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review 2017-12-12 17:50
An Act of Silence: A gripping psychologi... An Act of Silence: A gripping psychological thriller with a shocking final twist - Colette McBeth

Linda Moscow is shocked to find her son Gabriel in her kitchen one morning. It emerges that he has been told to report to a police station after a woman’s body was found in an allotment at the back of his home. He has come to her for help. It wouldn’t be the first time she’s compromised her beliefs for her only child. But the past has a way of catching up with a person, and Linda’s past is catching up with her.


Having read and thoroughly enjoyed The Life I Left Behind I was keen to read An Act of Silence, the latest novel from Colette McBeth.


The story is not as it first seems and develops differently than I would have expected. It is difficult to say too much without giving away the crux of the story.


The story moves between time periods and focusses on a different character. This allows the story and characters to develop in layers, as slowly more and more is revealed about the past and how it has influenced the present.


Many of the characters are not particularly likeable, though they have reasons for their actions which makes them more understandable, and in some cases more acceptable. As the story progresses the characters become more rounded, more real and more poignant or repulsive as a result. Linda for example becomes less cold, less detached and more compassionate, loving and broken as the story progresses. Her son, Gabriel is a strange mixture of a boy unsure of his mother’s love, and a man not willing to take responsibility for his own actions.


The storyline revolves around abhorrent acts that have sadly become ever more real, as more and more cases occur and emerge in real life. The fact that this was fiction mirroring fact made it all the more impacting and emotive.


If I’m honest I’m not a big fan of stories that use narrative techniques such as mistaken identity, cover ups and conspiracy theories (and I’m not saying which one was used in this novel as I don’t want to spoil the story for anyone). That said, the more I read of An Act of Silence, the more I was drawn into the story, the writing strong and taut, compelling me to read.


This is not a typical whodunit. It’s more of an examination as to why people act as they do, be it motivated by self-preservation, revenge or love.


This is a story about secrets, and the lengths people will go to in order to protect them. A timely narrative on things that have for too long remained unspoken, it is also a tale that shows the truth will out eventually, not matter how much we try to keep it hidden.


I look forward to reading more from Colette McBeth soon.

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review 2017-11-26 23:00
The Silence of the Lambs - Thomas Harris

As I said in my review of Red Dragon, I’m one of the only people on Goodreads who, until now, hadn’t read Thomas Harris’s novels about that infamous cannibal, Dr. Hannibal Lecter. I’ve never seen the movie adaptations, either. Seriously.


So I don’t think it’s prudent I rehash this book’s plot; you know it. I will say I’ve been totally blindsided by how much I’ve fallen in love with Hannibal as a character. I’m obsessed. This dude oozes swagger. He sends ice through my veins. This novel featured him more than Red Dragon, and for that I am thankful. The other characters found here are good, too (who couldn’t love Clarice?), but I found myself always a little anxious for Hannibal Lecter to come back onscreen.


Part police procedural, part thriller, part horror, Silence of the Lambs is a more than worthy followup to its predecessor. While the murder case in these pages didn’t grab me quite as much as the one found in Harris’s precious release, that was made up for with more Hannibal. So, to me, the two books are equal. As I said on Twitter the other night, I am kicking myself for not reading this series sooner.


And now I must check out the movie...

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review 2017-10-20 02:24
When in doubt blame it on the cookies...
A Forced Silence - Cate Ashwood,R. Scott Smith


I've been wanting to read or listen on audio as was the case here to something by this author for quite a while now. So when I saw 'A Forced Silence' on audio and Scott R. Smith was the narrator. I was intrigued a new to me author and a new to narrator. This was going to be an adventure and I was looking forward to it.


Unfortunately my adventure turned out to be not so epic. 'A Forced Silence' had so much potential for me...enemies to lovers, coming out and second chances I was ready. Adam Carson and Sam McKenna went to school together. Adam tormented Sam and made his school years miserable. But that was years ago and both men have changed. Sam's out and Adam's firmly ensconced in the closet, but somehow these two men find themselves drawn to each other and a relationship begins.


While the story itself appealed to me it was Adam and Sam and the overall dynamics of the relationship that just didn't work for me. I really didn't feel the connection between them and their banter not only didn't work for me, but at times I was actually a bit put off by their interactions. Overall as a couple these two guys just didn't work for me.


Add in the fact that while for the most part the narration was ok, there were times that it lacked the consistency that I really appreciate in an audio book. At times I just couldn't hear enough distinction between some of the voices and it left my brain scrambling to catch up and figure out who was speaking which tended to yank me out of the story. 


I'm not sure if it was the just the story that wasn't working for me or the narrator or a combination of both...so, while I'll definitely give try something else by this author and the narrator as well...just maybe, not at the same time.

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review 2017-10-05 11:36
"White Silence" Jodi Taylor - DNF
White Silence - Jodi Taylor

I bought"White Silence" as soon as it came out last month because it has a beautiful cover, is written by Jodi Taylor, whose "St. Mary's" series has given me a great deal of pleasure and is described by the publisher as:


The first instalment in the new, gripping supernatural thriller series
and as:

"a twisty supernatural thriller that will have you on the edge of your seat"


Well, I'm twelve chapters and four hours into this ten-hour audiobook and I have yet to experience anything like tension. I'm having difficulty maintaining more than mild curiosity so I'm giving up and reluctantly adding "White Silence" to my Did Not Finish pile.


The premise of "White Silence" is intriguing. It tells the story of Elizabeth Cage, an adopted child with the ability to see people so clearly that she knows their character, intent and inclinations on sight. Trained from childhood to hide her powers, she seeks out a quiet life with a quiet man, only to be manoeuvred into the hands of unscrupulous people who want to use her powers for evil.


Sounds like stirring stuff in a sort of Superman meets Sixth Sense meets Medium kind of way. Except it isn't. The pace is agonisingly slow. Elizabeth Cage has so little personality that I struggled to care what happened to her and the England of the story seems to be trapped somewhere in an idealised 1950s.


Maybe all the good stuff happens in the last 60% of the book and I'm missing out by walking away but life is short and other books are calling to me, so I'll take that chance.

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text 2017-09-10 03:58
Reading progress update: I've read 141 out of 264 pages.
The Silence Between Breaths - Cath Staincliffe

terrific read! getting a bit scary now. doesn't exactly make me want to jump on a train with a lot of strangers...

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