Brenda Stanley’s The Still Small Voice is a riveting mystery centering on a dying man’s final wish.
Shunned by her family for rejecting the tenets of the Mormon Church, Madison left home intending to never come back. However, after years away, she reluctantly returns at the request of her dying father. He has a confession he will only make to his daughter, but his infirm condition renders him in and out of consciousness, leaving Madison to piece together the facts.
During one of her father’s moments of consciousness, he directs her to a safe where she finds a photo album labeled “Youth Camp 1981.” All he says is that a young girl died; another, Amelia, has been serving a life sentence for her murder, and he wants Madison to rectify the situation.
Complicating the case is that Amelia confessed to pushing her friend off a cliff and, even years later, refuses to recant her testimony. Madison discovers her father was a witness but never came forward to tell the truth. She doesn’t know if he was the killer or simply knows who was.
While conducting interviews and reviewing court documents, Madison endures the condemnation of her siblings and her mother’s aloofness for her past transgressions. Expecting this, she makes the trip without her spouse and stays with her long-time friend rather than in the family home. These details provide a surprising twist.
Stanley has crafted a riveting novel that is both a mystery for Madison (and readers) to unravel and affirmation that her choices to live life on her terms, not her parents, were correct.
The narrative is fast-paced, with strong, fully dimensional characters and engaging dialogue. Madison’s struggle with her family members, who remain disdainful toward her, is poignant and tangible, and the mystery of her father’s involvement with the young girl’s death is captivating.
In short, this is a well-written, absorbing story—one that will keep readers guessing until the final pages.
Also available in hardcover and ebook.