Reviews

#BookReview The Silent House by Nell Pattison (@Writer_Nell) @AvonBooksUK #TheSilentHouse

About the book

The Silent House is published by Avon books and is available to buy now in paperbook, ebook and audio…

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If someone was in your house, you’d know … Wouldn’t you?

But the Hunter family are deaf, and don’t hear a thing when a shocking crime takes place in the middle of the night. Instead, they wake up to their worst nightmare: the murder of their daughter.

The police call Paige Northwood to the scene to interpret for the witnesses. They’re in shock, but Paige senses the Hunters are hiding something.

One by one, people from Paige’s community start to fall under suspicion. But who would kill a little girl?

Was it an intruder?

Or was the murderer closer to home?

My thoughts

The Silent House was a real surprise of a novel. I’d seen beforehand a real mixture of reviews but, thankfully, I’m the kind of person who likes to make up their own mind. This spine tingly premise pulled me right in, and from the very first chapter I was so engrossed that I knew this was going to be a hit. From what I saw at the end of the book it also seems that it’s the start of fabulous new series – whooop whooop!

I don’t know about you, but one of my biggest fears is waking up in the night to someone being in my home. Now imagine that happening but no one aware of it because they’re a deaf family. It actually sends shivers down my spine and doesn’t bear thinking about, yet it’s the situation Alan and Elisha are to find themselves in when they wake up to find Alan’s eighteen month daughter, Lexi, brutally murdered…

Was this a random intruder? Or was this someone closer to home who knew the family were deaf and took advantage of that fact? And why would someone brutally kill a harmless eighteen month old little girl?

Because of the family’s hearing impairment, British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter, Paige Northwood is brought in to assist with the police. Paige isn’t deaf but grew up with her deaf parents and sister, Anna, so classes herself as one of the deaf community – she also knows of the family due to Lexi being Anna’s god-daughter, but the more involved she begins to get in the case, it seems the more at risk her own life becomes.

What I most enjoyed about The Silent House was this community and culture of which I knew very little about, but which I was so quickly drawn into and found myself so interested to learn more about – all alongside trying to solve this murder mystery. Having a BSL interpreter as our protagonist was really refreshing, and I loved how much passion and knowledge Paige had for this community – loved how feisty a character she was and not one to always follow the rules. Through her eyes we’re introduced to the ‘deaf club’ (a place to hang out and socialise together), those challenges and frustrations a deaf person faces, and how BSL and interpreting is used – I had honestly never realised how exhausting it must be to interpret until it was explained in this novel with the ongoing interviews. I found all this really well delivered, but not so much that it removed me from the crime angle.

There’s a wide net of potential suspects in The Silent House – most, but not all, are deaf like Alan and Elisha. I loved the telling of this novel, mostly in present time but with short chapters thrown in that count down the hours to the murder, each focused on a character/suspect and their actions in the lead up, all arousing suspicion and upping the suspense on each page for the reader. There’s so many twists, turns, secrets and red-herrings thrown in which make it a riveting and fun ‘whodunnit’ and for me there was this vulnerability factor of a situation like this that never quite left me. I did guess the murderer quite early on, but that’s not to say I wasn’t kept second guessing, and I didn’t know the wider extent of what happened and why, which all added to my enjoyment of the journey. I did find the pace dipped a little bit in the middle, but it soon picked back up and raced me through to a brutal and disturbing conclusion.

A real mixture of characters almost give a pantomime feel, with an added good cop bad cop duo. There were many I didn’t like, but alongside Paige I did like DC Singh and particularly Max (Elisha’s brother). Paige’s love life is touched upon and there’s a tiny hint of a love triangle with these three characters which I’m intrigued to see if it continues into the next book.

Pattison, a new voice in crime fiction has delivered a diverse new take on the police procedural. The Silent House is an exciting, engrossing and highly unsettling tale of obsession and revenge. I’m already eager for the next book.

Thank you for taking the time to read my review. As always, a little like or share to spread the word is always most appreciated, and if you like the sound of The Silent House then do follow the below links to find out more or purchase for yourself…

AmazonUK|Waterstones|Goodreads

About the author

nell1

After studying English at university, Nell Pattison became a teacher and specialised in Deaf education. She has been teaching in the Deaf community for 12 years in both England and Scotland, working with students who use BSL. Nell began losing her hearing in her twenties, and now wears hearing aids. She lives in North Lincolnshire with her husband and son. The Silent House is her debut novel.

You can find Nell over on Twitter

 

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