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  • Remains Silent
  • Written by Michael Baden and Linda Kenney
  • Format: Paperback | ISBN: 9781400095612
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Remains Silent

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Written by Michael BadenAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Michael Baden and Linda KenneyAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Linda Kenney



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List Price: $6.99

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On Sale: August 30, 2005
Pages: 320 | ISBN: 978-0-307-26426-8
Published by : Knopf Knopf

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Read by Michele Santopietro
On Sale: August 16, 2005
ISBN: 978-0-7393-2404-2
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Tags for this book (powered by Library Thing)
fiction (14) mystery (12) forensics (5) thriller (5)
fiction (14) mystery (12) forensics (5) thriller (5)
Synopsis|Excerpt

Synopsis

When a body is found beneath a construction site near the Catskill Mountains, New York City deputy chief medical examiner Jake Rosen is called to the scene, where he meets his match: Philomena “Manny” Manfreda, a beautiful crusading attorney. Together they stumble upon a decades-old mystery involving a long-shuttered mental institution, shocking medical experiments, and a troubled love affair.

Excerpt

It was Jake’s idea of a perfect rainy Friday night. The trial was over, the truth had prevailed—too bad about Manny Manfreda; she had done a good job but she didn’t have the right evidence—and now he was alone in his Upper East Side brownstone kitchen, eating Chinese food, reading a treatise on blood spatter, and listening to Duke Ellington’s soundtrack of Anatomy of a Murder. Brilliant movie, inspiring music. Peace, it’s wonderful.

Alongside his take-out containers, piles of paperwork cluttered the top of his chrome-and-red Formica table; he’d tackle it over the weekend. His kitchen held a motley group of appliances: a recently purchased commercial stainless steel refrigerator, an avocado-green stove from the sixties, a white porcelain double sink from the fifties. The countertops were fifties Formica in green geometrical patterns; the metal cabinets, painted and repainted over the years, were a drab beige. A butcher-block island, scarred by years of white rings from wet plates and glasses, stood in faded glory in the center of the space. French doors in the back opened into a garden, converted by neglect into living quarters for a few happy squirrels, some pigeons, and an occasional chair.

Jake had bought the five-story brownstone in the mid-1980s, shortly after being hired at the ME’s office. He could only afford it because it was north of Ninety-sixth Street near Harlem, in those days not the nicest of neighborhoods. But he didn’t see it as an investment or even a possession. He saw New York’s history: the wealthy who had once populated the area, the careful work of nineteenth-century stonemasons, and the varied texture of the constantly changing community. When he finally had the money to do some work on the place, it was so full of forensic teaching materials and artifacts he had no idea where to start. Besides, he didn’t have the time. This was New York. People died by the hundreds every day. He never had the time.

The music stopped, and he stopped eating and stared at his food. The sauce on his sesame chicken, he realized, was nearly the consistency of human blood. He picked up a knife, dipped it, and spattered the sauce across the kitchen table and the wall behind it, as though someone had stabbed the chicken from behind.

The phone rang. Damn. He picked it up. “Rosen.”

“Miss me?”

The two words gave him a jolt of pleasure. The only voice allowed to intrude into his solitude was Pete Harrigan’s—any time and any place. Pete, thirty years Jake’s senior, was one of only two people on this earth Jake loved. The other was his brother, Sam, and Sam didn’t have intrusion privileges.

“Sure I miss you.” Jake studied the mess on the table. “In fact, I was just thinking about you. The influence of knife length on cast-off blood spatter patterns.”

“I’m flattered,” Harrigan said. “But you should be out on a date. Weren’t you seeing that fingerprint expert from—”

“Broke it off,” Jake said quickly, feeling a flash of pain. “Too soon after my divorce.”

“Trouble with women, trouble in the office. I hear you’ve had a go-round with the chief. Too much private work, not enough time serving the city.” Harrigan had once been chief himself. Retired now, he obviously still had tentacles inside the ME’s office. “How is my old friend Charles Pederson?”

“Still the same where you’re concerned,” Jake said. “Hey, you’re the one who taught me any medical examiner worth a damn pisses off the powers that be. Comes with the territory.”

“And you were my best student. Developed pissing off into a specialty. How’s Wally?” Harrigan was given to abrupt changes of subject.

“Blossoming. The man’s a godsend. I thank you for him every day.”

