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Keeping Silent Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Keeping Silent


The story opens in the midst of a therapy session Caleb Knowles is holding with one of his patients. He is a social worker. When he repeatedly ignores his phone ringing, the receptionists interrupts the session to tell him the police are on the line and they need him at his brother Sam's house because there is a family emergency. When he arrives, he discovers his deaf brother's fiance has been murdered in the studio where they both live. Sam is a sculptor, and she was killed with his latest creation, a statue of the angel Gabriel. As no one else is at the house, it quickly becomes obvious to Caleb, that his gentle brother is the prime suspect and the police are not planning to look anywhere else, his brother has shut down and is not communicating with anyone. Caleb is determined to find the real killer.
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Anne, Sam's fiance, was an auditor. Caleb begins his search talking to coworkers to see if they had noticed any changes in her behavior. He also talks to sme children who were outside when she was murdered, and they said she was looking up and down the street as if waiting for something. Friends rally around Sam, including Stewart, a local reverend and close friend of the family. Meanwhile, Caleb continues his work and finds that one of his clients had been sexually harassed by her employer, ironically, the same employer is being audited by Anne. This client attempts suicide and her father threatens Caleb to stay away from her, but Caleb suspects she had been molested as a child, and wonders if it was the father.

As the story continues, the interrelationships between Anne, his clients and his brother's dead fiance, and the files Anne brought home to work on, lead Caleb to wonder if the audit was related to her death. At the request of her employer, he locates the files, but due to his suspicions, locks them in his office. When he goes to retrieve them after hours, he is assaulted by two people who start a fire in the file room and leave him to die. Saved by his brother, he convinces one of the police detectives to look in another direction, while the police captain, who has a relationship with Caleb's suspects, pushes for Sam's arrest. The files were not damaged and Caleb convinces one of Anne's coworkers to look at them. She confirms his suspicions, reports the man being audited, who is then contacted by the FBI.

Then Caleb is kidnapped by the man Anne was audited, who tells him he didn't kill Anne, but who then commits suicide because his life is over. Throughout the story, Caleb occasionally questions whether he is wrong and if his brother truly could have killed Anne, particularly after he discovers she was pregnant, but had an abortion. Eventually, Caleb discovers who the real killer is and his identity is as surprising as the reason he killed her.
Best part of story, including ending: At first I thought, oh yeah, I know who the killer is, but then, as I found out I was wrong, I was mystified and never would have guessed who it was. The interrelationships with the clients and the murder were quintessential six degrees of separation

Best scene in story: My favorite scene was one of the sessions he had with a schizophrenic because of the crazy answers she had on her resume when she was trying to get a job.

Opinion about the main character: He is real. He has doubts about his belief in his brother and the possibility that it is just what he wants to believe.

The review of this Book prepared by Julie Segraves a Level 3 Eurasian Jay scholar

Chapter Analysis of Keeping Silent

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 60%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 40% Tone of story    -   depressing/sad How difficult to spot villain?    -   Very difficult--no foreshadowing/clues Time/era of story:    -   2000+ (Present) What % of story relates directly to the mystery, not the subplot?    -   70% Special suspect?    -   lover Murder of certain profession?    -   businessmen Misc. Murder Plotlets    -   Proving innocence of very obvious suspect Kind of investigator    -   amateur citizen investigator Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Crime Thriller    -   Yes Murder Mystery (killer unknown)    -   Yes General Crime (including known murderer)    -   Yes Who's the criminal enemy here?    -   crazed lover/family member

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   psychiatrist Ethnicity/Race    -   White/American Unusual characteristics:    -   Super sensitive soggy jelly muffin

Setting

United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Southeast

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   no torture/death Amount of dialog    -   mostly dialog

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Carla Damron Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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