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The Silence of Murder by Dandi Daley Mackall

The Silence of Murder

by Dandi Daley Mackall

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A boy with special needs is on trial for the murder of the town's beloved baseball coach, and his sister is determined to prove he didn't do it. This isn't a regular courtroom drama. Rather, it's about how ordinary people react to unusual people. Sure, there is a bit of whodunnit, but mostly it's about poor versus privileged. Don't go into it looking for a police procedural either, because the police work is pretty shoddy. I'm not saying this was a bad book. It wasn't. It's just not your standard murder mystery. The characters were believable and reasonably likable. It was a nice diversion but I won't go looking for Mackall's other books. ( )
  melydia | May 9, 2015 |
This is a great book. Don't get put off by it's creepy title like I did-- its fantastic. ( )
  indigofalcon | Mar 24, 2014 |
A sister Hope, her special needs older brother Jeremy, and a sketchy single mom, Rita, - this is who we are introduced to in the opening chapter, a memory from Hope of her brother's first "song" he sings from God, as he calls it, while they both wait, half freezing in the back seat of a car in the middle of winter, watching Rita leave another guy. This is the last day Hope remembers Jeremy speaking - he becomes voluntarily mute ever after. While the opening is a bit confusing, the novel quickly moves to the present in chapter 2 - we are at the trial of the murder of the local baseball coach, John Johnson, and Jeremy, now 18, is the accused. Hope desperately wants to help exonerate her brother, but their court-appointed lawyer, and her mom believe they can only get Jeremy off on an insanity plea (due to his mental impairment).

Very quickly we are immersed in the tiny Ohio town of Grain, population less than 2,000, and Hope's world - trying to help make ends meet at the local cafe where her mom also waitresses, and trying to get by in a small high school she doesn't feel she really belongs in. T.J., baseball pitcher and smart student, has become a friend and together, with the help of Chase, the sheriff's son who's also a pitcher for the local team, they begin their own "investigation", certain that if they can find some evidence, they can bring it to Jeremy's lawyer and provide reasonable doubt in the jury's minds.
As the book progresses, the clues Hope looks for, and the past of all the characters, including Hope's mom - she went to high school in Grain, and dated the murdered coach- begin to build. Hope's growing relationship with Chase, her fear as she realizes someone is watching her movements and placing anonymous phone calls to "leave it alone", and her struggle to continue to believe in her own brother's innocence all add to the tension. I THOUGHT I knew who had really killed Coach Johnson, but the book moves swiftly to the closing arguments of the prosecution and then the defense, and we learn the importance of Jeremy's unusual hobby of collecting empty jars and who REALLY killed the coach. Pacing, readability, and the realistic struggles as well as fierce love and loyalty of Hope, the teen narrator, all make this an exciting read for teens. ( )
  BDartnall | Feb 17, 2014 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0375868968, Hardcover)

Seventeen-year-old Hope Long's life revolves around her brother Jeremy.  So when Jeremy is accused of killing the town's beloved baseball coach, Hope's world begins to unravel. Everyone is convinced Jeremy did it, and since he hasn't spoken a word in 9 years, he's unable to defend himself.  Their lawyer instructs Hope to convince the jury that Jeremy is insane, but all her life Hope has known that Jeremy's just different than other people—better, even. As she works to prove his innocence—joined by her best friend T.J. and the sheriff's son, Chase—Hope uncovers secrets about the murder, the townspeople, her family, and herself. She knows her brother isn't the murderer.  But as she comes closer to the truth, she's terrified to find out who is.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:21 -0400)

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Sixteen-year-old Hope must defend her developmentally disabled brother (who has not spoken a word since he was seven) when he is accused of murdering a beloved high school baseball coach.

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