Dead Silence by Robin Caroll


Dead Silence is a contemporary suspense that could easily be inspired by current news and kicked up a notch or two. Featuring Elise Carmichael, widowed mother of a young deaf son, the story begins with Elise accidentally reading lips of a man discussing a murder plot. Once she has relayed the information to the FBI, Elise quickly finds herself and her son threatened time and time again. The danger ramps up with each page as Elise, her sister-in-law, and others work together to identify the person behind the threats.

I enjoyed the character of Elise, a gutsy mama bear of a woman who would do everything possible to protect her beloved son. It was fun watching her face off with the FBI agents – this woman pretty much told them what she thought of them. I also liked how she took things into her own hands when she felt that law enforcement was not doing enough to solve the case. A subtle faith message highlighted a disillusioned Elise who slowly found her way back to God.

I did have my suspicions early on but the narrative really didn’t let any obvious hints slip by to diminish by enjoyment of the story. Dead Silence would be a great book to recommend to those friends who may be looking for a good suspense without romantic elements to detract from the rest of the story. I recommend this book as well as Caroll’s previous novels.

I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book provided by Amazon Vine. A favorable review was not required. All views expressed are my own.


Elise Carmichael is a court sign language interpreter who reads lips all the time. As a widow with a young son who is deaf, lip reading is simply second nature, until the day she reads the lips of someone on the phone discussing an attempt to be made on a senator’s life—a senator who just happens to be her mother-in-law. Before she can decide what she needs to do, she receives the information that her son is rushed to the ER and she must leave. Then she later sees the news report that her mother-in-law has been shot and killed. But when she comes forward, her life, as well as her son’s life, may now be in the crosshairs of the assassin.


Robin Caroll grew up in Louisiana with her nose in a book. She still has the complete Trixie Belden series, and her love for mysteries and suspense has only increased with her age.

Robin’s passion has always been to tell stories to entertain others and come alongside them on their faith journey—aspects Robin weaves into each of her published novels.

Best-selling author of thirty-plus novels, ROBIN CAROLL writes Southern stories of mystery and suspense, with a hint of romance to entertain readers. Her books have been recognized in several awards, including the Carol Award, HOLT Medallion, Daphne du Maurier, RT Reviewer’s Choice Award, and more.

When she isn’t writing, Robin spends quality time with her husband of three decades, her three beautiful daughters and two handsome grandsons, and their character-filled pets at home in the South.

Robin serves the writing community as Executive/Conference Director for ACFW. To find out more about Robin, visit

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Valley of Shadows by Candace West


Earl Steen would be the first to admit that members of his family would be justified in hating him. He knows how much pain he caused in their lives and does not believe he is deserving of their forgiveness. But Earl is a changed man thanks to the grace of God and wants to serve Him the rest of his days. Earl’s daughters have begun to forge a sometimes uneasy relationship with their father but his wife Lorena still carries around a huge burden of hurt and unforgiveness. Author Candace West has begun a story at this point in the characters’ lives and writes it so beautifully that her readers will feel every emotion along with them.

Valley of Shadows is a wonderful story of forgiveness and redemption with a major emphasis on second chances. Sometimes poignant and sometimes action-filled, this tale takes the reader on a touching journey that will not soon be forgotten.

I have a copy of Lane Steen, the first book in this series but have not had a chance to read it. Although the two books share characters, I was easily able to read Valley of Shadows as a stand alone. Nevertheless, according to the wonderful reviews I have read, readers would be advised to read the books in order if at all possible simply for chronological purpose.

I voluntarily reviewed a digital copy of this book provided by the author. A favorable review was not required. All views expressed are my own.


Lorena Steen gave up on love years ago. After arriving at Valley Creek to visit her daughters, she stumbles first thing into Earl, the husband who abandoned her.

As for Earl, facing Lorena while fighting his own demons tempts him to flee town. How can he rebuild a relationship with his daughters and cynical neighbors when guilt shadows every step?

While the storm brews between them, another storm descends on Valley Creek. Will a ghost town stand in its wake?

But then the townsfolk devise a plan. All they need is a former concert pianist and violinist. A wife and husband estranged.

Can Lorena and Earl set aside their feelings to rescue a community? Even though it sweeps them back through valleys best forgotten? Especially when a forbidden love claims his right to win Lorena’s heart?


Candace West was born in the Mississippi delta but grew up in small-town Arkansas. She is a graduate of the University of Arkansas at Monticello. Ever since the age of twelve, she dreamed of writing inspirational fiction. Over the years, she has published short stories as well as poems in various magazines. By weaving entertaining, page-turning stories, she hopes to share the Gospel and encourage her readers. Lane Steen is her first novel.