Review

No One Will Hear You

Max Allan Collins and Matthew Clemens

Just when you think that a new wrinkle can't be turned in
thriller fiction, along comes Max Allan Collins, in collaboration
with Matthew Clemens, to prove you wrong. Collins and Clemens wrote
YOU CAN'T STOP ME, the first in a series about the television
program "Crime Seen!," which investigates crimes in real time. That
novel was a winner in every possible way, and its just published
successor is even better.

What Collins and Clemens do here is combine the immediacy of
"America's Most Wanted" with the gosh-wow technology and ensemble
team concept of the "CSI" shows. When you add the considerable
skill sets of both gentlemen with respect to the crime and horror
genres, you are given precisely what you expect: a tantalizing
mystery that has at its core a series of horrific and shocking
murders. What's not to love?

NO ONE WILL HEAR YOU begins with an interesting premise for the
second book in a series: the potential end of the series.
Basically, the team members that comprise the cast of "Crime Seen!"
have decided that they have had enough of the spotlight and are
considering returning to their former occupations. Host J.C. Harrow
is particularly interested in leaving the environs of Los Angeles
and returning to middle America. But then a fiend who calls himself
"Don Juan" throws down a gauntlet to its network. Don Juan executes
a beautiful young woman in a particularly brutal fashion and sends
a video of the crime to the show, demanding to be the subject of
the featured investigation for the third season. He also threatens
to up the ante, increasing the frequency of his murders if his
demands are not met. The team, having been challenged directly,
feels duty-bound to put their plans for retirement from show
business on hold, particularly given the heinous nature of the
killings.

At almost the same time, another series of murders is targeting
men in the Los Angeles area, in which gruesome mutilations are
performed and "souvenirs" are taken in association with the
killings. The team is almost certain that these crimes are being
committed by two different people, given the methods employed and
the victims in each. Indeed, the news media initially hangs the
name "Billy Shears" on the killer, due to the grotesque nature of
the mutilations. But when both perpetrators begin communicating
directly with the "Crime Seen!" cast and crew, and a murder occurs
practically within Harrow's presence, the stakes become higher,
even as a member of the team is targeted.

The most fascinating part of this series is that it works. If
there was such a show on television, the ratings for it would shoot
through the roof. It's a great concept to begin with, and its
flawless execution by Collins and Clemens will keep you reading
from beginning to end. Collins is a grandmaster of crime fiction
--- I mean, when you get tapped to succeed Chester Gould in writing
the iconic "Dick Tracy" strip, do you really need any other bona
fides? --- and Clemens's expertise on horrific crime provides the
dark and chilling elements to the killers' psyches that make them
all the more real. I can't wait for the next installment. And the
ones after that.

Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub on March 28, 2011

No One Will Hear You
Max Allan Collins and Matthew Clemens

  • Publication Date: March 1, 2011
  • Genres: Fiction, Thriller
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Pinnacle
  • ISBN-10: 0786021357
  • ISBN-13: 9780786021352