When Patrick Dielman shows up at Detective Jo Larsen’s desk insisting that his wife, Jenny, is missing, Jo wonders if it’s a case of a bored housewife running away.
But as she digs deeper into Jenny’s life, Jo learns that Dielman keeps a stranglehold on the family finances, down to the last nickel, and that Jenny’s first marriage dissolved following the death of her young son. By all accounts—including her doctor’s—she never recovered from the loss. Between a controlling husband, a tragic past, and a callous ex-husband, Jo can’t be sure if she should suspect foul play or accept that the woman may have wanted to disappear.
For Jo, whose own demons are shadowing her every step, finding Jenny becomes more than the typical protect-and-serve
Advance Praise for WALK INTO SILENCE
“McBride is the author of several chick-lit romances and mysteries (To Helen Back), but this dark stand-alone thriller is a departure. Recommend for Faye Kellerman fans.”
“[A] gripping standalone...A suspicious death, a murder, and submerged passions all figure in this tale of twisted love and redemption.”
“McBride's intense, heartbreaking thriller grabs from the start and stays long after the end...Pulse-pounding twists and turns make this one memorable story.”
—RT Book Reviews
Q&A From Susan!
Q&A From Susan!
You write both women’s fiction and award-winning mystery novels, and have also penned several series. Do you prefer series or stand alone novels? Which genre do you prefer to write and why?
I started out writing mysteries, and I’ve always loved them. As a kid, I was a huge Nancy Drew fan (and still have my collection with the yellow spines that I plan to give my daughter someday!). In college, I got caught up in Sue Grafton’s series with Kinsey Milhone. So it felt really natural to craft mysteries. Doing a series is very comfortable, as you really get to know the characters. You watch them grow and change, and they feel a bit like family. On the other hand, writing stand-alones is a lot of fun, too, and a great challenge. With my women’s fiction, I had stories to tell that I could complete within 400 pages. I knew how they started and how they would end, and I didn’t really see them moving beyond that. Once I told those tales, I felt complete, like I had happily waved “goodbye” to those people and didn’t need to revisit them. Honestly, I just like to write. My husband calls me “Crazy Brain,” as my imagination just won’t quit (and it freaks him out a little!). If I had to pick a favorite genre, it would probably be mystery. Even the women’s fiction books all have mysteries running through them!
Jo has many skeletons in her closet which sometimes get the best of her and become her greatest weakness. Why did you choose to have a flawed character? What do you think is Jo’s greatest strength?
I don’t believe there’s a human being on earth who isn’t flawed. So I can’t fathom writing a character—particularly a main character—who hasn’t been damaged, or at least dinged, in some way. Jo’s experiences have made her the person she is, and I see her as stronger because of them. She understands and empathizes with victims in a way that others cannot. She fights for them wholeheartedly because no one fought for her, so she’s determined not to let them down. She’s often called “dogged,” and that is definitely one of her strengths. Jo is a seeker of truth. She wants to believe in justice. If she’s on your side, you’re damned lucky. If she’s against you, you’re screwed.
What research was required to write Walk into Silence? What did you learn from the research that you didn’t already know?
I always do a lot of research while I’m writing a book, so I’m very appreciative of the Internet and how I can look up details in a snap. When I wanted photos of quarries so I could see what color the water was, or if I needed articles about what happened to abandoned quarries, I Googled. I also used my experiences in some instances—just after college, I worked for a psychotherapist and transcribed for MDs—so I was familiar with the terminology I used in the book. When my own knowledge and/or the Internet didn’t suffice, I actually hit the road. For example, I wanted to be sure I was getting the proper set-up of the police department in my fictional town of Plainfield, Texas. So on a trip back to Dallas, where I lived for nine years, I visited the Frisco P.D. I was given a guided tour of the facilities, and I asked a lot of questions. That helped immensely and hopefully lends authenticity to Jo Larsen, her partner, and the operation of the Plainfield police department in Walk Into Silence.
Susan McBride is the USA Today Bestselling author of Blue Blood and the Lefty Award-winning, Anthony Award-nominated Debutante Dropout Mysteries from HarperCollins/Avon, including The Good Girl's Guide to Murder, The Lone Star Lonely Hearts Club, Night Of The Living Deb, Too Pretty To Die, and Say Yes to the Death. Susan has a second bestselling series with HC/Avon that debuted in May 2014, the River Road Mysteries, that include To Helen Back, Mad as Helen, and Not a Chance in Helen. A fourth installment, Come Helen High Water, will be out in June 2017. A darker mystery featuring Texas police detective Jo Larsen, Walk Into Silence is a November 2016 Kindle First pick and will be released by Amazon's Thomas & Mercer imprint on December 1, 2016.
Susan's young adult thriller, Very Bad Things, came out in 2014 from Delacorte Press. Publishers Weekly raved: "McBride's fast-paced plot is fueled by jumps between multiple characters' perspectives, and her rendering of the venerable yet sinister school...is as absorbing as the tightly wound mystery." She has authored several YA non-mystery novels for Delacorte about debutantes in Houston: The Debs (2008) and Love, Lies, And Texas Dips (2009). Gloves Off, the third book, will be released in 2017.
Susan has also penned three women's fiction titles: The Truth About Love & Lightning, featured in Target's Emerging Authors program, a Midwest Connections Pick, and dubbed "a poignant page-turner" by Publishers Weekly; Little Black Dress, a book club favorite and Target Recommended Read that spent five weeks on the St. Louis bestsellers list; and The Cougar Club, a Target "Bookmarked Breakout Title" and a Midwest Connections Pick. Foreign editions of Susan's books have been published in France, Turkey, Croatia, Bulgaria, and Lithuania.
Susan has a short memoir available from HarperCollins: In the Pink: How I Met the Perfect (Younger) Man, Survived Breast Cancer, and Found True Happiness After 40, which tells her tale of becoming an "accidental Cougar" and marrying a younger man, her cancer diagnosis at age 42, and finding herself pregnant at 47. In 2012, Susan was named one of St. Louis's "Most Dynamic People of the Year" by the Ladue News and was given the "Survivor of the Year" Award by the St. Louis affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure. As Susan likes to say, "Life is never boring."