The Silent Bride, by Leslie Glass

>> Sunday, September 29, 2002

After this last book, I felt like reading some non-romance, so I started The Silent Bride, the 7th in Leslie Glass's April Woo series. It's not what I usually read, but there was an intriguing review in AAR. So far, it looks ok.


"Meet Leslie Glass, author of a best-selling series of psychological suspense novels featuring NYPD Detective Sergeant April Woo, the first female Asian American law enforcement officer in American crime fiction; Lieutenant Mike Sanchez, her Mexican American boyfriend; and Dr. Jason Frank, prominent New York psychoanalyst.

In Glass' best-selling series, Detective Sergeant April Woo has been patrolling New York City's gritty streets for nearly a decade. In the June 2002 paperback original novel, The Silent Bride, the 7th in the series, we find mystery fiction's most intriguing cop entangled in another heart-stopping case.

In The Silent Bride, a new threat descends upon the City. At large is a savage psychopath who has murdered a young bride as she marched down the aisle. As panic spreads like wildfire, Woo and Sanchez are brought in on the case as part of the Homicide Task Force. The detectives must dig deep into the complicated wedding industry, wading through danger and deception, to uncover the truth before this elusive and brutal killer can strike again.

Over the course of the series, devoted fans have followed Woo's struggles as she's investigated high pressure, high profile cases while trying to manage her tumultuous personal life. At home, traditional Chinese parents object to both her job and her love for Mexican American Lieutenant Mike Sanchez. At work, police department bosses often doubt her abilities and seek to torpedo her career. While on the streets, there are killers, kidnappers, and abusers lurking in the shadows, poised to lash out if Woo can't get to them first.

Step into Leslie Glass' frighteningly vivid, hauntingly real vision of New York City's sordid underbelly and fall in love with the remarkably strong yet undeniably human April Woo."

Posted later...

Well, I'm done with The Silent Bride and it was an interesting book, which I don't regret reading. I'll grade it a B-, however since I had enough problems with it that I don't think I'll read the rest of the series.

There were some elements here which were original compared to what I usually read. The main one was that it seemed to be more aware of the rest of the world than most American fiction. True, at times I found the portrayal of the minorities here a bit offensive, but at least it was an element of the book. Why offensive? Most of these characters were portrayed as racist, for instance. If some of the words that came out of April's mother's mouth had been said by a WASP character, that character would have been a bigoted pig. Skinny Dragon Mother (I loved that nickname!), however, was portrayed as an irritating but loving mother. Also, April and Mike were unnecessarily callous towards Louis' boys, which I didn't like. Oh, and Ubu's story read exactly like a story I read in Newsweek about the child soldiers of Sierra Leone.

April was an interesting character, but I didn't like her much, since I couldn't really respect her for the way she allowed herself to be bullied by her mother. Maybe this is racist on my part, but I couldn't understand how she worked, so I found myself not liking her.

Another thing that bothered me was her mother (it must be pretty obvious by now that I just detested everything about her except April's nickname for her). I've read a few books in a row featuring moms who want their children to get married and give them children. I hate that plot device. Absolutely detest it. Senior characters just lose all other personality traits and become only grandchild - demanding machines.Oh, and the voices of the characters didn't really ring true to me (Mike sometimes sounded like an old lady, for instance).

The mystery part was ok. It had a fascinating setup, but the resolution was extremely unsatisfying. The author never spells out the murderer's motives (only superficially), and never explains how he chose his victims or how he did everything.

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