Written by Sarah A. Denzil, this book is anything but silent in a non-typical sort of suspense. Readers do certainly sense a certain suspension as they follow the characters through a sort of everyday life which is more of a slog through suffering, terror, fear and pain.
The scariest and saddest thing to have a child disappear. Did he get swept away in the river or was he taken? What did he endure as his mother endures guilt, grief and struggles to survive.
Then, to have that child mysteriously return, non-verbal, so that no one really knows what happened to him or if someone bad is still searching for him.
The story winds around the anxiety of this young mother who loved, but didn’t marry her child’s father. For years and years as the child remains missing. A certain amount of life goes on. Then, the child returns, not telling his story, except to readers.
The cruelest blows come when the identity of the kidnapper is revealed along with the identity of the person who didn’t ‘collaborate’, but instead did something else unspeakable which enabled the kidnapper to take this little boy captive and abuse him for years. And the jealous ‘watcher’ who knew all about it throughout. There are some very cruel, mean people out there!
Taking place in a fictional small town in England where bad things don’t happen, this is a very dark story, but not too far from the terrible stories we have on the news about similar incidents. There is a recovery ending that lets the ‘good guys’ have some chance at a life going forward. The lifestyle and scenery descriptions are good and added to the things that kept me reading the story.
The author drops an F-bomb a few times, but the generation in action talks that way. One of the redeeming factors for this book lies in the way the dark things that happen are not described in shock and awe detail. The book isn’t full of profanity, gore or erotica. Readers simply turn pages to follow scary, sad tragedy through to the light.