Without a Word: A Rachel Alexander Mystery (Rachel Alexander & Dash Mysteries)

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9780060539016: Without a Word: A Rachel Alexander Mystery (Rachel Alexander & Dash Mysteries)

Critics around the country have consistently praised Shamus Award-winning author Carol Lea Benjamin for her razor-sharp writing, stylish plotting, and characters so rich and fully fleshed that you feel as if you've known them all of your life. Now, in a tale of family secrets and heartbreaking betrayals, Benjamin lifts the private-eye novel to new heights -- planting herself firmly in the ranks of the most respected crime novelists writing today.

In a city where enemies are as easy to come by as friends and where paranoia is the norm, private investigator Rachel Alexander is surprised to see someone waiting for her at New York City's Washington Square Park dog run, where she takes her pit bull, Dashiell, for his daily R&R. When the distraught man asks her to find his missing wife, Rachel accepts the case reluctantly. After all, the chances of finding a woman who disappeared without a trace -- and without a word -- five years earlier are slim. But Rachel is touched by the missing woman's daughter, a troubled young girl who has been mute since her mother disappeared and who is now suspected of the brutal stabbing murder of her doctor.

Although the girl can't, or won't, speak for herself, Rachel believes she is innocent and is determined to find a way to communicate with her in order to discover the truth and clear her name. Against a backdrop of infidelity, neglect, and a city at times as lonely and frightening as a child's worst nightmares, Rachel's involvement in the case uncovers issues more complex, and more tragic, than she's ever seen, eventually exposing problems that someone is willing to die, or even kill, for.

Mining the underbelly of New York City's oldest and most fascinating neighborhoods and exploring its rich tapestry of people, Without a Word is a gripping and unforgettable work from one of mystery's most talented authors.

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About the Author:

Carol Lea Benjamin is a noted author about, and trainer of, dogs. Her award-winning books on dog behavior and training include Mother Knows Best: The Natural Way to Train Your Dog, Second-Hand Dog, and Dog Training in Ten Minutes. A former detective, Benjamin blends her knowledge of dogs with her real-life experiences to create the Rachel Alexander mystery series. Recently honored by the International Association of Canine Professionals with election to their Hall of Fame, she lives in Greenwich Village with her husband and three dogs, Dexter, Flash, and Peep.

From Publishers Weekly:

Silence speaks volumes in Benjamin's heartfelt eighth Rachel Alexander mystery (after 2004's Fall Guy), a complex portrait of a severely damaged child and her emotionally cut-off father. The Greenwich Village PI agrees to search for photograper Leon Spector's wife, Sally, who five years earlier took the dog for a walk and never came back. Sally left behind her bereft husband and daughter, Madison, a precocious child who stopped talking three days later. Leon and Madison's obvious pain draws Rachel to them. Suffering from a nervous disorder, the girl has been in therapy with Dr. Erich Bechman, who has used botox to stop her tics. When Bechman turns up dead, apparently stabbed with a syringe following one of Madison's outbursts, the police assume she's the culprit. Leon hopes against hope that Sally's return will cause the girl to speak at least enough to tell what happened. Certain that the girl is innocent, Rachel determines to track down the real killer. In the process, she gives voice to the problems of many people caught up in circumstances beyond their control, for whom only desperate measures seem the answer.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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