Silenced by Nicole Givens Kurtz - Another for the keeper shelf

For the past few months or so I've been waiting for this book and a new sci-fi series to sink my teeth into. Silenced certainly delivered. The story revolves around Cybil Lewis, a private investigator in the year 2146 during a time with the United States has broken up into smaller territories. In the running for the governor position is Mayor Annabelle Christensen, a picture perfect poised woman always decked out in designer wear. Mayor Christensen comes to Cybil for help with finding her daughter Amanda who went missing. Cybil eventually takes her up on the offer and soon dives into a conspiracy where everyone wears masks and the truth is hidden between a neatly threaded web of lies.

I really enjoyed Silenced for so many reasons. Cybil for one weaves this tale with such a unique voice as she speaks to the audience throughout the book. There were so many one liners and quips that kept me chuckling to myself at her smart alecky comebacks The real beauty of the book lies within the descriptions. Kurtz has a gift for describing visuals and feelings so much that you can feel the atmosphere of futuristic D.C. and Memphis, taste the food (Cybil has an affinity for the peppered sweetness of jalapeno jelly on toast with her coffee) and see the cool gadgets of the age. I have to admit the gadgets were probably some of my favorite additions to the story. From the hovering automobiles called wautos to the foghog which attaches to the end of cigarettes to inhale second hand smoke to the dangerous drugs of the day from ackback to Zenith, I felt like I had fallen into a different world and I loved meeting the different inhabitants. The variations of culture with the characters make the closeness to reality a special treat because you don't see much diversity in most sci-fi books of today.

Silenced has the feel of a film noir mixed with science fiction; two of my favorite genres mixed together like the awesome and classical Blade Runner. Readers may liken the series to the current popular J.D. Robb's In Death series (the first book I couldn't get into and didn't finish) and although there may be some similarities (Captain Hansen reminded me of Roarke for some reason and I really hope to see him and Cybil start something in the future!) this book was infinitely better.

The story takes it's time to start up while it introduces you to the background of Cybil and her surroundings, but once it gets going you'll have to hold onto your seat. Although the mystery is tied up in the end, including some characters that were introduced really early in the book, there were still a question or two brought up later in the book that still are left unanswered. I imagine with the series we'll learn more about these items as we dive into more mysteries and get more information on the factions that inhabit this world.

The Cybil Lewis series is definitely an auto-buy with Silenced going on my keeper shelf. If you enjoy a futuristic mystery noir series with a fiesty, tough PI heroine you may want to pick it up and give it a read.

Nicole is this month's featured author on A Writer's Dream. To read more about her check out her spotlight interview here.