By Chet Yarbrough
Narrated by David Birney
“Silent Snow” resurrects one of the most notorious crimes of the century, the kidnapping of Charles Lindbergh’s son in 1932; i.e. Steve Thayer reincarnates the history of the kidnapping by creating a modern-day’ abduction by a possible mystery accomplice of the original crime.
Thayer weaves a tale of intrigue ranging from World War I to the modern day. He manufactures new criminal characters, cops, and news reporters with detailed obsessive/compulsive backgrounds, heroes, and heroines of a terrible crime. “Silent Snow” is a re-creation of a crime of the past, the Lindbergh baby’s kidnapping and bludgeoning. Thayer may or may not have the same ending in his modern-day version of the kidnapping. David Birney’s telling of Thayer’s mystery keeps listeners waiting for answers until the last chapters’ closing.
Thayer creates a femme fatale as alluring and deadly as Madame de Tréville in “The Three Musketeers”. She is as beautiful and deadly as any real or fictional sociopath could be. In Thayer’s story she is a German refugee of WWI that illegally hitches a ride on a steamer to America, gets caught and sequestered in the Captain’s cabin, exploits and is exploited by sex, and escapes to revenge the Captain’s deceit by removing his manhood and stuffing it down his throat. She becomes an accomplice, possibly the master mind, behind Hauptman’s murder of Lindbergh’s son.
As the story progresses, the femme fatale lives long enough to repeat the crime by kidnapping a modern-day’ Pulitzer Prize winning reporter’s son, or maybe she is reincarnated; maybe she has an equally sociopathic off-spring. The listener waits, i.e. either for a supernatural explanation or a more reasonable suspension of disbelief.
Thayer has great imagination with excellent descriptive skill. The recorded facts of the Lindbergh’ kidnapping are nicely recreated, including involvement of General Schwarzkopf Senior (America’s “Desert Storm” General’s father) in the original investigation; i.e. the kidnapping is an important incident in American’ history because it led to the Lindbergh law that shifted investigation of kidnapping from local to national control. The irony of that shift plays out in “Silent Snow” as a questionable federal government usurpation of power. Mistakes are made by the federal government as readily as they are by local government.
Putting that observation aside, the story is interesting; overly melodramatic, but worth the time for a mystery’s unfolding. [contact-form-7 404 "Not Found"]