Silent Fear by Lance Morcan

Silent Fear

When you can't hear...death comes silently.  Scotland Yard detective Valerie Crowther is assigned to investigate the murder of a student at a university for the Deaf in London, England. The murder investigation coincides with a deadly flu virus outbreak, resulting in the university being quarantined from the outside world.   When more Deaf students are murdere...

Title:Silent Fear
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Edition Language:English

Silent Fear Reviews

  • Harry Whitewolf

    The premise of this book alone is extremely enticing and original, which means my expectations were high from the start, but boy, do the authors deliver!

    There are three main facets to this story:

    1) It is a whodunnit mystery thriller, where the main protagonist, detective Valerie Crowther tries to track down a serial killer who’s targetting deaf students at a world-renowned university.

    2) There is a worldwide virus known as Monkey Flu which is killing hundreds of thousands of people. The U.K has

    The premise of this book alone is extremely enticing and original, which means my expectations were high from the start, but boy, do the authors deliver!

    There are three main facets to this story:

    1) It is a whodunnit mystery thriller, where the main protagonist, detective Valerie Crowther tries to track down a serial killer who’s targetting deaf students at a world-renowned university.

    2) There is a worldwide virus known as Monkey Flu which is killing hundreds of thousands of people. The U.K has escaped the epidemic until there is a breakout at the very uni Crowther is conducting her investigations, so the school soon becomes quarantined and shut off from the outside world.

    3) The story is a great insight into the deaf community.

    Combining these three facets makes for an exciting and interesting read. At first, I was a little cautious at embarking on an 800 page story, but I needn’t have worried. It doesn’t feel like a long book at all, and the authors are so adept at breaking up the scenes and the various tangents, and pacing it so well, that I didn’t feel like I was reading a mammoth book at all. I’d thought it would probably take me a couple of months to get through it, but I raced through this in a week. Like all clever and well written thrillers, there are enough cliff-hanging chapters and side stories which made me think I’d just read one more chapter and then before I knew it, I’d read another fifty pages. So don’t let the length of this book put you off at all – it’s exactly the right length that the book needs to be – especially when it’s effectively combining two stories in one (the outbreak of the virus and the whodunnit mystery).

    It’s superbly written, and there are plenty of red herrings and clues throughout to make you try to guess who the killer is, only for you to then completely change your mind a few pages later.

    There are also plenty of other side stories going on, such as – unexpectedly - Satanic rituals, and the personal stories of the characters. And man, for a book with so many characters (as there needs to be), the authors make it such an easy read to follow who’s who and to have such solid, well-rounded, believeable characters. There are the students – who are a vast array of different types, including some punkish ruffians, there’s the main protagonist Crowther; and her Superintendent ex husband on the outside, there are two news reporters who have bluffed their way into the school and who soon find themselves being quarantined with the rest and becoming the eyes and ears of the media, there are… so many engaging characters with their own stories – and they are all effortlessly portrayed well throughout.

    Even the opening scene in the prologue is exceptionally brilliant – it feels like a classic scene from a classic film: where the killer is taking care in bricklaying a wall to conceal his first victim behind it. The attention the killer has to using three parts sand, one part cement and the skill of angling his trowel, with little thought towards the fact that he’s just killed someone in cold blood, is the perfect introduction to a disturbed psychopathic mind. Not to mention that he also then masturbates upon finishing the job.

    And knowing that this book is going to be made into a film, I can already see that scene being chillingly played out as clear as mud.

    No way will you figure out who the killer is, but you’ll enjoy trying to figure it out. I can guarantee it.

    This is such a meaty book, that I could go on for another thousand words detailing just how well it’s all been put together and how well it’s been written, but this review is already turning out to be a long one, so I’ll leave it on this point:

    Not only is this a great epidemic-sci-fi and mystery thriller, it’s also a fantastic insight into the deaf community, and it’s very apparent how much research has gone into this book. Reading the afterword from the authors’ consultant makes this clear, and it’s good to know that the writers have gone to lengths to show a very realistic portrayal of that community. Forget the whodunnit and epidemic stories, this book works just as well at being a much needed insight for hearing people into a community we may not know much, or anything, about. As their liaison Brent Macpherson says in the afterword:

    “Silent Fear is one of the few mainstream novels to address the unique challenges faced by members of the Deaf community in any great detail. As a member of that community, and as someone who has been Deaf since birth, I believe this book is an important addition to the dearth of literature that exists about Deaf people and Deaf culture.”

