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Silent Night by Nell Pattison

A school for the deaf are on a trip to a cabin in the woods when one of the teenage boys goes missing. His disappearance is soon followed by that of a member of staff, a teacher whose body is soon found deep in the forest. Sign language interpreter Paige Northwood is brought in to assist the police and it soon becomes clear that while many have motives, they also have alibis. With still no clues as to the whereabouts of the missing boy, Leon, finding him becomes vital as it is obvious that there is a killer ready to strike again.

This is the second in the Paige Northwood series, following on from the previous book The Silent House. This can be read as a standalone, however, or it could be read out of sequence if you haven’t yet read the first. Like in the previous book, I liked looking at the investigation from an perspective other than the police, enjoying Paige’s involvement and how her skills provided alternative angles to investigate. She did, at times, infuriate me though when she was unaware whether to share her suspicions with DS Singh. I kept wanting to shake her, telling her, “Yes! Tell him!”

From early on in the book, it soon becomes apparent that this group of teenagers are keeping secrets but are they related to the murder or is it a case of self-preservation? These secrets are gradually revealed throughout the book, keeping you on your toes as you try to work out exactly what has been going on in the school. To complicate matters further, Paige discovers that her ex-boyfriend, Mike, is now working at the school, raking up painful memories for her. It was good to find out more about Paige’s life, helping us to gain a better understanding of her past and about the sort of person she is.

The plot twists and turns and I changed my mind several times about who the murderer was. I felt that it came to a satisfying conclusion and wished I’d taken more notice of a clue that was given earlier in the story that would have helped me to uncover the motive! This is promising to be a really good series and I look forward to reading Nell Pattison’s next book.

With thanks to Avon Books UK and Net Galley for my copy.

**BLOG TOUR** The Silent House by Nell Pattison

When a toddler is found brutally murdered in her bedroom with nobody seeing or hearing anything, the initial thought would be ‘how is this possible?’ The Hunter family would not be able to hear anything, however, as everybody in the house is deaf. To help with their interviews, the police call in interpreter Paige Northwood, and soon she comes to the conclusion that the family are hiding something. Who was the intruder or is the murderer of Lexi someone closer to home?

I loved the premise of this book, and the plot is one that really makes you think. At night, when all is dark, we rely upon our hearing to alert us to any danger, but what if you are deprived of this sense? How do you know if anything is wrong? This is the scenario we are faced with when young Lexi is found dead, no one in the family able to hear anything. This was a truly terrifying image and I really felt for the family as they discovered what had happened the following morning.

Nell Pattison really gives us an insight into the deaf community, showing us their daily struggles and how they overcome this. It did not come as a surprise to see that the author works with students who use BSL as her knowledge was apparent throughout her writing. This tight-knit community posed problems for Paige as everyone seemed to know everyone else and gossip was rife. I felt sorry for the interpreter as she was constantly pressed for information from her family and friends, knowing that she would not be able to share what she had discovered in the police interviews.

As well as the murder, there is a linked sub-plot involving Paige when her own life is put in danger. What starts off as messages warning her to stop her work with the police, soon escalates and she is left fearing for her life and for that of her hearing impaired sister. I enjoyed this part of the story as we see Paige suspecting everyone around her, not knowing who, if anyone, she can trust.

Although I did manage to work out who the killer was, it took me quite a while due to the numerous shady characters we meet as the book progresses. This is a strong debut and I look forward to reading what the author writes next.

With thanks to Avon for my copy of The Silent House and to Sanjana Cunniah for organising  the blog tour.

 

 

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