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The best medical care available, professionals always in attendance, final days spent with a loving family: All factors suggest a peaceful end for the old man. But it's whispered that the death of powerful patriarch Jake Lavarone was not natural. His death calls attention to a hedge of silence that both protects and entraps his prominent family. Determined academic sleuth Father Brendan Byrne makes his way into family secrets ancient and fresh: counterfeit ration coupons, a vanished favored son, a neglected and neurotic granddaughter, desperate additions of a spoiled scion. How to untangle the deeds of the guilty without harming the innocent? Located at the soft-boiled end of the mystery spectrum, Woven Silence is pitched to lovers of academic mysteries who delight in basically decent characters caught up in events that challenge them to do well. The setting is Berkeley's liberal and interreligious Graduate Theological Union, with city and University of California as backdrop. Woven Silence combines a classic biblical plot (the Genesis story of Joseph and his brothers) with a contemporary one: the inexplicable disappearance of a son from his family, fraternal animosity and guilt, parental favoritism, complex motivations, the beginnings of reconciliation.