    Highly recommended!

  • Troy Beals

    Very suspenseful from beginning to end. The characters are very well written. The story moves along very nicely. I've reccomended this book to many of my friends already...it is a MUST-READ :-)

  • Lisa Norris

    I read an advanced review copy of Silent Fear provided to me by the publisher. This was a thrilling and captivating novel. Suspenseful, full of twists and engaging from start to finish. Also love how the authors have written about the deaf community as they are an underrepresented minority in current reading markets.

    I absolutely loved the serial killer (who I couldn’t pick the identity of in this “whodunit” novel until the very end). His character is intriguing and gripping from the opening word

    I read an advanced review copy of Silent Fear provided to me by the publisher. This was a thrilling and captivating novel. Suspenseful, full of twists and engaging from start to finish. Also love how the authors have written about the deaf community as they are an underrepresented minority in current reading markets.

    I absolutely loved the serial killer (who I couldn’t pick the identity of in this “whodunit” novel until the very end). His character is intriguing and gripping from the opening words.

    Silent Fear is a stunning, atmospheric murder mystery, with its riveting combination of the claustrophobia of the situation combined with unrelenting fear.

  • Todd Simpson

    Simply Splendid. There is so much to love about this entertaining and well written Murder Mystery. I quite enjoyed the unique plot, and a few surprises along the way. Lance and James Morcan have written many great novels that I’ve really enjoyed, and ‘Silent Fear’ is right up there as one of my favourites. The deaf students at the university were already scared with the outbreak of the latest virus making its way around the world, which was reportedly very contagious. Then to top it off, there w

    Simply Splendid. There is so much to love about this entertaining and well written Murder Mystery. I quite enjoyed the unique plot, and a few surprises along the way. Lance and James Morcan have written many great novels that I’ve really enjoyed, and ‘Silent Fear’ is right up there as one of my favourites. The deaf students at the university were already scared with the outbreak of the latest virus making its way around the world, which was reportedly very contagious. Then to top it off, there was a killer on the loose that was targeting the deaf students. Luckily for the police force they had a detective that knew sign language, which would be invaluable in questioning the Universities students. Detective Superintendent Valerie Crowther grew up with a deaf mother, and she was quite sort after in the police force for her skills. Valerie was just in the early stages of her investigation, when the Army stepped in to quarantine the University, and stop anyone from entering or leaving. Everyone stuck inside are quite shocked to learn that one of their own has been struck down with the deadly flu. Now Valerie not only had to worry about a serial killer on the loose, but also the real possibility of contracting a flu that could kill her and many others. Hands down this is a wonderful book, and well worth a read.

    I received an advanced copy of this book from the Publisher for an unbiased review.

  • Beth

    What a great story! I didn't figure out who the killer was until the last chapter, and it still had a surprising twist! I had to read the book in one sitting! LOL

  • Sheri

    Silent Fear (A novel inspired by true crimes) by Lance & James Morcan

    Detective Valerie Crowther is investigating the murder of a student at a University for the deaf in London, England. Add to it there is an outbreak of a deadly flu which causes a quarantine. Soon more students end up killed, looking like at the hand of a serial killer. Then detective Valerie becomes a target and her life is in danger.

    The story moves at a steady pace, with attention to detail, bringing you into the world of

    Silent Fear (A novel inspired by true crimes) by Lance & James Morcan

    Detective Valerie Crowther is investigating the murder of a student at a University for the deaf in London, England. Add to it there is an outbreak of a deadly flu which causes a quarantine. Soon more students end up killed, looking like at the hand of a serial killer. Then detective Valerie becomes a target and her life is in danger.

    The story moves at a steady pace, with attention to detail, bringing you into the world of the hearing impaired. It is frightening to hear of murder, but to be deaf, that (to me) enhances the fear. Also knowing this was based on a true event made it even more disturbing. Overall I found

    to be a fantastic murder/mystery/thriller. I highly recommend to all.

