In Noise by Brett Garcia Rose we are introduced to Leon. He is deaf but not in any way disabled. He grew up in the streets of Nigeria as a child, fending for himself and surviving in whatever way he could. Having found a home in the states, he becomes a brother, albeit a foster brother, for the first time. Lily dotes on him and helps him to become a part of his new homeland. As they grow up, she is his best friend and he is her protector. Their relationship is symbiotic; there is nothing that can tear them apart.
When she disappears and he receives a suicide note, he is devastated and tries to overcome his pain. He has found his own way, but she is an integral part of who he is. He is strong and strangely adept at reading lips. His background in Nigeria has made him both strong and merciless if necessary.
Lily was seventeen to his fifteen, and he keeps the note even after all the years since she left him. He has moved on, making a life for himself but never forgetting Lily’s kindness. Suddenly his life changes when he receives a post card, one in her handwriting; he is drawn to find her and discover what happened to make her disappear. The heart of New York is cold in the winter, but does not compare to the freeze that begins in his heart as he finds the real reason for her disappearance. Desperate to find her he follows a trail of clues that takes him into the back drops of those who traffic in human flesh.
He now understands he must find the answers and save Lily at all costs. He must find out what happened, but for him to move forward he must make his way through all the danger and corruption thrown in his past. He is merciless and ruthless, leaving a great deal of carnage in his wake, but he promised to protect her so many years ago, and he is delivering on that promise the best way he can.
Is it too late for Lily, can he find her before she is lost to him one more time, more permanently?
This is a work of grit and determination. Rose has given us a terminator whose flaw of deafness is in no way holding him down or back. He creates a set mind and agenda, which is very rarely deviated from and only due to the happenstance surrounding it. Leon is both likable, and scary, and that makes him a bit of an enigma, for we are often easily able to label people as good or bad. In Leon, that is a question.
If you enjoy mystery and action, you will find this work interesting and fast paced.
This would be a great work for a book club or reading group. The question of using force for necessity will create a great focus of discussion.
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