Remain Silent

Kensington. (Erin McCabe, Bk. 3). May 2023. 368p. ISBN 9781496741769. $27. M
After a slow start, Gigl’s third Erin McCabe legal thriller (following Survivor’s Guilt) hits its stride around the midway mark. When a prospective client with conservative political connections turns up dead, criminal-defense attorney Erin McCabe—the last person to see the victim alive—becomes suspect number one. As a transgender woman, she disturbingly becomes the target of a biased police investigation, facing intolerance, harassment, and public scrutiny too. While juggling her own legal issues, Erin takes on the case of a mother fleeing a court order granting custody of her transgender daughter to the girl’s father, a proponent of conversion-therapy. Just as Erin escapes testimony before a grand jury regarding her client’s whereabouts, she is arrested on charges of murder and placed in a women’s jail, where she endures shocking abuse and learns that her powerful enemies will stop at nothing to keep her quiet. Though the novel is set in 2009, the issues and attitudes of the villains feel unfortunately relevant to the present-day. However, the book’s never-ending barrage of murder can strain credulity and the resolution of the subplot feels a bit too tidy.
VERDICT Regardless of its shortcomings, Gigl’s legal thriller is an enjoyable read with a likable protagonist, and one who represents an important and underrepresented perspective.
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