Dr. Walter Winnick—Wally—was a protégé whom Harrigan had recommended to Jake. The man had a clubfoot, but his mind sprinted to invariably accurate conclusions; Jake couldn’t have handled his workload without him.

“Glad to hear it.”

“How’s Elizabeth?” Jake asked.

“Fine. The woman’s going to be New Jersey’s next governor. Ever since she married that Markis fellow, though, she’s pretty much stopped visiting. If I want to see my daughter, I have to go to New Jersey, and even then I have to make an appointment through her press agent.”

There was a pause. Unusual, Jake thought. Pete was generally so voluble Jake couldn’t shut him up. He could hear Harrigan’s labored breathing. Sick, Jake wondered, or in trouble? “What’s up?”

“Let’s talk shop.”

“Sure,” Jake said, relieved. “You heard about the Carramia case?”

“As a matter of fact, no. For once I’m not calling about your cases, I’m calling about one of mine.”

“Shoot,” Jake said.

A hesitation, a cough. “I was wondering if you’d like to come up here and help me decipher some bones.”


Dr. Peter Harrigan lived in the hamlet of Turner, a little town on a big lake two hours north of the city. Jake got there at six the next morning. He met Harrigan at his home, a white Cape Cod cottage with yellow shutters, which looked from the outside more like a doll’s house than the residence of a globally respected forensic pathologist.

The two men embraced. “We’ll have to take your car,” Pete said. “My Suburban’s sick.” He piled a box of autopsy tools, a camera, and a few body bags into the backseat of Jake’s Camaro and brought two mugs of coffee to the front. He was wearing the same blue Polartec jacket Jake had given him seven years ago on the eve of Pete’s departure; Jake had on the dark green oilskin Marianna had bought him on their only trip to London.

“You do realize,” Jake said, as Pete backed the Camaro out of the driveway, “that you live in the geographical center of nowhere.”

Harrigan grinned. “It’s exciting, though. Big-time crime. Just last week our mayor shot an elk out of season. Town’s still debating how much to fine him.”

Jake swallowed hot coffee. It was bitter and strong; considering his sleep deprivation he was going to need a lot of it. “You lived in New York for over thirty years.”

“I got over it.”

After almost four decades in forensic pathology, Harrigan had retired to the country to please his wife, Dolores, who died less than three years later. Bored with fishing, he had taken on the post of Baxter County medical examiner, which meant signing off on one or two death certificates a week and doing two or three autopsies a month. At seventy-two, he was the oldest sitting medical examiner in the state of New York.

“So explain,” Jake said. “Why did I drive up here in the middle of the night?”

“To get here before the excavation starts up again.”

“Excavation of what?”

“That field in the distance.”

“And they’re digging on a Saturday morning?”

“Apparently,” Pete said, “the building of a shopping mall waits for no man—or bones.”

They were traveling on a two-lane road, passing trees, not houses. “A shopping mall? Up here?”

“Rumor has it the governor’s going to give the Senecas rights to build a casino. The town fathers are half mad with the prospect of all those tourists, so naturally they want to give them a place to spend their winnings. And what more appropriate location than in back of the Turner insane asylum?”

Jake grunted. “Fat chance anyone will win.”

Pete glanced at him, amused. “You never were much of a gambler, were you.”

“Only at love. And look what that won me: a monthly alimony check.”

Jake still felt the divorce of his parents with almost the same pain he’d experienced with his own. He remembered hugging his father’s leg the last time he walked out the door. His younger brother, Sam, had been a baby, couldn’t even stand yet, and didn’t know what was going on. But Jake’s childhood had gone downhill from that moment. After twenty years of being a medical examiner, he was convinced that the biggest risk factors for murder were love and marriage. He believed the marriage vow should say, I promise to love, honor, and not kill you. He had chosen a career as an ME both to improve society and to prove that a delinquent kid could make something of his life. The time it took to make a marriage work wasn’t compatible with his goals.

They continued down the road, sunlight just starting to peek through the trees. “They’d just broken ground on their god- forsaken center early yesterday afternoon,” Pete said, “when the backhoe brought up the upper part of a skull. The lower jaw, the mandible, was missing, probably carried off with the dirt before the crew realized what they had. In a construction site like this, the first instinct is to ignore anything that gets in the way, but the backhoe driver called the authorities and they called me. I found an ulna and a tibia to go along with the skull and ordered a shutdown; I left them at the site, of course.” Harrigan shot Jake a look. “I leave you to guess what the developer said the delay would cost him.”