  • Christine Wines

    I am a huge fan of murder mysteries, and found Silent Fear to be very compelling. Not only was there a sadistic, infuriating murderer on the loose, but a silent killer in the form of an ebola-like virus was wreaking havoc on students, faculty, and various staff & visitors to the University for the Deaf, where this story takes place. I loved the female protagonist, and enjoyed the development of a host of interesting characters throughout the book. But the main reason I was intrigued by the n

    I am a huge fan of murder mysteries, and found Silent Fear to be very compelling. Not only was there a sadistic, infuriating murderer on the loose, but a silent killer in the form of an ebola-like virus was wreaking havoc on students, faculty, and various staff & visitors to the University for the Deaf, where this story takes place. I loved the female protagonist, and enjoyed the development of a host of interesting characters throughout the book. But the main reason I was intrigued by the novel had to do with the fact that most of the characters were Deaf. For the last 45 years, I have suffered from Meniere's Syndrome, which rendered me functionally deaf in one ear. Fortunately for me, my other ear works enough that I can hear fairly well. But I've always been intrigued by Sign Language, and Deaf culture. This book was super informative about the different kinds of deafness, the amazing variety of Sign Languages, and a culture and way of life that is in NO WAY a disability! I highly recommend this book!

  • Liana

    First of all a huge thanks to the author of this book who asked me to read it for an honest review.

    And second of all...What an intense and thrilling story. From the first page of this book I was hooked. The characters, the predicament they were in, the murder...I enjoyed every minute of it. Detective Valerie Crowler was the hero of this story. She was strong, determined, a force to be reckoned with, but also sympathetic to the deaf community due to the fact that she grew up with a mother that wa

    First of all a huge thanks to the author of this book who asked me to read it for an honest review.

    And second of all...What an intense and thrilling story. From the first page of this book I was hooked. The characters, the predicament they were in, the murder...I enjoyed every minute of it. Detective Valerie Crowler was the hero of this story. She was strong, determined, a force to be reckoned with, but also sympathetic to the deaf community due to the fact that she grew up with a mother that was deaf. She was the heart and soul of the story and everything that happened, really happened around her. The murderer. Omg who was the murderer. It literally could have been anyone and I was happily playing the part of detective trying I figure it out for myself. It was fantastic how it all played out. Most mystery crime stories you can guess who the culprit is but this one had me dumbfounded.

    I have to admit that at times I felt like I was reading forever only to have discovered I'd only read 50 pages. It felt like I was getting nowhere. But never did I get upset about it. In fact I loved that it took as long as it did to read. It made the story more real and prolonged. You don't want to finish a real good book in a hours. You want it to last and leave an impression on you for a long time, like this one. It brought about the reality of a deaf community in a hearing world and how hard it is and the similarities of that to someone who only speaks English and finding themselves in a country that speaks a different language. It's hard. And not to mention how difficult it is for the police to find a criminal. It's like looking for a needle in a haystack. I admire the work that gets put into being a detective and appreciate the difficulties faced in that career. It was all because of this book that I have my eyes opened that little bit more on a couple more topics now.

    Thank you Lance Morcan for giving me this opportunity to review you wonderful book!

  • Fran

    Silent Fear: James and Lance Morcan

    Silence can be deadly when you do not hear your killer coming behind you. Right out of an Edgar Allan Poe mystery/short story the authors create scene that only two well-seasoned writers can create as we hear the voice and see the movements of a killer who has hidden a corpse behind a wall as he covers it up so methodically, so perfectly with each brick in a specific way and pattern behind the wall it looks seamless using one part cement, three parts sand and h

