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Summary

A young man discovers a family secret that turns his world upside down in this dark, emotive, shocking psychological thriller by number-one best-selling author Michael J. Malone.

John Docherty’s mother has just been taken into a nursing home following a massive stroke and she’s unlikely to be able to live independently again. With no other option than to sell the family home, John sets about packing up everything in the house. In sifting through the detritus of his family’s past he’s forced to revisit, and revise his childhood.   

For in a box, in the attic, he finds undeniable truth that he had a brother who disappeared when he himself was only a toddler. A brother no one ever mentioned. A brother he knew absolutely nothing about. A discovery that sets John on a journey from which he may never recover.   

For sometimes in that space where memory should reside there is nothing but silence, smoke and ash. And in the absence of truth, in the absence of a miracle, we turn to prayer. And to violence.  

Shocking, chilling and heartbreakingly emotive, In the Absence of Miracles is domestic noir at its most powerful, and a sensitively wrought portrait of a family whose shameful lies hide the very darkest of secrets.

©2019 Michael J. Malone (P)2019 Audible, Ltd

What listeners say about In the Absence of Miracles

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Very good sad story with an impressive narration

Very good domestic noir revealing secrets that are terribly shocking. Narration by Angus King is excellent.

1 person found this helpful

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Thoughtfully written and overall better than expected

A strong and brave story dealing with maternal abuse, but including all the complexities of response that victims go through. No needless violence and the reasons for reactions were left subtle rather than being rammed down readers’ throats, encouraging empathy.

Despite the Scottish setting, once again, there’s a disappointing inclusion of Americanisms that jar in the reading/listening (‘normalcy’ instead of normality and ‘catch up to’ instead of catch up with), but thankfully, not too many to put off a non-US audience.

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This book wasn’t for me

The plot and the reviews made me excited to listen to this book, unfortunately it took a dark turn which wasn’t for me. The narrator didn’t engross me either.

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Stunning!

John, a dutiful son, takes on the task of clearing out his childhood home. His mother has had a stroke, and the house must be sold to pay for her care in a nursing home. In the loft, he comes across a photograph of himself as a toddler, sitting with an older boy. He has no recollection of the teenager but his curiosity is aroused by their resemblance. Baffled and intrigued, John begins to dig deeper into the mystery, unaware that beneath the surface lie the hideous secrets of child abuse, trafficking and murder.

Malone addresses these dark, painful, issues with sensitivity and tender compassion, whilst driving the protagonist onward to face the bitter truth.

Angus King is an excellent narrator for this story.

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  • Scotty
  • 09-12-19

Intense!

What a story. Intense, dark, and shocking. However, also gripping, as well as excellently narrated. Couldn't stop listening.
Audible addict,
Scotty

5 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 16-03-21

Wonderful Book

Purchased the book because Angus King was narrating and as it turned out I found a new author that I will be looking out for.