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Silent Witness: A Sam Kincaid Mystery    by Michael Norman order for
Silent Witness
by Michael Norman
Order:  USA  Can
Poisoned Pen, 2008 (2008)
* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Polygamy raises its head once again in Michael Norman's fictional account of taking one's religion to radical extremes to achieve its goals - even as the fate of children of polygamy is being decided in U.S. courts today.

Silent Witness is topical as it tells a story of a group of extremist Mormon young men who have been banished from Warren Jeffs' Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. These lost boys, unprepared for the world into which they are being thrust, ultimately turn to a life of crime.

Sam Kincaid and Katie McConnel, whom we met in Michael Norman's first book, Commission, are back working to keep witnesses to an armored car robbery alive. Members of the Reformed Church of the Divine Christ, the banished men, are accused of the crime their leader Walter Bradshaw awaits trial while incarcerated. Is he still running his church while in jail?

The well written plot keeps readers turning pages quickly, while the action's shock value almost stops forward progression. The main characters are believable and likable people, doing their jobs to the best of their abilities, even though personal problems intrude. Sam is in danger of losing custody of his daughter, which produces diverting thoughts.

Silent Witness is a good mystery tied up with today's headlines. It's well worth a read.

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