“Sure, do you have a plan?”
“No, I was hoping you did.”
“Excellent. This should be fun then.”
With Silent Screams is Nathan Garret’s third adventure. It’s a complete story on its own and does a good job of explaining the key concepts and characters, but tons of significance and context would be lost without knowing Nate’s background first. Best to not start here – go back to Crimes Against Magic (book 1). Also see my review for Born of Hatred (book 2).
An old friend’s murder throws Nate into a long battle of move and counter move all connected to a series of grizzly murders he helped investigate thirty years ago. The care and expertise with which McHugh plays with and builds off of these cliched starting points makes With Silent Screams an incredible ride and easily the best of the Hellequin series thus far. The pace is breakneck without glossing over anything or losing the reader and a fantastic level of tension and intrigue permeates the book.
One of the best things abut this installment is the flashbacks and current time are equally interesting. Don’t know is McHugh is just finding a better balance, if the proximity to current day of the flashbacks helps, or if it’s because of how completely the stories are intertwined. Probably all three. The net effect is that I didn’t experience the slight drag the previous books had whenever going to the past timeline.
Although did I notice on rereading the previous two books I was more invested in those past events than the first time through, and in this one knowing how things would turn out took just a little of the reading urgency away. All three held up very well overall though and I’m glad to discover I’ll enjoy revisiting these, likely regularly.
The supporting cast is developing wonderfully and there are both great new additions and reappearances from old favorites. The mythos is expanding naturally and logically and everything from the magic system to the way various mythological figures coexist is compelling and engrossing.
Overall this third Hellequin novel brings the already strong series up several notches and builds great momentum for future books. Highly recommended.