Plot/Idea: A tense mystery unfolds when a private investigator must track down a missing young woman.
Prose: Tight prose drives the plot forward, and dialogue serves the story well. Scenes depicting the kidnapped women’s abuse are harrowing and graphic.
Originality: The all-too-real crisis of the abductions of Native American women is depicted in When Silence Screams. However, certain plots and discoveries are solved via happenstance more so than clever detective work, which may be immersion-breaking for some readers.
Character Development/Execution: Detective Arthur Nakai is a driven protagonist who readers will want to root for. Kidnapping victim April Manygoats has more agency than similar characters, never being one to simply allow the circumstances to unfold around her.
Date Submitted: April 08, 2022
Langley delves thoughtfully into the tragic issue of how missing indigenous women are often ignored by authorities as well as the ways in which indigenous people in America face survival in a culture attempting to erase them. The scenes of April in captivity with her torturer border will be too graphic for many readers, but Langley endows her with a lot of agency, especially as she endeavors to escape. A subplot involving another missing indigenous woman underscores the variety of circumstances that can lead to these crimes, yet, plotwise is somewhat tangential.
Langley’s resolution is satisfying, if a little pat, but he succeeds in slowly, organically leading Nakai–and attentive readers–to the killer, while vividly sketching relationships, cultures, and Santa Fe and its surroundings. Readers will appreciate that the morally vacant villains get their comeuppance, given the explicitly detailed nature of their crimes, and Langley never loses sight of the humanity of his protagonists, ensuring that this sometimes brutal story’s sensationalist elements never overshadow its moments of inspiration. Crime mystery fans will enjoy piecing together the puzzle, but the tragic details of indigenous women going missing give it power.
Takeaway: Detective fans will enjoy this thriller that powerfully depicts the crisis of abducted indigenous women.
Great for fans of: Louise Erdrich’s The Round House, Dana Stabenow’s A Cold Day for Murder.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: B
" I worked vice for over 24 years, and I've interviewed well over 5000 prostitutes at one time or another. I encountered many children on the street who were broken even before they were coerced into prostitution. Man, that is great writing! I'll be singing your praises on Amazon." --- Joseph B. Haggerty, Award-winning author and lecturer on the sexual exploitation of women
This book is exemplary in its structure, organization, and pacing. This was a very intense, difficult read, which points to a story that grabbed my attention and emotions from the very beginning. The quick pacing made this a true page-turner. The twists and turns and the emotional content were brilliantly woven together to produce a story with an impact on all my senses. Your characters are so realistic, I felt as though you were basing them on real people. Your writing style and voice are very gritty, succinct, and matter-of-fact. This is what makes this such a page-turner!
"Mark Edward Langley describes the landscape so vividly you feel as though you are there. You can see it, taste it, and smell it. Every man wants to be Arthur Nakai and every woman wants to be his partner."
"Mark Edward Langley plots his story around Indigenous women, who all too often are overlooked by authorities when they go missing. In this exciting, action-driven novel, Arthur Nakai, a Navajo, ex-Marine and newly minted private investigator, is pitted against a merciless sex trafficker and a killer who gets off on torturing the girls he kidnaps. But April Manygoats will not go quietly to her death. The many graphic descriptions of depraved sexual acts are disturbing, but this is an important story meant to draw attention to a deplorable reality."
WHEN SILENCE SCREAMS: It’s frightening,the stakes are high, the pace is solid. It doesn’t race the way a typical action piece would, but itbuilds, with careful deliberation. Instead of tired tropes, it turns them inside out, to somethingmore interesting and worthwhile. It doesn’t belittle any of the characters. The voice is strong,clear, unique, and conﬁdant. It's easy to visualize this as a limited run series. It would do a disservice to cut it down in order toﬁt into a feature, since it’s relatively lean already. But breaking it across several episodes wouldserve the audience and the story. It is a piece that is riveting in its novel form, while still workingas an adaptation. One medium hasn’t been cheated with an eye to the other. As long as the rest ofthe piece fulﬁlls the promise of these early pages, it’s a strong candidate for adaptation.
"Langley's third installment of his Arthur Nakai Mysteries is the most thrilling yet. The characters are fully formed, and the danger is real and urgent. Langley has an unmatched feel for his New Mexico setting, both the landscape and the culture. A master of dialogue, Langley lets the banter flow freely and allows the mystery to drive the story from the opening pages to its heart-pounding conclusion. There's not a better detective writer in the American West."
Just received word from Killer Nashville that When Silence Screams has been named as a finalist for the 2022 Silver Falchion Award in the Best Mystery category! So proud to have made the cut. Let's see what next month will bring!
It has already won the Firebird Award for mystery fictition and the PSWA award and been named as a National Indie Excellence Awards Finalist!
"Clear your schedule before you start reading this book, because you won't want to put it down until you've finished it. If you're a fan of Tony and Anne Hillerman, you'll love Mark Edward Langley!"
“When Silence Screams is a very relevant and timely story. It is a clever story. It is an interesting and contemporary story. When Silence Screams is a story sure to be enjoyed by fans of the mystery/thriller genre."
"The third mystery featuring Arthur Nakai, now a licensed Private Investigator, is a dark, horrifying tale of kidnapping and human trafficking. When Silence Screams is all but impossible to put down until the last page, and highly recommended!"
"I can tell you, I'm a veteran, and your characters are real to me. Mark Edward Langley is a true voice of the west."
"Mark Edward Langley gets you inside of the heads of his characters and you can feel their every emotion. The story itself is very pertinent in today's world and helps bring awareness to an issue that is really an important one."
Baxk in October of 2022 I submittied on a whim to the above screen qriting competition. The reviews it got were fantastic! Here is just one: "It’s frightening, the stakes are high, the pace is solid. It doesn’t race the way a typical action piece would, but it builds, with careful deliberation. Instead of tired tropes, it turns them inside out, to something more interesting and worthwhile. It doesn’t belittle any of the characters. The voice is strong, clear, unique, and conﬁdant. It's easy to visualize this as a limited run series. It would do a disservice to cut it down in order to ﬁt into a feature, since it’s relatively lean already. But breaking it across several episodes would serve the audience and the story. It is a piece that is riveting in its novel form, while still working as an adaptation. One medium hasn’t been cheated with an eye to the other. it’s a strong candidate for adaptation."
It moved well through each stage and was one of only thirteen works to be named as a finalist! Unfortuneatly, it did not win. But to do so incredibly well in a contest headed by Gillian Flynn was an incredible honor! As of now, it is still being seen by Hollywood and may have a chance to make another one of my dreams and goals come true!
I am pleased to announce that my 3rd Arthur Nakai mystery novel has earned finalist awards in the 2022 Killer Nashville Silver Falchion award, the 2022 National Indie Excellence Awards, the 2022 New Mexico/Arizona Book Awards and the 2022 NYC Big Book Awards! I have been writing for 28 years and retired at the end of 2016 to focus on writing. With three novels published in five years I feel as though I am knocking on the door and will finally be recognized as a writer. I think it is a remarkable achievement to have garnered these awards since my 2nd Arthur Nakai Novel was released, Death Waits in the Dark. With When Silence Screams, I believe the content speaks for itself and is Arthur's darkest and grittiest story yet.
Interview and review in the Albuquerque Journal, Albuquerque, New Mexico
After giving serveal radio, podcast and newspaper interviews, I was overjoyed to read a story about my new novel, When Silence Screams, on ne of the front pages of a New Mexico newsaper! Two more are expected!
Schererville author pens new Western mystery novel