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Crescent Blues Book ViewsImage: two and a half moon gif Pocket Books (Paperback), ISBN 0-671-78591-5
In Voices Carry, Mariah Stewart focuses on two characters from her earlier novel, Brown-eyed Girl -- Genna Snow (a successful FBI agent) and her former lover, John Mancini (also an FBI agent). After a torrid and presumably wonderful affair John walked out on Genna with no explanation, leaving her distraught and distrusting.

Book: Mariah Stewart, Voices CarryMonths later John walks back into her life when the Bureau throws them together to solve a series of murders. During the investigation Genna must not only face old terrors but the raw fears brought about by John's recent abandonment. For his part, John wants nothing more than total reconciliation with the woman he loves.

While supposedly a mystery, Voices Carry contains very few mysterious elements. Stewart begins the novel by showing us the horrid sexual abuse suffered by Genna as a young child, thereby introducing the villain, Brother Michael. The story jumps forward 20 years (although sometimes it seems to be 18, 19 or 20 years) to a series of supposedly unrelated murders.

The plot leaves no doubts as to the identity of this new serial killer nor the tie between him and the women he kills. The story line also leaves no doubt as to his final target -- Genna. Surprisingly, Genna herself doesn't connect the dots.

Book: Mariah Stewart, Brown Eyed Girl

Stewart throws in a red herring, involving the Amish community and drugs, at the beginning of the novel, but she never bothers to tie up this flailing loose end.

Personally, I feel the story could have been more suspenseful if Stewart withheld more information and snuck in clues in unexpected places. Unfortunately, the story lacks narrative drive, because the reader already knows what will happen long before it does.

In addition, the name of the novel, Voices Carry remained a distraction throughout. I found myself humming the song, "Voices Carry" by 'Til Tuesday every time I picked it up.

Heather Firth

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Click here to read Patricia Lucas White's review of Voices Carry.