Tuesday, January 26, 2010

MUTE WITNESS by Rick R. Reed

Publisher MLR PRESS
Date published September 2009
ISBN 978-1-60820-108-2
M/M Contemporary Suspense
Obtained via: Publisher
Reviewed by Tammy

Rick R. Reed’s MUTE WITNESS is an emotionally wrenching story of child abuse and bigotry that touches the heart and lingers in the mind long after it ends.

Left mute after surviving a brutal beating and rape, eight-year-old Jason’s idyllic life is changed forever. His homosexual father Sean and his lover are prime suspects simply because of their sexual orientation and find themselves struggling with the aftermath. Jason’s mother is beside herself with worry for her son and Jason’s step-father takes the word “Neanderthal” to new levels. As small town minds attempt to separate Jason from his father and his mother faces her own medical challenges, Jason is forced to hide inside himself as his attacker takes desperate measures to ensure that Jason tells no one just how close evil resides.

Rick Reed goes right to the heart of a parent’s worse fears of brutal harm coming to their child while they have no way to help them. MUTE WITNESS is definitely not a light and easy read. It touches so many emotions; love, guilt, fear, betrayal, bigotry, strength and forgiveness. This book is dark and frightening and incredibly well written. What happens to Jason doesn’t just happen to him. It impacts everyone in his life. Readers experience the effects of bigotry right alongside Jason’s father as suspicion turns to him and his lover. It would take a hard heart indeed not to feel the incredible frustration Sean is forced to endure as circumstances and small minds keep Sean from his son. This reader could not put this book down. It was simply that gripping. Though it is obvious from early in the storyline just who the villain in the piece is, having the truth revealed and the healing start to take place for all the characters involved is pulse-racing suspense that readers will not be able to turn away from.

It would be nearly impossible not to feel affected by this traumatic storyline. While this reader has not read any of Mr. Reed’s other stories to-date, it is probably not a stretch to say MUTE WITNESS must be one of his finest works. Rick R. Reed is an author this reader will not soon forget. For emotional suspense, you just don’t get much better than Rick R. Reed’s MUTE WITNESS.


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