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Summary

Thirty years ago, in the suffocating heat of a Sydney summer, the Greens’ next-door neighbour Mandy disappeared without a trace.

A cold case re-opened.

In 1997, in a basement flat in Hackney, Isla Green is awakened by a call in the middle of the night: her father is under suspicion of Mandy’s murder.

A devastating secret.

How well does Isla know her father? Is he capable of doing something terrible? And is there another secret in their community – a conspiracy of silence which stretches deep into Australia’s past?

©2020 Susan Allott (P)2020 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

Critic reviews

"A riveting mystery, beautifully unwound. The Silence excavates dark, decades-old secrets buried in human hearts, in families and in nations. I read it in one weekend." (Erin Kelly) 

"Deeply engrossing...an exquisite literary thriller." (Philippa East, author of Little White Lies)

"An impressive and beautifully written, Australian-set debut with the devastating subject of the Stolen Generation at its core." (Fiona Mitchell, author of The Swap)

What listeners say about The Silence

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A powerful jigsaw

This story is like a jigsaw puzzle, turning over the pieces thinking you know where each will go, eventually realising you need to revise each placement. The descriptions add to the atmosphere, and are measured and informative about place or time, and I wish I could do the book justice in review. That is not my skill, but it is certainly the author’s domain. I shall remember this book for a long time to come.

3 people found this helpful

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Gripping!

This brings to life some real dark family issues including alcoholism through brilliant characters. You go through a range of feelings for them - sympathy, admiration, worry, dislike, disgust and more.
It also highlights the historical removal of aboriginal children in Australia.
Gripping narrative right up until the last chapter.

2 people found this helpful

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  • J
  • 11-06-20

Gripping and immersive

Loved this novel, which toggles between 1960s and 1990s Australia. Its Aboriginal plot line feels very pertinent to the Black Lives Matter movement, its characters are very well drawn and I found it impossible to switch off - so listened to the whole thing in about three days!

2 people found this helpful

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Highly recommended

I really enjoyed this book. It is very evocative of the time and setting and beautifully portrays the mysteries and secrets of the families and friendships of all the characters. I like the way it highlights the cultural differences between the 60s and the 90s, of what was acceptable in the past but isn't now, and of the problems that endure across the decades with little change.

Excellent narration which was very easy to listen to. Overall a thoroughly enjoyable listen and I look forward to the next book by this author if it is as good as this one.

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Absolutely loved it

An spellbinding crime/mystery set in Australia against the backdrop of British migration in the 60s and the horrendous removal of Aboriginal children. Two families, with layer upon layer of murky secrets that are gradually revealed. I fell for every red herring and was captivated until the final flawless line. Fantastic narration too. I really enjoyed this Audible version but will buy the hardback too as this is a keeper.