“A phone call first thing in the morning never brings good news.”
*** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by Netgalley and Avon in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! ***
I admit I was sold as soon as I read the blurb. I don’t think I’ve ever read a thriller with a deaf main character before… The premise of The Silent House had a lot of promise of being an original story and sounded simply fascinating. I have been looking forward to read this one ever since my request was approved, and it might just have been that my expectations were set too high, but I’m sad to say that the story fell mostly flat for me. I’ll try to explain why below…
First of all I have to say that I still think that the premise of The Silent House is both unique and fascinating and definitely one of the strong points of this story. The insight in the Deaf community provided in The Silent House helps those who have never had direct contact with profoundly deaf people understand a little bit more about the challenges they face and what consequences it has for those surrounding them. Not only do we have Paige and her freelance job as a British Sign Language interpreter, but the majority of the main characters involved is either deaf or has family members who are deaf. This definitely gives the story an unique angle as well as an opportunity to teach us more about the Deaf community itself.
That said, sadly I found the character development to be rather lacking. What could have been a golden opportunity to shine a light on the Deaf community and develop a cast of interesting characters that are able to teach as well as entertain us, ended up being a rather flat and lackluster representation. I found that most characters lacked personality and instead were mostly build up out of cliches without real development. I wasn’t really a fan of any of the characters and Paige’s behavior is quite frustrating most of the time as well as not exactly all that believable. This lack of realistic character development made it a lot harder to stay invested in the story and definitely had a negative influence on my reading experience.
It wasn’t just the character development that disappointed me though. I also struggled with the plot itself. Apart from the fact that I found the execution of the plot to be rather dull and predictable, I also had doubts about the credibility of it all. The twists and secrets that were surely ment to build up that suspense weren’t really believable and I’m sad to say that I saw most of them coming from a mile away… Add the fact that the behavior of the characters was both cliche and not exactly credible most of the time, and the plot mostly fell flat for me. Instead of a twisty and suspenseful thriller that had me on my toes, The Silent House was actually rather boring and that isn’t exactly a word I would normally associate with a crime thriller about the murder of a little girl.
While the writing did read fast and I enjoyed learning more about the Deaf community, what sounded like an absolutely fascinating premise fell mostly flat for me in the execution. Among other things, the pace was quite slow, the characters are unlikeable and I had issues with the credibility and predictability of certain aspects of the plot… All in all not my favorite read, although I still think the premise itself is solid and it has been interesting to learn more about the deaf community and everything it entails.