Book Review – Silent Are The Dead by George Harmon Coxe
SubTitle: A Flash Casey Mystery (Book One)
Publisher: MysteriousPress.com an imprint of Open Road
Publication Date: November 8th 2011
Married to Elizabeth Fowler in 1929, Coxe had 2 children.
He was named a Grand Master in 1964 by The Mystery Writers of America.
A classic mystery from one of America’s first crime authors!
Flash Casey snaps a photo that holds the key to a corrupt lawyer’s murder.
Casey shouldn’t have had to go back for more pictures of Stanford Endicott. He was at the court with the other newspaper photographers when the wealthy lawyer was arraigned, and got pictures of him smiling as he put on a hat to hide his bald head. But before Casey can get the negatives developed, a pair of urchins steal his camera case and expose the plates to the sun. At his editor’s orders, Casey visits Endicott’s office for another round of photos. The picture he takes there is altogether more interesting: Stanford Endicott, dead on his office floor.
Casey hears a sound in the next room and knows the murderer is close. He gives chase out the front door, and takes a picture just as the killer drives away. Suddenly, Flash Casey has a bigger story than he bargained for.
This is a crime mystery/thriller that I really enjoyed. It is the first in the Jack ‘Flashgun’ Casey, Mystery series.
Jack Casey is a newspaper photographer who seems to end up having all sorts of unavoidable bad luck leading him to get in trouble with his editor for not have the required photographs but he ultimately ends up with the scoop of the week. He has a knack of being in the right place at the wrong time and has a brilliant investigative mind which helps him to unravel the mystery with greater effect than the local detective Logan.
I felt sorry for Logan because Casey kept withholding information from him for important reasons to Casey, but this hampered Logan from deducing the truth without Casey’s help. For a newspaper photographer he has a huge amount of empathy and compassion for his subjects and a set of moral values unique to himself.
The plot has plenty of action, twists and turns, murders and intrigue, deception and cover-ups and a very skilful twist at the end. It is fast paced with complications to the investigation aplenty but also easy to follow without confusion which makes this a masterfully written plot.
There were a few editing issues in the copy I read but these may not have made it into the final copy on sale. Either way the book is so good and strong that the editing issues (which are minor) bear less importance, therefore I award this book 5/5 stars – I loved it.