The World is Our Oyster Publishing and Screenwriting (2011)
Reviewed by Richard R. Blake for Reader Views (5/11)
“Silent Russian” by Valerie Biamonte recounts a different side to what happened at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago. In her fictional account she tells the story through the eyes of a patrolman, a forceful well-built Russian who stood head and shoulders above most of his peers. Biamonte puts a new twist on the convention events, different than the one reported by the media at that time or since.
The story begins just prior to the National Convention. Preparations are being made for an influx of visitors coming into the city which in turn will be a proportionate increase in business dollars. Chicago officials have been alerted to a negative side to this influx of visitors. Hundreds of protestors and rioters are already pouring into the city.
Mick and his partner patrol one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in Chicago. Homicide, burglary, car theft, domestic disturbance and confinement cases fill each day with challenge, danger, and a satisfaction of helping those in need of protection.
Just before Mick and Tom are scheduled to take specialized defense training in preparation for the anticipated threat of protests and riots during the Democratic National Convention; a vigilante serial killer begins terrorizing members of the community on their beat.
Excessive media coverage frightens the citizenry of Chicago and soon the killer becomes known as “The Impaler.” Public criticism is directed against the police department with unrelenting pressure. “The Impaler has a personal vendetta against Patrolman Mick Ivanov. For personal reasons he sets out to ruin Mick’s professional career by feeding information to the media through a young reporter, Armando Ramirez.
The Impaler’s victims continue to be discovered during Mick and Tom’s shift. Mick becomes desperate when the Impaler threatens members of his family. Together Mick and Tom search through case files and arrest records Mick made in the past. They hope to determine a relationship with the revenge motive someone is holding against Mick in order to locate and arrest the killer.
Valerie Biamonte has developed a cast of characters who convey emotional and psychological depth. The physical descriptions create identifiable recognizable visual images. The story is filled with memorable moments, poignant insights into family values, stimulating dialog, and a fast moving plot. I appreciated a glimpse into the police procedures presented as policy in the city of Chicago. The element of suspense and matching wits with Mick and Tom in solving the case kept me engaged in the story right up to an amazing unexpected climax.
“Silent Russian” by Valerie Biamonte presents a unique concept of police work. The story is filled with mystery, suspense, drama, and romance.