Say Nothing by Brad Parks

Say Nothing

Brad Parks

"Say Nothing is tremendously satisfying, packed with engaging characters and surprising plot twists and a furious build of tension until its gut-wrenching pay-off." - Chris Pavone, New York Times bestselling author of The Expats

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“The work of an author who continues to raise his sights and refine his immense talent.”—Richmond Times-Dispatch

“Terrific book. Truly terrific. Tension throughout and tears at the end.”Sue Grafton

Named both a Library Journal and a Kirkus Best Book of 2017.

Judge Scott Sampson doesn’t brag about having a perfect life, but the evidence is clear: A prestigious job. A loving marriage. A pair of healthy children. Then a phone call begins every parent’s most chilling nightmare. Scott’s six-year-old twins, Sam and Emma, have been taken. The judge must rule exactly as instructed in a drug case he is about to hear. If he refuses, the consequences for the children will be dire. 

For Scott and his wife Alison, the kidnapper’s call is only the beginning of a twisting, gut-churning ordeal of blackmail, deceit, and terror. Through it all, they will stop at nothing to get their children back, no matter the cost to themselves...or to each other.

“Complications and twists build to an unexpected climax that is both perfect and gut-wrenching.”—Library Journal (starred review)
“Grips the reader from the get-go and doesn’t let up until the final twist.”—Associated Press

Advance Galley Reviews

Brad Parks is an author I will always read. I enjoyed this book and gave it a rating of 3.75/5.

A good book with excellent plot line and beautiful characters.

Thrillers are my number one type of book to read. I had never read any Brad Parks books before so it was a pleasant surprise to get to try this book out. I loved it!

This book is fantastic! Prior to this book, Brad Parks was a completely unknown entity, now I can't wait to read something else by him. Judge Scott Samson's life is a happy existence with a loving wife and a pair of 6-year old twins, a boy and a girl. In his professional life, he is well-respected and in his private life he has a solid core with good friends and in-laws that support him and his wife. But when one day the twins are kidnapped from school, everything is turned upside down in a terrifying way. The book is exceptional, enjoyable, horrifying and much more. I had a very hard time putting it down and although I had many guesses as to how everything was put together, I never saw it coming and its conclusion completely blew me away.

Say Nothing by Brad Parks is a thriller that had great potential that it somehow failed to live up to. The book is written in the first person past tense point of view of Scott. We also get the third person past tense point of view of the kidnappers, two brothers of unknown ethnicity who have kidnapped the twins on behalf of an unknown person. Because we have the kidnappers’ perspective, we know what condition the twins are being kept in. but that does not diminish the sense of anxiety we feel at the thought of the six-year-old Emma, who is asthmatic, suffering at the hands of the brutish and sadistic kidnappers. Since Scott is a judge and the fate of his children hinges on a court case, we get a lot of what goes on behind the scenes. Scott’s views on parenting stem largely from the author’s own, that’s easy to tell. It’s something that all parents will agree with. Scott’s love for his children leads him to speak at length about the bond between parents and children. The story becomes powerful when you realise that Scott, who began his story by telling us he is content and that he has it all, is about to lose everything valuable in his life. One by one, all the props upon which his life depended are taken away from him. And yet the drama of it all, of a harried judge about to face impeachment proceedings, a wife in the final stage of breast cancer, a little girl in captivity, gets diluted with the revelation of the person responsible for the kidnap. The ending, though inevitable, was very sad. (Read full and detailed review at

3 of 5 stars Penguin First to Read ARC. Fast paced thriller, with lots of twists and turns. You need to suspend your disbelief for some of this, judges can get away with a lot of things but this much ... really.

Thank you so much,First to Read, I literally whipped through 'Say Nothing' .It is one of those books that doesn't really give you any other option than to get to the end once you start! Not normally one for legal thrillers,I would say this an excellent book for people like me who get weighed down with jargon,it whipped along at a tremendous pace but did not leave the reader behind. At its heart is a Judge,his wife and their children,whose lives will never be the same after what should have been a routine school pickup turns into the day from hell. Suddenly Judge Sampson is being asked to 'Say Nothing' if he wants to see either child again,yet defend making suddenly nonsensical judgements from his bench. Hounded by people he works with to explain hinself,desperately hunting for clues whilst being in the public eye,the bigger picture gets revealed and suddenly the danger seems to be far closer than he thinks. A whip smart and cracking read,I would highly recommend it.

I love mysteries and I loved this book! Great read! I would highly recommend! 5 stars!

This was a fantastic read! I enjoyed every minute of it and cannot wait to read his next mystery!

