Carol Bergman’s new mystery series starring Margaret Singer, an over-fifty private eye with a heart of gold and tenacity of a bulldog, begins with Say Nothing, an engaging and fast-paced foray into corruption and cover-up in the United States armed forces. Singer, called on to investigate the disappearance of a decorated veteran, finds clues that he might have been involved in the type of scandals Abu Graib only hinted at — or was he involved in ending corrupt practices and shutting down the bad guys for good? Singer is hell-bent on finding out but there are forces, governmental and otherwise, just as determined in stopping her cold — or dead. Additional complications to the investigation appear in the form of a missing girlfriend who may have run afoul of the law herself, a terrified mother of a dishonorably discharged vet, and someone stalking Singer in her own house.
Bergman creates her story with staccato sentences set amidst swirling backgrounds of gloom, despair, and need. There is light in the darkness, as Bergman allows Singer to experience human kindness and the desire for connection, both physical and spiritual, that binds individuals and communities together. But even the best of connections may not be enough to bring Singer success in her battle to find out the truth about a young man who fought for his country, and for the woman he loved.
Say Nothing is certainly an indictment of war and the governments who wage them by any means and methods but it is also a memorial in appreciation of the good people who go off to fight wars, trusting in their government and wanting to protect their country. That they fail, when they fail, is not their fault: it is the fault of all of us who say nothing, and allow too many wars to stagnate instead of bringing our soldiers home.