Book Title: Part Of The Silence
Author: Debbie Howells
REVIEWED BY: CHELSEA
Genres: Mystery, Psychological Thriller, Suspense Fiction
Date Read: 06/16/17
Pub Date: 06/27/17
A blighted memory. A child who seems never to have existed. A watcher in the shadows.
When they find Evie Sherman, battered and left for dead in a maize field, the young woman has no recollection of who she is. After three days in a hospital bed, the fog in her head begins to lift, and she remembers two names: her own, and that of her three-year-old daughter, Angel. Evie is convinced that Angel is in grave danger. But the police can find no evidence of the girl’s existence.
It’s clear that Evie is having some kind of mental breakdown–or is it? Even in the depths of her amnesiac darkness, Evie knows her daughter’s voice, her chameleon eyes, every precious hair on her head. So how can she be losing her mind?
As Evie’s grasp on reality slips away, she finds herself haunted by the same three-word warning, which she hears over and over: Trust no one. But whom is she being warned against? The police? The doctors and nurses? Or the mysterious figure who’s been watching her, who knows all her secrets, has a hidden agenda–and perhaps their own twisted version of reality.
I’m a massive fan of Debbie Howells; her previous two novels The Bones of You and The Beauty of the End really gripped me from beginning to end. These stories had a compulsive mystery with emotional connections to further the plot simultaneously; the author’s ability to invest my attention in every aspect is what has caused me to keep coming back for more and flail my grabby hands all about when she has a new book set to publish. While I had a few issues with Part of the Silence, I felt overall the quality of language and writing style was still on par with her previous works which greatly pleased me as a reader.
This was quite a twisty book, and if you’re wanting to go in blind as to not risk spotting any clues or mild spoilers, I’d recommend stopping right here and coming back after you’ve finished the book. Sometimes when I pick up a psychological thriller I can tell immediately where it is going, which was the case here. I knew from the first chapter that information was deliberately being left out to form the readers’ opinions early on, and while the formatting was intoxicating, it did make it difficult to keep the whodunnit a surprise. I have read hundreds upon hundreds of thrillers of all kinds, a good number of them domestic, psychological thrillers, so I take full responsibility that I may have just read so many of them that it’s difficult to find a set up that I haven’t come across yet. This book was clearly excellent in many ways, and for the reader who may not be as seasoned or experienced in the genre, this will be wholly exciting and enjoyable.
I want to emphasize how, even though I had the who and why(ish) figured out within the first 50 pages, this was STILL a gripping and encompassing read for me. I feel like this says a lot about the writing and the author; if you can take what is typically the draw factor to reading books in the mystery genre out of the equation and still grip your reader, you know that writer has talent. Also, that gorgeous red cover will be one I remember on throughout 2017. Googly eyes and cover love yall. This book was all-around tempting and delicious; if you can look past the potential of early deduction due to lack of red herrings and maybe a few obvious clues, I think this will please a great number of readers. It was a fairly short read and one that is perfect for your summer travels. I’ll be interested to compare notes with other readers once reviews start pouring in on their thoughts as well; I’m excited to see what Howells decides to produce for us next and will be eagerly anticipating what direction she decides to point us in!
*Many thanks to the publisher for providing my copy; it was a pleasure to provide my honest thoughts here.