Loved, loved, loved. This thriller kept me intrigued the whole way through, trying to guess what was truly going on. I would definitely read more by this author!

Four stars for Brad Park's, Say Nothing! This was a fast paced, page turner. The reader knew right from the beginning what was going on. A Federal Judge's, (Scott Sampson) two children are kidnapped and is blackmailed by an unseen enemy. He is instructed to "say nothing" to anyone or the children get hurt. They manipulate the judge to rule in a certain way in a court case to prove their power over him, before applying pressure on him for a high stakes case. I would definitely recommend this book and I look forward to reading other books from this author.

A great thriller. I spent many lovely but tense days trying to figure out who did what and why. It was not easy to figure out the mystery and I loved that. I connected with the Judge, he was real to me. Living through your children's kidnapping would be devastating and the author conveyed those feeling through him brilliantly. The situation was a very anxious and stressful one and The Judge and I were both a wreck through most of the book. I highly recommend this one if you love a good legal thriller. This was definitely an edge of your seat ride that I thoroughly enjoyed.

I absolutely loved this book. Say Nothing fueled my need for all things thriller! 4.5 stars!!

If you are into crime books, you will enjoy this. If you love a tight and taut story that revolves around a mystery about a kidnapping case, Say Nothing by Brad Parks is one of the best in recent memory. It is a terrific read!

As a parent you can relate to the fear that "Say Nothing" evokes as the children of Judge Sampson are taken and he's told to "Say nothing." This page turner keeps you riveted all the way to the end with an emotionally charged story that I really enjoyed.

I couldn't wait to read this book since the blurb really caught my interest. It definitely didn't disappoint. Loved the characters and the story line that twisted and turned like a rollercoaster. I am definitely going to check out other books by Brad Parks.

I received an ARC of 'Say Nothing' by Brad Parks from the First to Read program for free in exchange for my review. This book grabbed my interest and held it throughout. I could put myself in place of the main character but still found it a fun as well as an exciting read. I would give it 4 stars.

Awesome doesn’t even begin to describe this book! From the beginning where every parent’s worst nightmare comes true to the final page, I was fully invested in judge Scott Sampson and his family. I was with them for every page as they tried to determine who had taken their children and why. There was plenty of suspense and at times even a bit of stress. The characters were interesting and well developed. Every time I thought I had figured out what was going on, something crazy happened and I was proven wrong. This book definitely kept me on my toes. It’s the first I’ve read by this author and I’m planning to look for more! Great book!

Say Nothing by Brad Parks is a fun read. Say Nothing is a quick read. Say Nothing is an entertaining read. The “however” in these statements is that Say Nothing as a story is also implausible to the point that reality interferes with the story. I do have fun reading the book, suspending disbelief, ignoring the question of “really???”, and just going along. What more can I say? Read my complete review at Reviewed for Penguin First to Read program.

I am so EXCITED about this book. From the first page to the last I was completely absorbed with both the plot and the characters. It is the best kind of suspense/thriller where the author keeps the reader on edge and unable to anticipate what happens next. I never could figure out how the story would end but when I got there it was awesome! I don't usually do this but I am going to read this novel a second time upon its arrival to bookstores and or my library. Thank you "First To READ" for giving me the ARC

The plot of this book depends on a lot of people saying nothing, when the sensible thing to do would be to call the police or give warnings or to say something. But if they did the sensible thing, there wouldn't be a book and that would be too bad, because this was an enjoyable thriller. The six year old twins of federal judge Scott Sampson are kidnapped and the judge is told to say nothing to anyone and to just await instructions. The kidnappers seem intent on manipulating the outcome of a trial, but along the way there is murder, treachery and legal bargaining while the judge and his wife become increasingly desperate. The beginning and end of the book were very suspenseful, but I found the middle got a little repetitive and I think the book could easily have been 75 pages shorter. The last part of the book was quite exciting and I'll probably read more by this author. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher.

Wow - I just loved this book! Brad Parks has nailed the desperation, paranoia and frustration of a fairly ordinary guy in an extraordinary situation of overwhelming proportions and Parks managed to chill me to the bone throughout the entire book. He may cut some corners here and there, but the twists and turns are believable and set a terrific pace for the story that gripped from cover to cover. Fans of masters of the genre like Joseph Finder, Harlan Coben, John Gilstrap and Jeff Abbott should definitely check out this book - and also what Brad Parks has written in the past.

f there is a type of book that I would gravitate to this book is it. The author crafted a story that kept me guessing until the end when the "who" was finally revealed. This story is every parents nightmare, their kids being kidnapped. Not only are they missing but they are missing because of you and your job. This is what makes the story interesting. Scott, the father of the missing children, is a judge and is the motive for the kidnapping. I will admit, while reading this story, I kept asking myself, if I was in this same situation, would I be able to "say nothing" and follow instructions to get my kids back, or would I take a different path? I still have not settled on an answer after reading the book. This book also had me experiencing a wide range of emotions from sitting on the edge of my seat suspense to tears, especially towards the end, but I won't spoil the ending.

