Cover image for Silent snow
Title:
Silent snow
Author:
Thayer, Steve.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Viking, 1999.
Physical Description:
340 pages ; 24 cm
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780670865727
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

The majestically shifting Minnesota weather that dominated Steve Thayer's acclaimed novel The Weatherman swirls eerily through his second equally sophisticated thriller. March first finds Rick Beanblossom, hero of The Weatherman, now St. Paul's top investigative reporter, looking out on the icy, brooding night city. Rick, known as the man without a face--a face he lost to napalm while saving lives in Vietnam--is now married to beautiful anchor Andrea Labore, queen of Sky High News, and father of an infant boy. On Beanblossom's desk tonight lies a strange piece of anonymous mail, a memento of another March first--the date, in 1932, of the famous Lindbergh baby kidnapping.But this night, at the height of a savage blizzard, Rick's own beloved child will be snatched from his nursery, with his mother only a room away. All Beanblossom's newspaperman instincts tell him the secret of his son's disappearance lies in his past--and so he begins a war on two fronts: to track every lead in the present while he delves into the tortured Lindbergh history and the history of another hard-boiled St. Paul reporter, Grover Mudd for a clue--any clue--that could bring his son back. His investigation, racing through snow against time makes Silent Snow a brilliant new blend of history and fiction for readers of Caleb Carr's The Alienist and Robert Harris's Fatherland.


Author Notes

Steve Thayer was born in St. Paul, Minnesota on March 23, 1953. He graduated from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Pasadena, California in 1976. He started writing his first book, Saint Mudd, in 1982. His other works include The Weatherman and Wheat Field.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 2

Booklist Review

This adept and fascinating novel revolving around the Lindbergh kidnapping explores the possibility that convicted kidnapper Bruno Hauptmann had an accomplice. This psychopath is alive today and living in Minneapolis. Now, his victims are Rick Beanblossom, investigative journalist, and Andrea Labore, TV anchor. Local color abounds, exposing Minneapolis' sordid past as well as its pristine present. Thayer flashes back to reporter Grover Mudd (Rick's counterpart or previous life), investigating the original Lindbergh story. Grover's world is in sharp language, reminiscent of Cagney films sans Hollywood censor. The change is jarring and teeters on the edge of heavy-handedness. Thayer does not step over the line, maintaining the integrity of the Beanblossom plot. But in weaving an intricate story line, Thayer may juggle too much. Little is made of a supernatural subplot in which the housekeeper receives messages from a ghost. Another subplot, dealing with the troubled career of an FBI agent, is resolved glibly. These are interesting forays into character, though. --Denise Blank


Publisher's Weekly Review

In this quirky and complex suspense novel, Thayer entangles some of the main characters from his debut thriller, The Weatherman, in a re-creation of the Lindbergh kidnapping in present-day Minnesota. While it begins with a provocative premise, the plot loses its edge in an overload of historical detail and an unconvincing conspiracy theory. The kidnapped child is Dylan Beanblossom, son of the famous, stunning ("beauty incarnate") Twin Cities news anchor (and former police officer) Andrea Labore, and star newspaper reporter Rick Beanblossom, an ex-Marine who, in a gothic flourish, wears a sky blue mask to cover a napalm-scarred face, a legacy of Vietnam. Dylan vanishes during a snowstorm on March 1, the anniversary of the Lindbergh kidnapping√Ąthe same day Rick receives a mysterious parcel purporting to hold the missing Lindbergh ransom money. Predictably, Andrea and Rick investigate on their own when many people fall under suspicion: Jasmine, the baby's troubled nanny, who comes from the inner city; Stephanie Koslowski, the FBI agent with a tainted record; Les Angelbeck, a retired city cop; Dr. Freda Wilhelm, the hulking county coroner; Katherine Howard, the grande dame who owns Rick's newspaper; and newspaper pressman Swede Bjorenson, whose wife had ties to the Lindbergh kidnapping. As suspects and subplots accumulate, Thayer inserts a long section set in the 1930s, following Minneapolis reporter Grover Mudd (protagonist of Thayer's first book, Saint Mudd) as he investigates the Lindbergh case. Mudd's excellent analysis of the crime and the beguiling possibilities he raises about its perpetrator are enticing, but just when Mudd's tale gets interesting, readers are jolted back to the present-day events. Yet Thayer manages to pull off his somewhat unwieldy narrative on several fronts. The kidnapper's identity and the links between past and present crimes are real surprises, the laconic dialogue has a true Midwestern flavor and the atmospheric details of Twin Cities weather and landscape are rendered with biting clarity. True thriller fans will probably demand more action and livelier pacing, but history buffs will be intrigued. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved