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Thriller set in Virginia (a parent’s worst nightmare…)

8th March 2017

Say Nothing by Brad Parks, thriller set in Virginia.

Say Nothing is set in Gloucester, Virginia – close to Washington DC. The city’s website says it is ‘the land of the life worth living’. But for Judge Scott Sampson, his wife Alison, and his two six-year old children – Sam and Emma – it very definitely is not.

Screen Shot 2017-03-01 at 17.04.53Wednesday is ‘Swim With Dad’ day when Scott picks the children up from school and takes them to the local pool. One Wednesday he receives a text from his wife saying she had had forgotten a doctor’s appointment for the children, and would be  picking them up herself to take them to the appointment. He goes home and waits for his wife and their kids. Alison then comes home alone… and denies having sent him any message from her phone. The children have been kidnapped, any parent’s worst nightmare.

The kidnappers warn them to ‘say nothing’ if they want to see their children again. A small time drug dealer is in Scott’s court in the morning and they say they will text him with the verdict they want to see. But this case is only a test to prove Scott will do as he is instructed… The major trial that is coming up concerns Big Pharma, the alleged infringement of a patent, high finance and stock manipulation. The New York Times and the Washington Post both focus on the trial – it is high profile. The judge tries to guess which way he is expected to rule, and who the kidnappers are. Are they connected to the plaintiff or to the defence? Or to a third party?

Say Nothing is also full of family intrigue. Alison’s two sisters and their families become involved. All does not appear to be as it should be – but is it connected to the kidnapping? Or is it something completely different? We are held in suspense…

The book moves to a very gripping, dramatic, and violent conclusion. We learn that life is transient.

Say Nothing makes you think. What would you do in the Sampson’s situation? Would you go to the police and the FBI, and risk everything ‘going wrong’ or would you follow instructions – regardless of the impact that decision might have on your career and your position in society? Scott and Alison choose the latter, and the decision leads them into darker and darker places.

All in all, Say Nothing is a great read.

Tony for the TripFiction team

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Thriller set in Virginia


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