This book began very slow but toward the end all the twist and turns take you for a suspenseful ride. There were way too many details in this book about how the main character, Judge Sampson felt throughout the whole book. Some could had been left to the imagination in my opinion, bringing the pace up a bit in the beginning and not cramming everything at the last few chapters. Overall, the 2nd half of this book was great, the ending was very heartbreaking. Also, learned lots of details about the judicial system.

Wow! This book had me at the first page!?! As a parent, its our worst fear realized---your kids have been kidnapped! I don't want to spoil the book because it is so worth reading!! The author did a wonderful job in his description of being put in a horrible situation whereas every decision or choice made will effect the outcome of the children! This is brilliant within itself because as a parent everything we do or don't do affects our children. This book comes out March 2nd and I strongly suggest reading it!! I gave the book 4 1\2 stars!!! ?????

What a thrill ride, Brad Parks really knows how to write a suspenseful novel that captures the emotions of what it might be like to be living your ordinary run of the mill life and have it snatched from you in moments. Say Nothing will have you at the edge of your seat, it will have your mind racing 100mph trying to figure out what could possibly be happening to warrant the kidnapping of two children. The writing is what you would expect of suspense/thriller novel.

The ending made me cry. This thriller causes you to invest a whopping amount of emotional energy into it. Judge Sampson has it all; loving wife, a set of terrific twins, fantastic job, beautiful, secluded home. Someone kipnaps his kids, frames the nanny, implicates his wife, and causes the judge to throw cases the wrong way. It is non-stop action. It would make a great movie. My thanks to the author and the Penguin First to Read program for a complimentary copy.

Most people can relate to the fear that is the basis for this thriller....whether it's your child, your elderly parent, your spouse. Because it is so relatable, the story line drew me in quickly. It was torture to have to put it down and I found myself reading whenever I could....half a sentence or fifty pages, it never seemed enough. Not only would I recommend this book for others but I already ordered a copy for myself to read again....not to mention the discovery of a new author. I'm planning to purchase every book by Brad Parks that I can find, then burrowing into a blanket and bingeing...the best part is that I don't think I will ever get enough! The description listed is what the novel is about, my review of it is to express how I felt about the repeated summary or spoilers here....just one reader to many others with the advice to welcome this novel and it's siblings into your life quickly. Thrills, chills, and all that jazz...bravo!!

Say Nothing by Brad Parks was an intense legal thriller that kept the pages turning. Full of action, gut-wrenching moments and hard decisions, it feels like you are involved in the entire novel. Judge Scott Sampson is a devoted husband, loving father and a fair judge, but one day his world is turned upside down. He receives a text from his wife that she is picking up their twins, although when she arrives home that night, their children are not with her. Immediately, they get a phone call informing them that their children have been kidnapped and they must follow all the rules about a case he is presiding and to say nothing. This was not a type of book I normally read, but I definitely enjoyed it to the end. Definitely recommend.

A real page turner that instantly drawings you in and doesn't let up from beginning to end. This book is full great characters and interesting plot twists. I would highly recommend it to anyone who loves a good thriller.

Great book and captivating. A must-read! The characters were complex yet detailed enough to understand why they made the choices they did. Mr. Parks did an excellent job with this book. Thank you, First To Read for letting me read this book.

Say Nothing by Brad Parks was a complete page turner. It kept me on the seat of my pants. Just when I had an idea who the suspect was, the next few pages had me second guessing myself. I enjoy this genre, especially books that have great plots, that are very suspenseful, and keep you guessing. The ability to keep a reader in suspense and in tune with the story, makes a writer very successful. Without a doubt, that is exactly what Brad Parks accomplished. Therefore, I consider him a "must read" author. I will be picking up his other books.

This book was an amazing legal thriller. All of the characters are portrayed very realistically and their development was executed perfectly. You get the feeling that these are real people with real ideas, thoughts and uncertainties. I actually felt like I was experiencing a story from a real friend. Great plot and its twists were thoughtfully done. I haven't cried much while reading, but this novel's ending got me. Just wow! Brad Parks, now has a fan in me. I will be reading more of his work...

Scott and Alison Sampson are wonderfully complex characters. This couple really takes the reader through a complete gamut of emotions. Your heart really goes out to them for having to go through everything they did. The way Brad Parks leads you to different conclusions in order to ratchet up the suspense is fascinating. This novel is very fast paced, making you want to see how it all turns out. Loved this novel.

