The Scream of Silence by Pamela Crane features the improbably named Destiny Childs, the 15-year-old unmarried mother of Baby Childs. Destiny was hopeful when she did not hear the first screams of her baby. The baby would be something less to worry about. The scream she heard signaled profound disappointment for Destiny. But at least other parents were waiting for her, parents already selected for financial and emotional stability. Destiny didn’t even have to hold the child once; the adoptive parents were at the hospital. But Destiny kept up with the birth parents. She was happy that they and her birth daughter were rich. So why did Destiny feel so sad when she saw the TV news report of now 23-year-old daughter Clarissa’s murder?
Initially sad, Destiny looked for a way to turn a terrible situation to her advantage. First, she would contact the adopting family with an offer to help them grieve. Perhaps a charity in the daughter’s name could be set up. Destiny felt up to act as an executor for such a project. With money almost in her pocket and time on her hands, Destiny launched a mini-investigation into her daughter’s death. Was it suicide by poisoning or a different form of homicide?
Destiny’s early suspicions were that the boyfriend did it. He was too perfect, too rich, and too controlling to be true. The first step was to get to know Trace better. A MILF seduction might do the trick. It wasn’t that Destiny thought ex-boyfriend Trace had murdered Clarissa; she knew it. Her task was to manufacture evidence that would convince police.
Her plan is set in motion. Trace is arrested. And Destiny discovers a new truth about herself. This is a fast satisfying read due to the interesting language variety Crane uses. It is complex enough to spur reader reflection. There are unanswered implications arising from some of Destiny’s observations that made me want to read more of Crane’s work. The Art of Fear is now on my TBR shelf.