A River of Silence: A Winston Radhauser Mystery


After the tragic loss of his wife and son to a drunk driver, detective Winston Radhauser has rebuilt his life as a policeman, rancher, father to a little girl, and husband to a pregnant wife. This fragile new happiness is threatened when his wife is diagnosed with breast cancer, an old case comes back to haunt him—and a new murder case strikes a little too close to home.

Caleb Bryce hasn’t had an easy life. Subjected to hearing loss as a child, abandoned by his alcoholic mother, losing his wife and child, he’s struggled with reasons to go on. When he takes in newly-separated Dana Sterling and her two children, he hopes to begin again. But that fantasy is brought to an abrupt end when little Scott Sterling is murdered—and Caleb is the number one suspect.

Child-abuse and child-killing are difficult subjects to read about, but Ms. Clayton-Goldner’s take is unflinching yet compassionate. Her characters face real tragedies and trials, and the story is less about the murder mystery than it is about forgiveness, growth, and re-learning one’s own self-worth. Occasional abrupt shifts in point of view and a repetitive narrative are minor issues in an otherwise fine novel. Readers new to the series need not worry about getting lost: this Radhauser novel will have them searching for back cases.

Janice Martin