Say Nothing by Brad Parks was a suspenseful legal thriller that kept me interested and turning pages until the end. It started out pretty fast, and kept layering on more and more complexity. I really enjoyed the main character Scott Sampson, a federal judge with an interesting history. The judge's twins are kidnapped by some shadowy group intent on influencing the judge's court rulings. The author really captured the fears and tensions of the main character and his family. It made you think about what you might do and sacrifice to ensure the safety of your children. It also captured the judge's growing paranoia as he started to lose trust for those around him. It was a bit over-the-top in places, as the author decided to layer on more and more challenges to make it harder and harder for the judge to comply with the kidnappers demands. There were lots of twists and turns, and any time you thought you figured it out, a new twist was thrown in. I enjoy thrillers but don't read too many legal thrillers, so I found the explanations about what a judge does and how cases work interesting. As far as thrillers go, it was a solid one that gave me a great escape and kept me reading.

I missed a lot of sleep while I was reading this book, because I couldn't put it down. It made me keep saying "just one more chapter" before going to bed. The writing is phenomenal, the story is captivating, and the characters were multi-dimensional. This is true fast-paced thriller, and lovers of the genre will NOT be disappointed!

This book was so good. Full of suspense and some surprises too. Brad Parks did a great job with this book. Kudos and thanks to First To Read and Brad Parks. I will simply say it was so good and that it is a must read in my humble opinion.

I really enjoyed the story that the author was trying to get across in this book, however he seemed more interested in making a longer book than having a book that left anything to the reader's imagination. I think the book was entirely too wordy and needed to be whittled down to make the content more palatable.

Though "Say Nothing" is not my preferred genre and was not written in a style that I typically enjoy, I did get quite drawn by this story. It struck me as carefully crafted, with believable (if somewhat flat) characters and a fast-paced storyline. I was also fascinated by the insight that Parks had into the legal and judicial system, which I knew little about. The way he discussed judicial proceedings was informative enough to keep me engaged, yet light enough to keep the writing from becoming dry. I do have to admit that I was a bit frustrated with the writing at times, so if you are expecting a great work of literature, this may not be your book. Two sentences that elicited the greatest eye-rolls from me were: "My hand went to my throat, a classic gesture of vulnerability." "She sank her teeth into a lie and then, with great gusto, swallowed it whole." However, clumsy writing aside, this book was most definitely worth reading. It took me just a few hours to finish and kept me entertained throughout. I liked the characters well enough and was invested in their struggle to extricate their twins.

Had me at the first page and kept me guessing throughout. It's one of those books where you think you have it figured out multiple times only to be surprised and pushed in another direction. Great read! I'll definitely check out Brad Parks again.

A truly Amazing book! An emotional roller coaster that continues throughout the entire book! Did not want to put the book down! This is the way crime books should be written! 5 fully earned stars!

I thoroughly enjoyed Say Nothing. It's not my typical genre, so I did wonder if other people might be able to guess the ending. For me, everything was a surprise and kept me engrossed. At first, I was annoyed by Alison and her reactions and choices. The more I thought about it, I realized that this was a realistic reaction to a mother who had her twin children kidnapped with not a lot of options for her to do to get them back. I loved the detailed storyline about the judicial process and trying to figure out how Judge Sampson's cases related to their missing children. This book was thrilling and fairly fast-paced. I would definitely recommend it.

"Say Nothing" is a hard-hitting and grueling adventure of parents who go through the torture of their kids being kidnapped. There are twists and turns a-plenty, with suspense that continues to ratchet upward until the very end. I could easily see this made into a movie, with its compelling characters and vivid scenes. It's obvious that Parks' knowledge of laws and judges was put to good use in this book. The complex characters and high stakes would serve as great entertainment in box office. The entire story is heart-ripping and though I was conflicted by the climax, it reminded that life is not always about happy endings. This author is new to me, but I can say I look forward to more of his stories in the future.

This novel was about 150 pages too long. The author, Brad Parks, left nothing to the readers imagination. He detailed everything down to the last minutiae which made reading this novel a bit of a bore. I did enjoy learning a bit about our court system, but seeing how it could be attacked so easily really was the only thriller to this book.

Really liked this book and the pacing of the story. This thriller is about a judge and what lengths he will go to to get his children back. This story kept me guessing and just when I thought I knew what was going to happen, the story evolves.

This book is well written and has me gripping my seat at the end of every chapter, leaving me wanting more. I could not put the book down. The very much human mistakes and emotions that the characters experience along with the provided point of view of the kidnappers allows me to really become absorbed in the story. I definitely recommend this book if you like suspenseful stories.

