Molly's Reviews

Brenda M. Boldin
E-Books on the Net, 2001

Alex Master has spent a year in Bay City Jail before her new attorney has gotten her released and placed in a Work Rehab Program. Alex is doing clerical work at the police station, she is wearing a monitoring bracelet so that her movements can be checked 24/7 and Homicide officer Cole Armstrong is still on the force. The Lieutenant has been put in charge of the recent serial killings of prostitutes. The Ancient Rebellion band, Jimmy, Bruce, Woody and Cole, are anxious to have Alex return to singing with them. Alex is stalked by the murderer, ends up in the hospital and Cole is once again in the position of trying to unravel the mystery surrounding this enigmatic woman.

In this sequel to her popular 'Dead Birds Don't Sing,' writer Boldin has done it again! This well written narrative is a spellbinder right from the opening prologue in which a young child watches as Mom is killed and on to the last page. Filled with much of the same apprehension Christine Spindler has woven into her 'Faces of Fear' writer Boldin adds a rousing measure of multiple personality, artifice, consternation, annihilation and enough red herrings to keep the most avid mystery reader hooked. Boldin's recurring characters continue to reveal themselves to us in such manner that we want more. Alex is a complex woman beset with horrific demons from the past. Cole continues as likable and unable to fathom Alex as he was in the first book.

Boldin has created a credible backdrop filled with just the right mix of snappy dialogue, detailed police setting and hagridden murderer. She again tantalizes us with a bit of a cliffhanger. Will Alex leave Bay City and begin life anew in another town, or will she stay and confront the demons that continue to bedevil her. Armstrong is doing his best to convince her that she should stay. He has begun to understand something of her past and what has caused this bright woman to be 'stuck' in her teens. Alex is as determined to move on. And we can only hope that writer Boldin does not keep us waiting too long before we discover what Alex is up to next.

Dead Birds don't SingDEAD BIRDS DON'T SING
by Brenda M. Boldin

' Alex Masters entered the Bay City Central Bank at full speed, grateful the door hadn't been locked yet. Several people waited in line for the tellers. She was going too fast and lurched into the last man standing in line.

"Oh God, I'm so sorry," Alex said as the stranger whirled around to glare at her. An explanation seemed necessary as he continued to stare at her. "I need to get this deposit in before two o'clock." Alex held up the heavy canvas bag. "I ran all the way here." ' From these opening words right down to the last page Brenda M. Boldin's first novel draws the reader into a tale filled with mystery and intrigue.

Alex Masters was unaware her carefully constructed 'new' life was about to change when she made her breathless rush to deposit the day's receipts for her boss at the Secretarial School where she was now employed. Alex realizes to her horror that the men entering the building not long after she joins a line inside the bank are men she knows and knows too well. Taken hostage during a daring robbery Alex faces death first at the hands of her abductors and then later by someone she does not suspect at all.

Reminescent of the twists and turns found in 'Pepper Pike' by Les Roberts and filled with Erle Stanley Gardner style conniving; DEAD BIRDS DON'T SING is a 'keep you turning the page' read. The consternation felt by Alex is both unmistakable and believable. Desperation driving Alex to find some answers and protect herself is something we can all feel and identify with. The interlaced personal issues officer Cole Armstrong and Alex realize have risen between them, share space here within an complex well wrought thriller by this novice writer. Bolden's cleverness for the interplay that takes place between people and her expressive account suck the reader right into the story.

This new novelist has a comprehension of the mysterious presence many do not possess. She skillfully uses that understanding to present a set of well thought out characters who keep you turning the pages to see what will happen next. DEAD BIRDS DON'T SING offers the reader a chance to ponder just how they might have read the clues surrounding the one person Alex only realizes too late is the one who carries the most menace for her life.

This almost native Virginian was born in Cleveland, OH and is a graduate of
Frank W. Cox High School, Virginia Beach. She earned her BA from Roanoke College, Salem VA. Brenda is currently living in Virginia Beach with her a chaplain at a sub acute hospital and campus pastor at Old Dominion University husband, 8 year old son and 4 Cats. This soccer mom whose favorite non writing pastime after her family is reading with mysteries high on the list works part-time as a secretary at a Methodist church.

DEAD BIRDS DON'T SING is Brenda Bolden's first mystery thriller. We who enjoy thrillers are delighted to know that Brenda is hard at work on the next and many more novels in this series. DEAD BIRDS DON'T SING is a narrative that will grab you and hold you tight from the first line right on down to the last page. Enjoyable read, highly recommended.




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2005 by Molly Martin