Jake smiled into his mug. “An arm and a leg?”

“Just so.”

“I’m guessing those aren’t an old settler’s bones or you wouldn’t have brought me up here.”

“You got it. Within an hour, the scene was crawling with people: the developer himself—R. Seward Reynolds—his lackeys, his lawyers, the mayor, the sheriff, half the town council, and the ever-lovely Marge Crespy, doyenne of the Turner Historical Society.”

“Good God!”

“All of them seemed eager for the remains to be a settler. I told them, Impossible.”

Jake got the familiar queasy feeling in his stomach that came with the suspicion of corruption. “Sure. A settler means no fights over Indian burial grounds, no worries about a crime scene. They can just rebury the bones somewhere else and get on with the mall.” He looked at his friend and mentor, feeling the anger in Pete’s bearing. “Do you think it’s a Native American?”

“I found an incisor. It isn’t shovel-shaped. The skull has rectangular eye sockets and a triangular nasal opening. You tell me.”


From the Hardcover edition.
Michael Baden|Linda Kenney|Author Q&A

About Michael Baden

Michael Baden - Remains Silent
Dr. Michael Baden is the former Chief Medical Examiner of New York City and is presently the chief forensic pathologist for the New York State Police. He received a B.S. from the City College of New York and an M.D. from New York University School of Medicine. He trained in internal medicine and pathology at Bellevue Hospital Medical Center where he was intern, resident and Chief Resident. He has been a medical examiner for forty-five years and has performed more than 20,000 medicolegal autopsies. He has held professorial teaching appointments at Albert Einstein Medical School, Albany Medical College, New York Law School and John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

He was Chairman of the Forensic Pathology Panel of the U.S. Congress Select Committee on Assassinations that re-investigated the deaths of President John F. Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in the 1970s. He was the forensic pathologist member of a team of U.S. forensic scientists asked by the Russian government to examine the newly found remains of Tsar Nicholas II, Alexandra and the Romanov family in Siberia in the 1990s. He has been an expert witness for prosecutors or defense attorneys in trials involving Medgar Evers, John Belushi, Yankee Manager Billy Martin, Marlon Brando’s son Christian, O.J. Simpson, Jayson Williams, Kobe Bryant, Robert Blake, Phil Spector and Las Vegas hotel owner Ted Binion. He has investigated deaths in Croatia, Serbia, Israel, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, Monaco, Colombia, Panama, England, Canada, Zimbabwe and other countries for attorneys and human rights groups. He has taught homicide courses for police, judges, attorneys, and physicians in most of the 50 states as well as in China, Taiwan, Kuwait, Australia, France, Italy and other countries. He has been on the board of directors of a number of drug abuse and alcohol abuse treatment programs where he attempts to apply what he has learned from the dead at the autopsy table to the betterment of the living.

Dr. Baden has also served as President of the Society of Medical Jurisprudence and Vice President of the American Academy of Forensic Science. He has been author or co-author of more than 80 professional articles and books on aspects of forensic medicine and two popular non-fiction books, Unnatural Death, Confessions of a Medical Examiner and Dead Reckoning, the New Science of Catching Killers. He is the host of the HBO Autopsy series, now in its twelfth year, which explains how the various forensic sciences assist in solving crimes. He is the forensic science contributor for Fox National News. He has also discussed forensic science issues on The View, Conan O’Brien, Charlie Rose, 60 Minutes, Good Morning America, CNN, Court TV, Forensic Files, Discovery Channel, CNBC, MSNBC and many radio shows.

About Linda Kenney

Linda Kenney - Remains Silent
LINDA B. KENNEY

Linda B. Kenney is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of Rutgers School of Law and Rutgers University. Following graduation from law school, Ms. Kenney served a judicial clerkship with the Presiding Judge of the Appellate Division, Judge John F. Lynch. She then entered private practice with the law firm of Meyner and Landis in Newark. In 1980, Ms. Kenney was appointed Assistant Prosecutor for the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office where she served as a trial team leader and the lead attorney assigned to the Sex Crimes Investigative Unit. During her tenure with the Prosecutor's Office, she prepared and tried numerous criminal cases including those involving murder and the death penalty. Ms. Kenney was awarded an “AV” rating through Martindale-Hubbell, the highest rating that one can attain. This rating signifies “that her legal abilities are of the very highest standard and that her professional ethics and conduct are above question.” In fact, in an Opinion issued by the United States Third Circuit Court of Appeals, Ms. Kenney’s work was characterized as “exceptional, fine and outstanding.”

