When Josh’s young cousin doesn’t return from a night out, he isn’t immediately concerned. However, after more than a day and a half with no word from Kevin, Josh begins to worry and uses a phone app to track his cousin’s phone. Finding it on the ground outside a mysterious, seemingly empty mansion well off the beaten track, Josh is further surprised when a reporter grabs him from behind and tells him his life could be in danger. When Josh finds out that his cousin has been one more victim of a gang rape by older and wealthier men, he and the reporter, Ed Brolin, join forces to bring the men running the sex ring down. Little do they know just how deep the power behind the horrible acts of violent rape goes.
While this synopsis sounds intriguing, I wish quite frankly that there was way more meat to this story. Author Thom Collins puts forth a really good premise for a fast-paced mystery in his latest novella, Silent Voices, but unfortunately keeps the story so shallow and brief that we barely get into it and it’s over. I wanted so much more. I liked Ed and Josh together, but the “meet and fall into bed two days later” aspect of the novella was just a bit rushed for me. Also, I can’t believe that the men responsible for the violent abuse of so many young college age guys, (which included drugging, raping, and videotaping them), didn’t have a bit more security when it came to hiding the many videos they took of their actions. Ed and Josh were able to grab all the evidence they needed with little next to no problem. This coupled with the instant attraction between Josh and Ed that seemed just a bit out of place, especially considering the premise on which the two of them joined forces in the first place, and it really weakened this story for me.
I wanted more backstory on both Josh and Ed and I definitely would have liked a slower build in their attraction for each other. I felt the mystery elements were solid, but way underdeveloped, as was the story overall. Unfortunately, this book was rushed from start to finish, short on plot, and heavy on sex. Silent Voices had so much potential, but needed a bit more plot development and way less gratuitous sex. This was really the case of good idea, poor execution.