A VVivacious Review: Mute Witness by Rick R. Reed

Rating: 4 Stars out of 5
Mute Witness 2Book Synopsis: When a little boy ends up missing, his parents’ lives are turned upside down and inside out. But the relief that comes when the boy is found is marred by the appalling truth that comes to light.
As Shelley tries to be strong for her son while holding herself together, things spin out of control. While Sean’s worry of how his homosexuality might be used as a weapon to keep him away from his only child in light of the abuse he has suffered, is realised. And will Jason speak up against his abuser or has this one event struck him mute forever.
 The blurb of this book is very misleading. While I enjoyed the book so I didn’t really mind the misleading blurb but this book is actually about a child who is sexually abused and how this impacts his life and the lives of those around him. Sean being gay though deliberate on the part of the author is just another nuance to the story because this book is not about Sean being gay it is about Sean, a father whose son has been very brutally abused.
Now where this blurb is misleading is in the fact that I thought the events in this book would be narrated as per Sean or Austin’s POV or from their perspective. But this book has multiple POVs including those of Shelley (Jason’s mother), Paul (Shelley’s husband), Estelle (Shelley’s mother) along with Sean, Austin and Jason and all of them are equally important characters, if not more. Especially Shelley we spend quite a lot of time in her head.
This is also not a romance story and doesn’t focus on relationships outside of how this adverse event puts a strain on them. This story is about one horrifying precipitating event that leads to a chain of reactions that propels the characters in this story.
My one problem with the plot was the multiple POVs because as it so happens in multiple POVs the moment the narrative of a particular character becomes interesting we flip to another character who can’t add anything to the interesting titbit we just learned.
This book is a story of people under insurmountable anguish who must learn to live their lives all over again and how our actions at the time of adversity can have irreversible consequences. The characters in this book have a really gritty feel, like the reality of their situations makes itself known on the surface itself. As such the book focuses on a lot of people other than aforementioned six and we get to see their perceptions and motivations as well.
As such I see why multiple POVs work for this story as it helps to increase the scope of the story as well as to realistically portray the extent of damage one wrong thing can produce. Also I loved how we got two perceptions of people one of how they perceive themselves and one of how they were perceived by people who knew them and in some cases an additional third of how a casual bystander perceives them.
This story is riveting, once you start the book it is hard to stop in between as the story twists and turns with subtlety through the wide landscape of havoc that descends on the lives of two parents who love their son immensely.
A word of caution while reading this book is that you will need to keep an open mind and also the fact remains that this book is most definitely not a romance; it is more of a thriller with slight bits of mystery and suspense.
Cover Art by Aaron Anderson. I liked the cover a lot it aptly portrays the dumb horror of what the story holds in store for you.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press |  Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 2nd Edition, 290 pages
Published February 9th 2016 by DSP Publications (first published 2009)
Original TitleMute Witness
Edition LanguageEnglish

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