Ms. Kenney has been very active with professional and service activities and has served on the Brookdale Community College Board of Trustees and the Brookdale Community College Foundation. She also served on the District Fee Arbitration Committee and was appointed chairperson of that Committee by the Honorable Chief Justice Robert N. Wilentz. She has also been appointed a mediator for the Federal District Court of New Jersey. She has served as a Master for the C. Willard Heckel Inn of Court sponsored by Rutgers University and is an active member of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences. Additionally, Ms. Kenney has appeared as a legal guest commentator for MSNBC, CNN, Court TV, and CNBC. She has lectured in China to the Public Security University (Beijing), Croatia, and Kuwait.

In 1984, Ms. Kenney reentered private practice where she concentrated on litigation especially related to complex employment, civil rights, and criminal matters. Ms. Kenney has been involved in a number of high profile cases, including:

· the racial profiling case against New Jersey State Police, which settled for nearly $13 million and resulted in author/fellow attorney, Johnnie Cochran, describing her as “brilliant.”

· the pretrial hearings involving Michael Skakel, which resulted in an upper court ruling finding that certain statements of witnesses were protected under the privileged communication doctrine.

· legal action by the first female captain of a wide-body jet for Continental Airlines for pornography in the cockpit, which resulted in changes in airline procedures and monetary compensation for her client.

· the exhumations of the last victim of the Boston Strangler and the alleged Boston Strangler, Albert DeSalvo, which found that DNA from the victim did not match that of the Boston Strangler.

· membership on three national and international forensic investigative committees, which included serving as the forensic legal specialist for the Mashantucket Pequot Indians to investigate the hanging of aboriginal inmates in Australia.

· participation in the team of forensic scientists attempting to locate, for Wayne Newton, the body of his ancestor Pocahontas in order to return her to the United States for the four-hundredth anniversary of her saving the life of Captain John Smith, which will occur in 2007.

· involvement in numerous cases before the New Jersey Supreme Court and federal courts, making new law with regard to civil rights and employment cases.

· prosecuting one of the earliest cases in New Jersey in the early 1980s involving the reinstatement of the death penalty.

· representing the Spring Lake First Aid Squad in a headline will dispute case involving a widow, $7 million, and a podiatrist.

Author Q&A

A Conversation with Michael Baden and Linda Kenney, authors of REMAINS SILENT:


Q: How did you two meet? We hear rumors it involved a morgue…
A: It did. People now kid us that our first “date” was in a morgue. The reality is that Linda needed an outside forensic pathologist to do a second autopsy–other lawyers recommended Michael. But, as a result of this, we thought it would be appropriate that Jake and Manny’s readers experience Manny’s perception of what a first date would be like at an autopsy.

Q: You both have busy, full time jobs. What made you decide to take on a novel?
A: We are both often consulted by authors about forensic science and legal aspects of novels they are working on. We had talked about our doing a book since we were helping so many others. Then we bought a vacation home, which, by happenstance, we rented for the summer to a woman named Leigh Feldman of the Darhansoff, Verrill, Feldman literary agency. Leigh had been the agent for Cold Mountain and Memoirs of a Geisha. She read two non-fiction books Michael had written that happened to be in the house and asked us “why don’t the two of you do a book?” It was as a result of her motherly prodding that we finally decided we could incorporate such a project into our schedule if Linda became “Of Counsel” to her law firm, and as long as we only slept three hours per night.

Q: How much of Michael and Linda are in Jake and Manny?
A: Well, Manny is 5’8”, size 8, blonde, 29 years old and a lawyer–one out of five isn’t bad! Jake is a forensic pathologist who is sexy in a scientific sort of way–there’s no difference between Michael and Jake!

Q: So you guys are still married…the collaboration must have gone well. Any challenges?
A: We will be celebrating our 5th anniversary soon, so I guess things are going alright! We both like being each other’s muse. Unless both of us wrote this book together, we could not have incorporated fashion with autopsies so successfully. It’s wonderful that we supplement each other in lots of ways.

