Review: The Silent Girls by Eric Rickstad @ericrickstad

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Release date: January 27, 2015

Publisher: Witness Impulse 

Genre: Mystery/Thriller 


With the dead of a bitter Vermont winter closing in, evil is alive and well . . .

Frank Rath thought he was done with murder when he turned in his detective’s badge to become a private investigator and raise a daughter alone. Then the police in his remote rural community of Canaan find an ’89 Monte Carlo abandoned by the side of the road, and the beautiful teenage girl who owned the car seems to have disappeared without a trace.

Soon Rath’s investigation brings him face-to-face with the darkest abominations of the human soul.

With the consequences of his violent and painful past plaguing him, and young women with secrets vanishing one by one, he discovers once again that even in the smallest towns on the map, evil lurks everywhere–and no one is safe.

Morally complex, seething with wickedness and mystery, and rich in gritty atmosphere and electrifying plot turns, The Silent Girls marks the return of critically acclaimed author Eric Rickstad. Readers of Ian Rankin, Jo Nesbo, and Greg Iles will love this book and find themselves breathless at the incendiary, ambitious, and unforgettable story.


The Silent Girls opens with a shocking and creepy prologue that made me eager to learn more. It was so crazy, intense and scary that I read it out loud to my husband so he could be creeped out as well, and he is NOT a reader whatsoever and even he was captivated. It’s Halloween in 1985 and a woman opens her door to a trick or treater expecting to have an ordinary interaction and it’s anything but. I’ll just say there is bloodshed and the hair on the back of my neck was standing up, a truly chilling opening to a really gripping book. 

It flips to 2011 and you’re introduced to Frank Rath a former police officer turned private investigator living in Vermont. I’m a big fan of a PI as a lead rather than a cop as I love how they can skirt the boundaries of the law and Rath definitely toes the line. He was a really strong protagonist and was crafted extremely well, I totally felt like I had a solid sense of who he is and what motivates him by the end. The secondary characters were also well drawn, they were mostly detectives who were working alongside Rath and you can definitely tell that Rickstad is laying the groundwork for a series. 

The writing style was smart and very distinct, I think I could pick up another one of the authors books with no name on the cover and still know that it was his work. It’s dark and gritty at times, a great companion to the stark setting in the lead up to a brutal Vermont winter. The plot was well constructed and kept me guessing and the subplot surrounding Rath’s personal life really piqued my interest. And that ending, talk about an explosive cliffhanger, I am SO glad that I’ll be reading the second book in this series really soon! 

Overall rating: 4.5/5

Thanks to the author for my review copy. 

15 thoughts on “Review: The Silent Girls by Eric Rickstad @ericrickstad

  1. mudandstars says:

    I totally agree with you on the opening of this book – so creepy, and so gripping! I never actually finished this one, because I found it a bit too gruesome, but you’ve made me want to pick it up again!

    Liked by 1 person

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