The Silence of Murder
By Dandi Daley Mackall
Alfred A. Knopf, 2011. 327 pgs. Teen fiction
Jeremy Long has always been odd. He collects empty jars and hasn't spoken in nearly a decade. But his sister Hope knows that even if some of his actions seem odd, Jeremy isn't crazy. And he certainly isn't a murderer. And yet, he's on trial for murder, and Hope is the only one who believes he's innocent. Determined to prove his innocence, Hope frantically searches for other possible suspects, even as someone is trying to keep her from investigation. As her world is crumbling, Hope finds friendship where she least expected it--with the handsome, popular Chase Wells, son of the local sheriff.
I highly enjoyed this book; I liked the mystery aspect of it, particularly the twist at the end, but the way the characters and relationships were developed is what made it shine. Hope's voice is pitch perfect; her love for her brother is beautifully portrayed without becoming sappy. This is an excellent choice for anyone who is looking for a realistic fiction title.
As an amusing side note, I actually wasn't sure whether or not to read this book; I'm pretty busy right now and needed to return some books to the library without reading them. So...I read the ending to see if I thought I'd like it. I liked the twist, but I also thought maybe I could just skim through the book, rather than reading the whole thing. But then I read a little more of the ending, and realized that there was much more going on that just the twist, so I read the whole book, and yes, even knowing the ending, I really enjoyed the book. I'm definitely glad I didn't return it to the library without reading it.
4.5 stars. There might be a little language (which I clearly didn't notice if it is there, since I can't even remember for sure if it was in there), but otherwise, it's a clean read.