I was extremely fortunate to meet Colette McBeth at a blogger and author event where An Act of Silence was a book in the goody bag so I am extremely grateful to the team at Carmelite House!
An Act of Silence will be published by Wildfire, an imprint of Headline, on 29th June 2017 and is available for purchase through the links here.
An Act of Silence
These are the facts I collect. My son Gabriel met a woman called Mariela in a bar. She went home with him. They next morning she was found in an allotment. Mariela is dead. Gabriel has been asked to report to Camden Police station in six hours for questioning.
Linda Moscow loves her son; it’s her biological instinct to keep him safe. But if she’s not sure of his innocence, how can she stand by him? Should she go against everything she believes in to protect him? She’s done it before, and the guilt nearly killed her.
Now, the past is catching up with them. As old secrets resurface, Lind is faced with another impossible choice. Only this time, it’s her life on the line…
My Review of An Act of Silence
With a highly troubled relationship between them, mother Linda and son Gabriel need each other more than they can know.
I thought An Act of Silence was utterly brilliant. I genuinely couldn’t tear myself away from it and resented every moment when I couldn’t read it. I had a real dilemma. I wanted to read quickly to see what happened next, whilst simultaneously wanting to read slowly to savour every word. I think it was the wonderful overall quality of the writing that so captivated me. The variety of sentence structure adds to the tension and the overall plotting is sublime. An Act of Silence is twisty, creepy and actually quite sad, with occasional humour that serves to enhance and underline the dramatic elements of the narrative. I have become quite bored of books with multiple viewpoints of late but An Act of Silence is multi-layered, fascinating and magnificent. It made me think of those coloured translucent shapes children have that slot together – the plot has different prisms of light and different shapes and perspectives but they all fit together into one hugely satisfying read that has fabulous resolution. I really enjoyed the contrast of first and third person perspectives too.
I found the relationship between Linda and Gabriel heart-breaking and became so enmeshed in their lives that I couldn’t avoid an emotional interest in what happened to them. Colette McBeth is so skilled in exploring relationships and why we behave as we do that I defy anyone reading An Act of Silence not to look at those around them and wonder what is really going on in their lives.
An Act of Silence reverberated with so much significance to today’s society. I kept thinking of Joseph Conrad’s ‘thin veneer of civilisation’ and how we often don’t know, or don’t care to know, the truth staring us in the face. Reading An Act of Silence made me feel almost as guilty as those who maintain an act of silence in the story. This is such clever writing that upends the reader’s morality and makes them ask, ‘What would I do?’. This was a very disturbing aspect so that I felt almost as tainted as some of the characters when I realised I would probably behave the same way as Linda.
If you want a book to thoroughly entertain you, then Colette McBeth’s An Act of Silence is for you. If, however, you want a book that is highly entertaining, skilfully plotted, interesting, beautifully written and completely compelling so that it really makes you think, then An Act of Silence is even more for you. It is brilliant and I loved it.
About Colette McBeth
Colette McBeth is the critically acclaimed author of psychological thrillers Precious Thing and The Life I Left Behind.
Colette was a BBC TV News television correspondent for ten years, during which time she covered many major crime stories and worked out of Westminster as a political reporter.
She lives on the South Coast with her husband and three children.