Captivating tale. Many unpredictable twists and turns reveal a story that is entertaining and keeps you on the edge of your seat. A wonderful read.

Where to start? This was a longer book but one that sucks you right in and keeps you from putting it down. I felt like I was in the room with the characters and experiencing it with them. The plot twists kept me on my toes. I will not lie, I cried literal tears near the end. If you enjoy political and financial crime dramas, this would be one to add to the list. Thank you First to Read for the chance to read this novel!

Fabulous book. I was drawn into the life of Scott Sampson from day one. The book had me guessing throughout who was involved. There were quite a few twists and surprises throughout! I can't wait to read more books by Brad Parks.

Say Nothing is a fast-paced, emotionally gripping thriller that brings together political, legal, and financial intrigue balanced against the lives of two young children. From the first page, the plot is already on the urgent when Judge Scott Sampson receives a text from his wife telling him not to pick up their twins from school. When his wife comes home later than evening he learns she had not sent the message. And thus begins the harrowing unraveling of the Sampson’s happy lives as the kidnappers pressure him to rule on one court case to prove their power over him before pressuring him for a high stakes ruling. Meanwhile, Scott and his wife Alison must keep up the facade of a normal life while scandal over the first decision risks his ability to deliver on their demands. The story reveals how even the strongest families can crack under pressure and how insidiously suspicious and distrust can invade those cracks and fracture their lives. This is a tense, read-until-you-finish, can’t-stop-won’t-stop kind of thriller. When I finished reading it, I was exhausted from the suspense and emotional havoc. Yes, I cried even though I sometimes felt manipulated to cry. It’s not a perfect book, the family rituals were a bit twee and the scene with emmybear and sammybear was too obviously written to wring us out through an emotional mangler. Child jeopardy stories are like that. We identify with the parents’ fear and ache for the children. The line between tension and manipulation is faint and most of the time Parks stayed on the right side of it, but not always. The worst book I ever read in my life was a ridiculous mystery a friend insisted I read. It was called Inside Passage to Murder. I could list 20 appalling things about the book, but one of them was so beyond reason that more than twenty years later, I still recall my disgust. There is a mob hit man who is supposed to shoot a witness. He shoots, he misses, and kills another woman, the wife of an elderly man who assures everyone, “It’s okay, she had cancer.” Gah! Without saying anything to spoil the book, I can assure you there are no hitmen in Say Nothing and no one is shot accidentally. But there is a parallel tradeoff, a devaluation of life limited by cancer. How ridiculous, each and every one of us has no idea of our time on earth and the most healthy person in the world can be struck by a car, lightning, a meteor. There is chance to life that makes that kind of assumptions about whose life can be taken unacceptable. In this case, it diminishes the courage and sacrifice someone makes, as though it’s easier to be brave when you have cancer. Of course, people do seek justification and rationalization and find ways to make the awful more bearable. So, if it helps the grieving to grieve, fine. Just remember, though, is a case of the author not being brave enough to write about loss in its entirety. Say Nothing will be released March 7, 2017. I was provided a digital galley from the publisher through First to Read.

I am an impatient reader. There aren't too many books, thrillers especially, that don't make my eyes start to wander, attention seeking the walls, forgetting where I am in the story, wondering what's for dinner.. Say Nothing, I will say from the get go, is addictive. If my employer ever knew I was reading this during my shift, they would not be too happy. In a handful of days I read this book straight through. Not a minced word or scene, the pace building and building, a perfect thriller. You also learn things along the way, about the judicial system, getting a voyeuristic look into a judge's chambers. I suggest you pick up this book if you are a fan of good solid stories, wonderful character arches, and twists and turns like a solid rollercoaster. Parks is a pro at the top of his game.

I had the opportunity to read this as part of Penguin Random House First to Read program. Mesmerizing! It's a long read, but I couldn't put it down. It moved quickly and kept you in high anticipation for the next twist and turn. There were moments I felt like I was right there. Gasping, goose bumps, tears...literally tears running down my face. Filled with second guessing, love for family, courtrooms, deceit, lies, heartache the list goes on and on. I will be recommending this to friends & family!!

I downloaded the adobe software, tried to open the book, but I just couldn't make it happen on my desktop. And from what I see, an edition for my second generation Kindle is out of the question. So I didn't read it. I tried to make contact on the website...whatever.

Once I started it I could not put it down. The ending made me cry and I was shocked at the turn of events the author took. Say Nothing moved at a quick pace and did not have a dull moment. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys legal drama and it was definitely a thriller. So good!!!


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