2020 Silver Falchion Finalist

The Silent Victim
By Dana Perry
ISBN 978-1838880941
Publication Date: November 2019
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The Silent Victim: A Jessie Tucker Mystery

Review by Liz Gatterer

The Silent Victim: A Jessie Tucker Mystery is a new novel by Dana Perry and the first in what is shaping up to be a griping new crime series.  The protagonist is Jessie Tucker, an award-winning journalist living in New York City.  She is tough. Really tough. She’s the survivor of a brutal attack in Central Park that should have killed her. Her doctors were not hopeful she would ever recover, but she was not about to give up. Twelve years later, the only outward sign of her attack is a slight limp. Her assailant was captured, confessed, and ultimately died in prison. Case closed. But when another woman is attacked in an eerily similar fashion in Central Park, Jessie is determined to find out why. Could it be a copycat?  Could her attacker still be out there?

Perry packs a lot of action into just 346 pages. Brutal attacks in Central Park, rape, unjust convictions, identity theft, corrupt politicians, serial killers, drunk drivers, child abusers, hidden pasts, Iraq War heroes (and villains), cross county investigations, and the healing benefits of a good daily exercise regimen. The Silent Victim is an intense read that is worth the next day hangover of an all-night reading binge. Jessie Tucker is an amazing reporter.  Even with the limp, she runs circles around law enforcement and stays one step ahead of those that would do her ill.

Dana Perry is the pen name for the very talented real-life reporter, and novelist R.G. Belsky.  I have to wonder how much of Jessie is based on Belsky’s own experience a journalist. The characters feel very real.  The progression of the story is logical and the twists he puts in, although jarring at the time, make perfect sense. His writing style is very concise.  There is not a lot of flowery prose or soul-searching nonsense.  It is much more of an honest, gut-check type of book.  I am eager for the next book in the Jessie Tucker series.

I personally listened to the audiobook version of this novel narrated by Kate Handford.  Her performance of this work was exceptional.  I highly recommend giving it a listen.

Liz Gatterer attended Tulane University while living in New Orleans. It was there that she first began working with authors in the printing industry. Originally from Upstate New York, she moved to Nashville with her husband to pursue their careers (his being music). Three (absolutely fabulous) children later, she has returned to the working world in the industry she loves. She currently lives in Spring Hill with said husband and children, dogs, cats, and various other creatures. The necessity of multitasking has led her to an addiction to audiobooks – but, when able to, she still prefers to curl up with a good book (and a child in her lap).