Author: Carrie Smith
Series: A Claire Codella Mystery (Book 1)
Publication: Crooked Lane Books (October 13, 2015)
Description: NYPD Detective Claire Codella has just won a tough battle with cancer. Now she has to regain her rightful place on the force. she hasn't even been back a day when Hector Sanchez, a maverick public school principal, is found murdered. The school is on high alert. The media is howling for answers. And Codella catches the high-profile case at the worst possible time.
As she races to track down the killer, she uncovers dirty politics, questionable contracts, and dark secrets. Each discovery she makes brings her closer to the truth, but the truth may cost Codella her life. Silent City, Carrie Smith's explosive debut, will introduce readers to a brilliant new voice in crime fiction that will grab them and not let go until the very last page and a fearless heroine who they will enjoy for years to come.
My Thoughts: SILENT CITY was an excellent mystery story. I really enjoyed the main character who is coming back from cancer treatment. She had an aggressive form of lymphoma and it was treated aggressively. She still has nerve damage in her extremities and other side effects of her treatment. The first day back on the job she is called to a murder scene. A popular elementary school principal is found dead in his apartment with a broken neck. His body has been posed like Christ on the cross.
As Codella investigates she finds a plethora of suspects. Beloved by the families of his school, Hector Sanchez was not beloved by his staff or central administration. Many of his legacy teachers resented his approach; his assistant principal was bullied by him. He was opposed to his Superintendent's plan to buy a huge technology program.
Codella has to get back up to speed quickly to solve this one. She is in a new precinct which she transferred to just before she began her battle with cancer and the precinct commander resents her ability and is constantly trying to undermine her activities. She is paired up with a new partner who has just transferred from Vice and who is a gay man getting his own harassment from bigoted colleagues. She also has to deal with her relationship with her old partner. They had a fight just before she transferred because he wanted a more personal relationship with her. She was caught off guard by this and, before they could resolve this, she was in the hospital fighting her cancer. She was also angry that he never came to visit her when she was undergoing her treatments.
So Codella investigates. Is it one of the legacy teachers that Sanchez was trying to get fired? Is it the Superintendent who has her own secrets to conceal? Is it the salesman who is having an affair with the Superintendent and who wants his commission on this huge software scale? Is it the actress or her lesbian partner who has been pouring money into the school and who might have an inappropriate relationship with Sanchez? Is it the assistant principal who had been bullied by Sanchez?
This was an engaging story. I educational infighting and politics rang true to this long-time teacher which was unsurprising since the author works in the education field. I liked Codella because of her desire to prove that she is back to form but who is forever changed by the battle she won.
Fans of mysteries and police procedurals will enjoy this fast-paced, engaging story.
She stood and grabbed her jacket from the back of her chair. There was something else going on here, and she couldn't put her finger on it yet. Lies were flying in all directions, and she wasn't even sure she'd heard them all yet.I got this ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. You can buy your copy here.