‘This morning, I was packing up lunches, ironing, putting on the laundry I should have done last night. Now my precious daughter is accused of murder. ‘
When ten-year-old cousins Maddy and Brianna are arrested for a terrible crime, Maddy’s mother Juliet cannot believe it. How could her bright, joyful daughter be capable of such a thing?
As the small village community recoils in horror, the pressure of the tragedy blows Juliet and her sister’s lives apart. And things get even worse when their daughters retreat into a self-imposed silence. Can anyone reach Maddy and discover the truth before her fate is sealed?
Juliet is crushed. Nothing will ever be the same for her darling girl. But she knows that to find out what really happened that day, she and her sister must unlock the secrets of their own terrible past, a past they swore never to speak about again …
The most unputdownable psychological thriller you’ll read this year from the bestselling author K.L. Slater. If you love The Wife Between Us or Gone Girl, you’ll be totally hooked on The Silent Ones.
(From the book blurb)
The premise is extremely interesting. Imagine a horrendous crime and two children involved, children who wouldn’t say a word to explain what happened, not even to defend themselves. Maddie and Brianna are first cousins. We know they are quite different (as any two children, even siblings, would be), but we also get slightly different descriptions coming from their respective mothers Juliet Fletcher and Chloe Voce. Is Maddie an intelligent, quiet animal lover or is she secretive and sneaky? Is Brianna a spontaneous, wear-your-heart-on-the-sleeve bubbly, joyful little girl or has she got a mother of all tempers? Is it ever possible to see your child absolutely objectively? What if one of them is innocent, but is protecting the other one. What if it is your child who is guilty, would you be ready to accept the truth and the subsequent blame and punishment?
‘She’s ten years old. She’s not equipped with the tools needed to get through this relentless pressure; she doesn’t know how to steady herself, control her emotions.
It’s crushing me to watch her slowly fading away.‘
Gradually, the tension builds, the secrets come unravelling and we understand that there is something else, something dark and sinister, buried in the family past that made the mothers’ characters what they are. But is there a possibility of redemption and do they even believe in it?
Whenever a crime like this is concerned, there are rumours and wild accusations, and pointing fingers. In our day and age, when the latest news is just a click away and social media are ready to lynch the parents with hateful comments, you still have to trust that the investigation is going to be proper and unbiased.
Other people are peddling inaccuracies that mean nothing to them but have the power to wreck our lives.
There are special procedures, designed to protect the rights of minors and they are there for good reasons. Guilty or not, children are vulnerable members of our society and this book brilliantly shows this vulnerability and the part families play in dealing with situations like this.
The book is so fast-paced, there’s never a dull moment. There are twists and turns, and you do want to get to know what exactly the two girls did (or didn’t do?) on that afternoon, even at the expense of your own sleepless night.
Thank you to NetGalley and Bookouture for the ARC provided in exchange for an honest opinion.