Q: We hear you have an interesting collection of crime memorabilia. Can you tell us some of your favorite items and how you found them?
A: We both independently collected historical items, especially those related to crime, before we met. Most of our items are purchased at auction, some on e-bay, others in antique stores and others by word of mouth. We’re both concerned about fallibilities in the legal system. A lot of Linda’s documents relate to the court system’s appalling approval of slavery. These documents show that the legal system can be wrong in a big way. “Injustice!” as Manny would say. Michael collects presidential pardons. Perhaps the most cherished item in our collection are the original handwritten alienists’ notes concerning Richard Loeb, of Leopold and Loeb. Clarence Darrow was the first attorney to bring forensic psychiatry into the courtroom to challenge the death penalty in the 1920s. We also collect documents related to presidential and other assassinations given Michael’s positions in investigating the assassinations of President John F. Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King. One of our pet peeves is how proper medical care–available at the time–could have saved President James Garfield and President William McKinley’s lives. The only death warrant Bill Clinton signed off on as Governor of Arkansas–also signed by the person to be executed–is also a favorite part of our collection.

Q: Are there any hazards in collecting all this crime memorabilia?
A: Yes, we always kid each other that should one of us be found dead, the other would go straight to jail because we have so many true crime books, numerous treatises on poisons and suspicious deaths. Some even make their way to our night tables! The responding police officers would automatically assume the living spouse had killed the other, which would be immediately confirmed by legions of television “profilers.”

Q: What do you read? Who are some of your influences?
A: We both love Dashiell Hammett for a number of reasons. He was the creator of the original husband/wife married detective team of Nick and Nora Charles and their dog Asta. Linda loves all thriller writers but also likes to expand out of the genre and read Ken Follett, Sidney Sheldon, Jeffrey Archer, Victor Hugo, Franz Kafka and, of course, all fashion magazines. Michael loves the New York Times Book Review, the Scrabble dictionary in his continuing quest to beat Linda, and “graphic novels” such as From Hell involving the Jack the Ripper murders, of course! On a professional side, Linda has been influenced by Clarence Darrow, Michael by Dr. Seuss.

Q: Autopsy was really the first TV show to take on forensics. How do you feel about that now that shows like CSI, Crossing Jordan, and a host of others have made forensics a daily fixture on the airwaves? Why do you think people are so fascinated by forensics?
A: First, truly, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. HBO’s Autopsy premiered in 1994 and we’re still going strong. The public is fascinated by forensic shows because they combine scientific puzzle-solving with real issues of life and death. The dead talk to us and try to tell us who dunnit. The reader wants to know what the dead say, what the autopsy tells us, how we interpret blood, hair and fibers. We’ve been to the moon, we can see the furthest reaches of space, but the biggest miracle of all is the human body. It speaks to us through its DNA, through its toxicology. We try to teach the viewer/reader how to listen and interpret clues. Forensics allows everyone to become actively involved in learning how to solve a mystery. It’s the ultimate reality show.

Q: Did any of the characters or plot lines in REMAINS SILENT grow out of real life cases either of you have worked on?
A: Yes. The characters and plot lines had their genesis in true cases. We hope, in the future, to supplement REMAINS SILENT with a non-fiction account of those cases. Each of those cases presented forensic, legal, moral and ethical issues that are involved in the plot lines. We have visited crime scenes together and we have examined many a bone together. We have collaborated with others in investigating the deaths of aboriginal natives in Australia. We have visited Gravesend, England to find the remains of Princess Pocahontas for possible return to her native America. There are several photos of some of our expeditions on this website.

Q: So, can you give us any hints about Jake and Manny’s future plans?
A: They’ll continue to work together and spar with each other in usual and provocative ways. Just wait until you get to book four! Meanwhile, Manny and Jake will be traveling the United States and the world including London, Singapore, Italy, South America and Africa using forensics and law to solve unsolved crimes. They hope to meet many readers along the way. Mycroft, our real dog-son, who helps solve the mystery in REMAINS SILENT, is so pumped up he is currently seeking his own agent for a series of children’s forensic books beginning with “Mycroft Solves a Mystery.”


From the Hardcover edition.

Praise

Praise

“Wonderfully done. . . . Baden and Kenney are formidable, and Remains Silent sparkles.” –Patricia Cornwell“Chilling. . . . Will keep even the most sophisticated reader guessing until the very last page. . . . [It] makes CSI and NYPD Blue look like child’s play.”–Ann Rule
“A satisfying read for fans of both medical and classic mysteries.”–Decatur Daily“Personality abounds. . . [Remains Silent] evoke[s] popular authors like Janet Evanovich and Stuart Woods.” –The New York Times“Baden and Kenney have given us the best wisecracking, crime-fighting couple since Nick and Nora Charles.”–Catherine Crier

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