Review: Sisters In Silence by Bette Golden Lamb & J.J. Lamb

Title: Sisters In Silence

Author: Bette Golden Lamb & J.J. Lamb

Published: August 2011

Synopsis: Fertility counselor Zondra Vesey is not a serial killer – she’s on a mission, a noble mission.  For ten long years she has slaved to help make one man a star specialist in the highly competitive field of infertility treatment, Her thanks? Woman after woman sleeps in his bed, fills his life – as she once did.  Instead of loving her, his surgeon’s hands sliced her open, mutilated her insides, and left her sterile, as barren as the women who flock to him for the miracle of motherhood.
Now, Zondra is angry, grief stricken, and filled with sorrow – a deadly mission burns deep within her.  She will, she must save her sisters from their suffering. Read an Excerpt

Status: Read from April 20 to 21, 2012 — I own a copy {Courtesy the authors}

My Thoughts:

I thought the premise of Sisters In Silence to be interesting when it was offered to me for review and was intrigued that Lamb’s chose to tell the story primarily from the perspective of the serial killer. It can be difficult for an author to maintain the suspense in a novel when the murderers identity and motive is already known to the reader. In this instance however there is tension because we know the threat Zonda poses, while all around her do not. Her professional facade masks her increasing instability and as a calm, caring counselor, she seems an unlikely suspect.

It is Nicole, a nurse at the fertility clinic who first suspects Zonda when her mask slips briefly and Nicole glimpses the rage Zonda has buried. Nicole’s room mate, police officer Jace Michaels, is inclined to believe that there is something suspicious about the suicides of three past clinic patients but in the absence of evidence, her hands are tied. We know that Zonda presents a real threat, so each time Jace misses a connection, or Nicole digs deeper, we fear for them and the women Zonda has targeted.
Witnessing Zonda’s disintegration and her twisted logic for her behaviour is interesting, though I do think the authors needed to flesh out her character a little more. There is a fair bit of repetition in the way Zonda suffers headaches and gets stuck on her complaints which is realistic but stalls the narrative somewhat. I also think Zonda could have been made a more sympathetic character if we’d had a clearer glimpse at what she was like before she was driven to the edge.
The subplot concerning Dr Hawle’s less than ethical medical practices adds another layer to the plot, serving as a red herring in terms of possible motive. I was unconvinced though that Nicole, as his lover, would be willing to investigate him. Their relationship is characterised by Nicole’s near worship of the man and I thought it more probable she would simply pretend to be ignorant of the issue and certainly not confront him. I can understand her wanting to discover the link between the deaths but I feel it would have made more sense for her to have exclusively concentrated on Zonda as a suspect and be blindsided by Hawle’s duplicity.
I like the setting of Sisters in Silence, fertility clinics harbour the possibility of something sinister happening behind the scenes that is rarely explored. The women receiving treatment are uniquely vulnerable and the author’s exploit those nebulous fears well.

Sisters in Silence is a solid medical thriller, while it didn’t quite all come together for me, I did enjoy it and its fast pace kept the pages turning. This husband and wife  show potential as a strong collaborative writing team.

Available To Purchase

@Amazon (Kindle & Print) I @Barnes & Noble

About the Authors

Bette Golden Lamb and J. J. Lamb are the co-authors of three crime novels. Most recently, SISTERS IN SILENCE, a medical thriller about a fertility counselor who has gone off the deep end; HEIR TODAY…, a fast-paced suspense/adventure featuring a husband-wife team “reminiscent of Nick & Nora Charles;” and BONE DRY and SIN AND BONE, high-tension medical thrillers described as “not for the squeamish.” They combine collaboration and cohabitation in an air of creative exchange in their Northern California home.  When not writing, either together or individually, Bette, unmistakably from the Bronx, is a professional ceramist, sculptor, and artist. (, an RN, and a devoted gardener. J. J. is a journalist and a proud and skilled jack-of-all-trades, typical of a born-and-raised Hoosier (  Bette and J. J. also write short stories, when the spirit (and a market) moves them, and J. J. is the author of three private-eye novels featuring Las Vegas-based Zachariah Tobias Rolfe III. Between them, they belong to Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, International Thriller Writers, and the same writers critique group for the past 18 years. In addition to the successful launch of their latest co-authored thriller, the Lambs are looking forward to the publication of new individual novels – an Urban Fantasy from Bette, and a new Zach Rolfe caper from J. J. And there is another medical thriller in the works.


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