To the outside world, Malcolm and Harriet Benson seem like a normal couple. A visit to their house, however, might tell a different story as one of the bedroom doors has bolts secured to the outside of it. Not to keep people out, but to keep someone in – a girl called Daisy. Forced to call them ‘Mummy’ and ‘Daddy’, Daisy hasn’t seen her real parents since she was abducted three years ago. Now the Bensons have decided they would like a second daughter…
It may only be January but I’m sure that this is going to be one of the contenders for my book of the year! I had been eagerly anticipating the third book in the Nathan Cody series so was thrilled when I was sent a proof of Don’t Make a Sound ahead of it’s publication in May. My only regret now is that I read it so quickly, I feel slightly bereft that I no longer have it to look forward to!
From the very start of the book, I felt a tremendous amount of sympathy for Daisy, the girl who has spent the past three years isolated in a soundproofed room after being abducted. Terrified of upsetting her new ‘parents’ and fearful of the punishments that are doled out by Malcolm, she has adapted to her surroundings yet yearns to leave her prison. Old and wise beyond her years, she takes on the role of protector when another girl, Poppy, is brought to the room. It was heartbreaking to see how Daisy immediately took the blame when Poppy did something that would displease the Bensons to prevent her from feeling the full force of Malcolm’s anger.
Malcolm Benson is a truly loathsome character. He feels he is giving the girls a caring, loving home yet ‘achieves’ this by locking them in a room with no natural light and being a bit handy with a belt. Of course, everything is not black or white and, when we find out something about his past, it does make you think of him in a different way. His wife, Harriet, is a traditional downtrodden wife, desperate for a child of her own and someone who is fully reliant upon her husband. I did wonder what would have become of their captives had anything happened to Malcolm.
In the previous books in the series, we found out a lot about Nathan Cody’s past and how it is still affecting his life today. Although this is referenced in Don’t Make a Sound, his story takes a back seat for much of the book, the focus being placed firmly on the Bensons. As the story progresses, though, we get to see more of Cody albeit not in the way we would have hoped. It is up to DC Webley to use her instinct to solve the case and we really see her come into her own in this book.
I love a book where the author throws in a curve ball towards the end and there is definitely one here! In a book where you have one opinion throughout, David Jackson has succeeded in making you question everything you have read. It is impossible to say any more without spoiling the plot, but it is safe to say that I’m sure that many readers will experience the same shock as I did. I even had to go back and read several pages again to let it all sink in!
This series is fast becoming one of my favourites and I can’t wait to see what happens next to Nathan Cody and finding out whether the clowns return…
With thanks to Emily at Bonnier Zaffre for my ARC.
See my reviews for the first two Nathan Cody books here:
A Tapping at My Door
Hope to Die