What do you do when you learn that your wealthy husband has kidnapped your daughter and may have once committed murder? For Noelle Van Doren, protagonist of Silence, the answer is clear. Disregarding her divorce lawyer's advice to lay low, the once-meek housewife decides to play detective, at one point trailing her evil ex to a cemetery. "Yes, that's what this was, she thought, something even sillier than a movie, a Nancy Drew novel," Goudge writes with a presumably knowing wink. "She suppressed a giggle. If she started to laugh, she wasn't sure she'd be able to stop."
Suppressing disbelief is what's required to enjoy this potboiler, which indeed reads like a teen mystery—played out on Melrose Place. Goudge (One Last Dance) is known for creating strong women with complicated love lives. In Silence, she gives us three—Noelle; Noelle's estranged mom, Mary, a PR exec who's still in love with Noelle's dad; and feisty half sister Bronwyn, 16, who pines for a not-so-bad boy. Goudge stirs them all into a twisting, if ultimately predictable, plot. Hint: Each gal gets her man. (Viking, $24.95)