This post is part of a blog tour organised by Random Things Blog Tours. I received a free copy of the book in return for an honest review.
“Cameron and Lisa Murdoch are successful New Zealand crime writers, happily married and topping bestseller lists worldwide. They have been on the promotional circuit for years, joking that no one knows how to get away with crime like they do. After all, they write about it for a living.
“So when their challenging seven-year-old son Zach disappears, the police and the public naturally wonder if they have finally decided to prove what they have been saying all this time… Are they trying to show how they can commit the perfect crime?”
The Quiet People, by Paul Cleave, is one of those books where you can’t say too much about the story because you don’t want to give anything away! What I will say is, it is very much worth a read - I devoured it in just over 24 hours and felt quite bereft when I finished it. I will definitely be checking out this new-to-me author’s backlist.
The story alternates between the first-person narrative of Cameron Murdoch, a crime writer whose son, Zach, has gone missing, and a third-person account of DI Rebecca Kent, who is running the investigation into Zach’s disappearance.
Cameron is a likeable character, but he can be hot-headed and rash, and he totally unravels as the events of the book unfold. He appears to love his son and genuinely not know where he’s gone - yet throughout the book, you always have ‘ah, but is he a reliable narrator?’ in the back of your mind. Kent’s parts of the story give you access to details from the investigation side before Cameron becomes aware of them, heightening your emotions as he acts in ways that you’re certain are making things worse for himself.
In the wake of Zach’s disappearance, events escalate at a frenetic pace and you can never quite take any of the developments for granted as so many of them get turned on their heads later on. The couple become the centre of a media frenzy, and Dallas Lockwood, a gutter journalist with a pre-existing grudge against them, leads the charge in vilifying them. The author doesn’t hold back on the consequences of the press intrusion, again creating a big emotional impact and keeping me turning the pages.
With its suburban, domestic setting, family secrets, multiple twists, and ordinary characters acting in unexpected ways when placed in extreme circumstances, The Quiet People will appeal to fans of Linwood Barclay, one of my favourite authors - in fact, Barclay has provided a cover quote for this novel. I’m really excited to discover another author who makes such skilful use of these elements I love!
The Quiet People is addictive, brutal and full of twists.