The Woman Who Couldn't Scream (Virtue Falls #4)- Christina Dodd
St. Martin's Press
Release Date: September 5, 2017
Warning: Potential Spoilers Ahead!
Taking (out of 5):
Synopsis: Merida Falcon is a world-class beauty, a trophy wife who seems to have it all...except she has no voice. For nine bitter years, she lived to serve her wealthy elderly husband. On his death, Merida vanishes...and reappears in Virtue Falls with a new name, a new look, and a plot to take revenge on the man who loved her, betrayed her and walked away, leaving her silent, abused and bound to an old man's obsession.
But Merida faces challenges. Her school friend Kateri Kwinault is the newly elected sheriff of Virtue Falls. A chance meeting with her former lover intrigues him and brings him on the hunt for her, and meeting him face to face shakes her convictions. Will she have time to discover the truth about the events that occurred nine years ago? For someone in Virtue Falls is stalking women and slashing them...to death.
Danger closes in. Merida's fears build. There's no one to turn to...no one she dares to trust. And she has to wonder--who is the killer stalking? Is he trying to silence forever THE WOMAN WHO COULDN'T SCREAM?
Christina Dodd ends her Virtue Falls series with a bang in The Woman Who Couldn't Scream. It's the story Kateri Kwinault fans have been waiting for since Virtue Falls first came out, combined with the suspenseful story of Merida Falcon. Merida and Kateri were friends years ago, before life pulled them in separate ways. Kateri shunned her rich father's family for Virtue Falls, her drunken mother, and life on the rez. She's just been elected the first woman (and first Native American) sheriff in Virtue Falls and its an uphill battle all the way. Fortunately she's got a loyal cocker spaniel named Lacey and a love interest/complication named Stag to keep her grounded. Merida fell in love, nearly died, lost her voice, married an abusive older man, and then disappeared after his death. She's in Virtue Falls with a new name and a plan for revenge. Meeting Kateri after so many years, she begins to wonder if revenge will make her feel better after all. Reconnecting with an old lover (and a man who may have tried to kill her) means her emotions start getting tangled in her plans. Now there are at least two killers running around Virtue Falls. It's Kateri's job to figure out who they are and stop them, it's Merida's job to stay alive long enough to separate the murderers from the friends!
Like the last Virtue Falls book (one of my all time personal favorites) Because I'm Watching, The Woman Who Couldn't Scream is a high-octane, fast-paced psychological thriller. We meet Merida in small pieces, through the eyes of others, before she moves to Virtue Falls. Once there we see things through her eyes, but even Merida doesn't know all the pieces of her past- which means we get to discover along with her the twists and turns of the tragic 'accident' that took her voice and changed the course of her life forever. Dodd does a masterful job giving us hints to the truth while keeping the big surprises for the very end. It was also great to have so much of the story focus on Kateri. If you'e read the rest of the series it's guaranteed you've been waiting to see how she does as sheriff, how she's going to deal with the tragedy that changed her own life, and what the deal is with Stag. Good guy, bad guy? Bit of both? Both women struggle with internal conflicts as well as external preconceptions and prejudices to make (and keep) a life they are happy with and entitled to- you're cheering them on from page one.
For being a small town Virtue Falls has more than its fair share of killers. Kateri is trying to catch a father/son set of killers who shot up a cafe (injuring her and putting her good friend and fan favorite Rainbow into a coma) and now seem to be determined to pay back anyone who ever annoyed them. Then more bodies start turning up, badly mutilated. Serial killer or local crazy? One or multiple killers? You'd think the solution to this wouldn't work or be convincing, but Dodd pulls off another brilliant blending of characters and motives, ending in a chilling battle for survival. There's so much to say about how great Merida and Kateri are portrayed, that there's no doing them justice except to say: these are two strong women who, in the end, aren't afraid to save themselves.
While you don't have to have read any of the other books in this series to thoroughly enjoy The Woman Who Couldn't Scream, many of the characters have appeared in the other books and you'll enjoy following their lives (plus the other books are also awesome) so I recommend if you don't read them first, you'll enjoy going back and reading them after finishing Woman.
A great, fast-paced book that will keep you on the edge of your seat the whole way. Warning- this may be a book you can't put down once you've started it!
I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review