I learned about The Unspoken through Amazon First Reads. I have had good luck with other First Reads (especially Victoria Selman), and this novel looked interesting. So, here’s my evaluation:
The Unspoken by Ian K. Smith is a good-enough novel. It features Ashe Cayne, a former Chicago police detective, and an honest one at that, now a private investigator.
In this novel, Cayne is hired by the wife of one of Chicago’s wealthiest white businessmen to find their missing daughter. Along the way, a black acquaintance of the daughter is murdered, and Cayne believes the two cases are related. But the young black victim is nephew of one of Chicago’s most notorious gang lords, and the uncle wants revenge. Will Cayne find the girl and catch the killer before it’s too late?
On the whole, the main plot of this story worked for me. It wasn’t a great story–on the level of, say, Michael Connelly–but it was a page-turner, which is my primary rule for mystery novels. The one caveat I have about this book is the side plot involving a defrocked Catholic priest, which I thought was distracting and out of character for Ashe Cayne. If Cayne’s sideline righting old wrongs turns out to be a feature of forthcoming novels, I may skip them.
So, three stars for The Unspoken. It’s good read to while away the time.
Ian K. Smith, The Unspoken (Seattle, WA: Thomas and Mercer, 2020).
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