Author Edita A. Petrick wastes no time in grabbing her readers’ attention in this crime thriller, The Path of Silence. When Baltimore Homicide Detective Meg Stanton and her partner Ken Leahman leave their desk jobs in the cold case unit and make a quick stop at the local 7-Eleven they are pulled into the strangest case of their careers. On leaving the convenience store they discover a dead man sprawled across the hood of Ken’s car. The body belongs to an economist, Jonathan Brick, who had been reported missing four years earlier. His fiancée Patricia Vanier had believed he had been kidnapped. It wasn’t the first time that Brick had disappeared and the police put her report down to mental illness. Referred to the Baltimore P.D.’s consulting psychiatrist, she was recommended for “extensive mental therapy”.
The question of where Brick had been for the past four years is just the beginning of a suspense laden story loaded with bizarre murders. Brick hadn’t been shot or stabbed; his chest had simply exploded. As the detectives investigate the mysterious deaths they are drawn into a conspiracy that involves a psychiatric institution and even Johns Hopkins Hospital. Supported by medical examiner Joe Smeddin, they struggle to piece together what was happening in Baltimore.
Along with the investigation, Meg has a secret of her own. A single mother of a daughter, Jasmine or “Jazz”, she has kept the identity of the child’s father disclosed from everyone, including her daughter. At ten years old, the little girl is determined to learn more about her family because not only is her father’s identity a secret, Meg refuses to divulge anything about her own family.
Integrating Meg’s hidden past with a taut medical murder mystery, Petrick assures the reader will never experience a dull moment. Even seemingly incidental characters are memorable as they are woven into the story with expert ease. The author even manages to sneak some romance into the tale, although the relationship is not the focus of the events.
Petrick takes a medical miracle and turns it into a tool for murder, revenge, and money-making. As with most good murders, the intention of the killer is first to play God, but when brilliance goes unrecognized, good turns evil and innocent blood is spilled. The plot is original and compelling throughout. Although there are some typos and missing words, they did not effect my enjoyment of the book. I recommend this mystery to anyone who enjoys a unique murder mystery.