Anna hasn’t set foot in Glasgow for ten years. And for very good reasons…
Anna, a criminology lecturer, returns to Glasgow from Rome during the coldest winter in memory. While out with her best friend from school, Anna has a chance encounter with a former flame, Andrew. Tragedy strikes later that night when Anna discovers Andrew stabbed and dying on a blanket of snow.
Soon Anna finds herself at the centre of the investigation as the star witness for the police, and embarks on investigating the case herself. But Anna doesn’t realise the danger she is in and soon finds herself in trouble.
When another body shows up, who has links to the first victim, it appears that the motive may lie buried in the past.
As Anna gets closer to the truth, the killer starts closing in.
But can she solve the gruesome mystery before the killer strikes again?
A killer is stalking the streets of Glasgow in the depths of winter, in the run up to the festive season, and they are ticking off their victims, one by one; is there a connection between them or are they striking people at random? In the Silence is M.R. Mackenzie’s debut novel, and I was really impressed. It is a gritty and dark debut thriller, and the time of year that the author chose to set the book was perfect for creating that menacing and eerie atmosphere which he certainly did.
Anna has recently returned to her home city after spending ten years in Rome. It has been a while since she has seen her old friend Zoe, and on her first night back they hit the clubs to celebrate Zoe’s birthday. But things soon take a disturbing turn when the body of a man who Anna knows, who she saw at the club the night before he died, is found. Anna soon becomes a suspect in the eye of the police who are working on the case and to help prove her innocence, Anna decides to investigate what has happened herself.
What I loved most about the book was its setting. Although I have never been to Glasgow, I thought that M.R. Mackenzie captured a strong sense of what some parts of the city must be like, especially the clubs and the people who go there. I got the sense that the killer could be lurking in every corner, waiting for their turn to strike again. As Anna became further involved in the case, I feared what was going to happen to her, particularly as the police seemed to take a dislike towards her and appeared intent on making her life difficult. I was appalled at the treatment Anna was receiving, but this made me keen to read on as I wanted to find out what was going to happen to her and if the killer was going to get away with their crimes. She is a captivating character, and I felt that I could root for her from the beginning.
M.R. Mackenzie slowly reveals details about Anna’s past, and there were some revelations which were shocking. She is a character who you will become invested in as the plot develops. One of my favourite aspects of the novel was her friendship with Zoe, she is the more domineering of the two, but I really liked her sense of humour, and she did add some lightness to the book.
This was a debut that I thought was really engaging. There was a part of the novel at the end which took me completely by surprise, I could see where the plot was going but I was shocked at how everything unfolded, it does make for a powerful ending. I’m definitely going to be keeping an eye on what M.R. Mackenzie writes next. Thank you to Sarah Hardy for inviting me to take part in the tour and to Bloodhound Books for the advance review copy.
Publisher: Bloodhound Books
Publication date: 10th September 2018
Print length: 306 pages
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