Hi! I’m back with another ARC review – this one for The Silent House by Nell Pattison – a debut mystery/thriller which released today.
- Publication date: March 5th 2020
- Publisher: Avon Books
- Genre: Mystery/Thriller
If someone was in your house, you’d know.
But the Hunter family are deaf, and don’t hear a thing when a shocking crime takes place in the middle of the night. Instead, they wake up to their worst nightmare.
The police call Paige Northwood to the scene to interpret for the witnesses. They’re in shock, but Paige senses the Hunters are hiding something.
One by one, people Paige knows from the Deaf community start to fall under suspicion. But who would kill a little girl?
Was it an intruder?
Or was the murderer closer to home?
Thank you to NetGalley for providing an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
I’ve been getting more and more into thrillers in the last year, I seem to be in a mood for one at nearly all times, and when I saw The Silent House on NetGalley I nearly immediately requested it. It sounded amazing and thrilling and unique, a perfect combination. I’m sad to say it was none of these things.
Something I noticed from page one is how simple and juvenile the writing was. I am by no means an expert in this area, English is my second language after all, but the whole book read like a secondary school student wrote it. “I went there and did this. Afterwards, I did something else. I was very tired.” Short and to the point sentences work in a lot of thrillers, they build atmosphere, add to the tension – there’s a sense of urgency in those types of narrative. In the case of The Silent House, the simple structure made it incredibly mundane and boring. Both the plot and the writing were filled with cliches.
Yeah, about the plot… The gist of the story is – Paige is a freelance interpreter – coming from a deaf family, she’s part of the Deaf community and interprets for them on different occasions. When an 18 month baby is killed, she is called to the police station to interpret for the deaf family who just lost a child.
I was really hooked on the premise, it sounded great. Unfortunately what followed was a generic mystery/thriller plot. It read like the author followed a strict plan of when to introduce a new “clue”, or add something “emotional”, or write in a “plot twist” (I’m writing all these in quotation marks, as I don’t believe any of those ended up being what the author intended them to be). The book ended up boring, predictable and unconvincing.
I can forgive a thriller for having underdeveloped secondary characters if the main character has an actual personality, and the book is gripping and fast paced, but in The Silent House every single character felt incredibly one dimensional. I couldn’t make myself care for the child’s parents, or for Paige, because they felt so far removed from reality and not like real people at all. Even when Paige’s dark past (once again, typical mystery/thriller trope) was revealed, I only rolled my eyes. I mean, this book deals with the death of a baby – if the book was half decent, only a heartless person wouldn’t be in some way moved by it. I wasn’t, and I’m a big softie.
Paige is probably the most frustrating MC I’ve ever read from. She makes one bad decision after the other and doesn’t seem to be capable of any critical thinking. I nearly DNFed the book many times while reading, because I just couldn’t stand her. Her sister, Anna, isn’t any better, and all of the scenes with her present were infuriating. Not one character in the whole story redeemed the book for me even slightly.
I hate rating ARCs low, but unfortunately The Silent Patient was a snooze fest full of cliches and terrible characters and I can’t honestly rate it any higher than 1.5 stars, which is a shame, because I went into it expecting to like it.
Thank you for reading!
P.S. Forgive the poorly edited cover on the picture. I’m still very new to this.