    Silent Fear: James and Lance Morcan

    Silence can be deadly when you do not hear your killer coming behind you. Right out of an Edgar Allan Poe mystery/short story the authors create scene that only two well-seasoned writers can create as we hear the voice and see the movements of a killer who has hidden a corpse behind a wall as he covers it up so methodically, so perfectly with each brick in a specific way and pattern behind the wall it looks seamless using one part cement, three parts sand and how he uses his trowel and positions it at the perfect angle proud of his work, defiant in many ways as he dares anyone to uncover his victim. No remorse, no feelings just killing someone in cold blood and admiring his handiwork. Jamie Lewis is part of the deaf community in a college where his murder is the first that the police are aware of and investigate. Added in we also learn that there is an epidemic the monkey flu that has ravaged many cities, countries and the death toll is rising. Detective Valerie Crowther is the lead in this investigation although her Superintendent ex-husband is her boss and monitors her every move. From the first time we meet her we realize that she is tough, no holes barred and insists that it’s her rules and hers only that everyone must adhere to. Asking for an office to do her work and somewhere to do her interviews she expects everyone from the Chancellor to the lead student who takes her on the tour of the university to understand that she and no one else is running the show. The students in this University and many of the staff members are deaf and when gathering them in one area she explains why she’s there, does not thank anyone for coming and expects them to adhere to her schedule and her method of investigation. While this is happening the Monkey Flu is spreading and too many are dying and for some reason but not for long the U.K. has not had one case as yet as uni Crowther is beginning her interviews and investigation a young college student is in the nurse’s office and being vigilant tests her for the flu and the end result is surprising as the school is now under quarantine. Targeting the deaf community and knowing this story is based on two real life incidents at two other universities makes it even more realistic and brings many messages to light. There are many media people that block entrances and want to get the full story but Surrey News reporter Hillary and her cameraman manage to follow someone else inside and gain some insight to the history of the university by managing to get a story with its founder but not before Hillary the crafty reporter insights the owner and asks if he bankrolls some of the deaf students going to the school. The first scenes with the students and their reaction to the murder are no different than if they were part of the hearing community. Some are profoundly deaf, some us hearing aids while others had cochlear implants that make it easier for them to hear and speak more clearly. Sometimes that can backfire when you think you are fooling others as the two that conned their way in wind up quarantined with the rest. But, that might be to their advantage as they are the only media on the scene. As a student in this school brings the Monkey Flu inside as the first person in England in this Deaf University in South Kensington. Students, staff and all lecturers want to continue on with classes but no one allowed in or out including the police. Many obstacles come her way but Chancellor Ron Fairbrother helps her inside the walls of the school. Facing many angry parents, students that are frustrated, scared and just wants their lives back to normalcy, he is tested to the nth degree as his emotions change and the energy is electric and charged. Dealing with parents, students and even the Prime Minister who is has her own take and will not budge just wanting the killer found.

    Chief Superintendent Mark Bennett is her ex-husband who although she is running the case he wants to be informed every step of the way but higher ups did not want her to be the lead but she is the only one that can do sign language and communicate with the deaf students and staff.

    Todd Rivers the lead student seems to have taken an unusual interest in Valerie in more ways than one. Bennett seems to feel that the case is closed when the evidence apparently pointed to the caregiver but that theory was short lived as he was found dead by hanging.

    The killer is methodical and when a student named Dale decides to take an early morning swim because he is deaf and does not hear anyone enter the pool area nor does he see his killer until it’s too late. Found by one of the female students it leaves the staff, the student body and visitors who are quarantined because of the Monkey Flu outbreak fearing for their own lives. While Nurse Simons cares for all of the ill with little assistance from anyone, the killer Valerie realizes is hiding in the university in plain sight.

    Hillary and Kent the two reporters managed to get pumped up to BBC to do their stories and they are relentless in taking advantage of being the only media on site for this story. Not caring about anything or anyone’s feelings or protocol, Hillary reports the death of Dale even before his parents learn about it and she even manages to video the patients that are in sick bay. To her it’s all about the story, the glory and fame.

    Valerie is now on her own and has to solve another murder and do the autopsy hoping that she can come up with something to help the guys back at her station learn more about Dale’s death. At the forefront is the epidemic and the fact that the school has been bubble wrapped with no one coming in or out and supplies might be dwindling. The nurse now has the job of testing those that come down with the flu and dealing with deaths, wearing a Hazmat suit and hoping that the Chancellor can convince the Prime Minister to lift the quarantine and let the healthy people leave before everyone comes down with the flu. At the core is also the fact that Valerie and most of the students are able to understand British Sign Language and sign using BSL.

    With no air conditioning, no fans and high temperatures, more than the heat will rise as tempers flare, arguments break out and a killer is still on the loose. The eerie part are the satanic rituals held in secret and led by one of the professors right under the nose of everyone but not seen.

    Things spiral even more out of control when several difficult students decide to break out of the school when they see that there is a break in one of the windows. But, before they can even get near it one of the Indian students breaks out and what happens as a result is tragic.

