sam is first put on administrative leave, then assigned a new partner and transferred from Narcotics to Homicide. Even more bewildering is the announcement that the drug-dealer case he and his partner have put together so carefully is no longer his, but has been assigned to the lackadaisical nephew of the Police Commissioner.

Sam has not even begun to scratch the surface of the surrounding situation, when a routine demolishment of a former tenement slum for parking space uncovers a corpse, hidden in the walls. When the assistant medical examiner identifies the body as that of a newborn, publicity jumps off the charts and the Commissioner applies sudden and unlikely pressure to Sam's Captain for closure, insisting Sam arrest the drug dealer and pin the baby's murder on him. But in this story, what you see is never what is true, and Sam and his partner will end up uncovering crimes and moral turpitude stretching from the present, back to the baby's birth and death sixteen years ago, and even farther into the past than that. The tangled web of deceit and coverup caused by a sociopathic and sadistic mind reaches far, and it will require the combined talents of Sam and new partner
Dave Mann, their Captain, and many others to solve this successfully.

“Silenced Cry” is a convoluted and complex story that demonstrates a vivid imaginative gift on the part of author Marta Stephens. It is common to speak of a mystery as being complex and possessing numerous plot twists and turns; but rare to find a novel quite as complex as this one. This reviewer has read mysteries since childhood, and even I was hard-pressed to guess the villainous identities, and found it impossible to predict the turns this roller-coaster story would take. Truly, Marta Stephens delivers a winner of high promise in “Silenced Cry,” a story whose truths will linger long in the mind.

Annie, GA, Euro-Reviews (Netherlands)

Exciting plot worth your time

The novel is a fast-paced, exciting read.

If you are looking for a novel ripe with twists and turns and intricate interweaving of plots, Silenced Cry by Marta Stephens is a novel for you. This is a classic detective story that is detailed, intricate, and full of surprises. Silenced Cry starts out with a bang. Detective Sam Harper is a hot shot narcotics detective whose life is permanently altered the night his partner is killed by someone who is supposed to bring them a break in a major case. To control a potential public relations nightmare, the force transfers Harper to a homicide unit where he quickly gets involved in a decade-old child homicide.  Though initially frustrated by his assignment to a cold case, Harper quickly realizes that this case is much more than anyone originally thought. The investigation brings up his past--and the past of his friends, family, and nemeses quickly combine to turn this case into so much more than a cold case involving a nameless infant.

This quick and easy read will keep your attention throughout every page. With a wide range of characters and sub-plots, the novel is exciting and interesting. My one complaint would be an almost overabundance of essential characters. With so many people to potentially care about, no one is developed enough that you can associate with them on a deep level. This leads to a bit of confusion as well as a desire for more information.

Marta Stephens is able to weave several intricate stories into one cohesive
novel that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

 Nicole M. Boals, Armchair Interviews