    Valerie reflects upon what is happening while several staff members assist the nurse but one seems fixated on something totally inappropriate and the students seem to be having social issues of their own. The gang within this school takes over whenever they enter a common room and you begin to wonder if the Monkey Flu and the killer are the only two deadly elements that this university has to be concerned with.

    As the Chancellor tries to stay calm and the staff tries to keep it together you can feel the tension the authors created and you wonder what’s next?

    At times Valerie finds herself at the mercy of three thugs but the scene that ensues in her room when they try to take her down is right out of a CSI episode letting the bad guys know never to mess with the cop. Taken down to the basement and placed under arrest this was far from the end of what would tragically take the college personnel, the community, the deaf community, teachers, lecturers, guards and remaining staff to a different level of fear and in some cases compassion.

    Mark Bennett realizes that drastic measures need to be taken as the killer’s voice is prominent and heard when Katherine Lee and Lucas are the next victims. Katherine and Troy were lovers in a unique sense of the word because the last time you see her and realize the photos she’s showing the reader your opinion of her will change and Troy does not come out with knight in shining armor either. Despite everything and the murders Hillary and Kent do not miss a chance to broadcast live but when the bodies of those that succumbed to the Monkey Flu are about to be disposed of the insensitivity of both of them shines through.

    Nurse Simons has rallied around all of the patients but sometimes good people suffer for the cause as you will learn. Wally Hynds has the job of figuring out why the CCTV cameras are tampered with and are always down while the killer views everything from an unusual vantage point and more deaths are in the future of everyone quarantined.

    Volunteer guards like Sean Mcllvoy walked the halls to check on those that are there while Bennett and one other manages to do the impossible when learning more about the one place he might be able to enter the school when he learns that Valerie is now a victim of the killer and before she dies he won’t stop at anything to save her but will it be in time?

    Just who is the killer and what is the motive? When someone close to the school dies the hidden truth comes out that will shock readers as to how far someone will go to eliminate four others, the reason and the prize at the end of the proverbial rainbow of death. Greed, power, lust, satanic rituals, erotic interludes, unprofessional behavior, fear, students that rally round each other for support, protests to free the quarantined and one Chancellor who does not give up until the final scene is played out and you won’t believe the ending.

    This story presents research through Hillary and the nurse about the Monkey Flu, the causes and how it spreads but mostly it shows the important of understanding the deaf community and their strengths and how the school tried to improve their abilities to communicate in a hearing world. Authors Lance and James Morcan bring all of the issues to light. The ending will allow readers to know that sometimes harsh realities express the true meaning of what the authors created in this outstanding novel which includes hope and the will to survive. Life, Death, Hearing vs. non-hearing: Silent Fear: The hearing within the novel lived their own private silent war within themselves hoping to survive while the deaf lived it too.

    Fran Lewis: Just reviews/MJ magazine.

  • C. Erani Kole

    *voluntarily and honestly reviewed the ARC I received from the publisher*

    This is about a 4.5 for me. It took me a few days to read but I couldn't seem to get enough. I got so hooked that if I was doing something else, I'd think about wanting to get back to that mystery show only to remember that it wasn't a great tv series but a book!

    I haven't read many things that involved the deaf community, which is one of the reasons why I find this so fascinating. It was new and offered a different look at

    *voluntarily and honestly reviewed the ARC I received from the publisher*

    This is about a 4.5 for me. It took me a few days to read but I couldn't seem to get enough. I got so hooked that if I was doing something else, I'd think about wanting to get back to that mystery show only to remember that it wasn't a great tv series but a book!

    I haven't read many things that involved the deaf community, which is one of the reasons why I find this so fascinating. It was new and offered a different look at a world where hearing people see handicaps but are met with those who don't believe themselves to be disabled. Add a new community with a possible serial killer loose on campus and a pandemic break-out, and you've got one major thrill ride.

    The writing was different, interesting. I liked that it touched on everyone and kept a steady pace with enough interesting things to make me feel like I wasn't going to get buried under pages of details. I didn't see the end until a few things popped up but the final ending was a total tear-jerker for me. I almost felt like throwing my kindle for getting put through everything I did only to...

    It's a definite recommend for those who love mystery thrillers, and if like trying new things and haven't read anything set in the deaf community, try it out! I think it did a decent job on briefly touching on their daily lives whilst dealing with murders and viruses.

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