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A Silent Death

By: Peter May
Narrated by: Peter Forbes
Length: 10 hrs and 25 mins
5 out of 5 stars (8 ratings)

Non-member price: $34.94

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Publisher's Summary

The scorching new thriller from the million-selling author of The Blackhouse, Coffin Road and I'll Keep You Safe.

A silent vow.

Spain, 2020. When expat fugitive Jack Cleland watches his girlfriend die, gunned down in a pursuit involving officer Cristina Sanchez Pradell, he promises to exact his revenge by destroying the policewoman.

A silent life.

Cristina's aunt Ana has been deaf-blind for the entirety of her adult life: the victim of a rare condition named Usher Syndrome. Ana is the centre of Cristina's world - and of Cleland's cruel plan.

A silent death.

John Mackenzie - an ingenious yet irascible Glaswegian investigator - is seconded to aid the Spanish authorities in their manhunt. He alone can silence Cleland before the fugitive has the last, bloody, word.

Peter May's latest best seller unites a strong, independent Spaniard with a socially inept Scotsman; a senseless vendetta with a sense-deprived victim; and a red-hot Costa Del Sol with an ice-cold killer.

©2020 Peter May (P)2020 Quercus Editions Limited

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Profile Image for Simon
  • Simon
  • 11-01-2020

May - A Force That Is With Us!

I've been a fan of May's books as long as I have been a member of Audible. His Lewis Trilogy is one of the finest series I have read. For me the quality of his writing moves him more to the literary end of the genre but that never does much in my opinion unless the story is good. This one is, I believe, a stand-alone but it has the key ingredients that make for an excellent Peter May novel.

He always gives a fantastic sense of the setting, it's not just a background to him, it's a living breathing thing in its own right. His portrayal of the islands in the Lewis trilogy was utterly compelling and here we get the Spanish tourist coastlands but they are experienced as a native through local characters, not as a tourist with a grittier, more realistic edge as a result.

He also produces fine characters, with real depth and compelling backstories. The lead here is John Mackenzie, a social misfit Scot with troubles of his own, hardly a new idea but he genuinely made me smile with some of his awkwardness. The character that absolutely captured my heart and the real star though is Ana. A victim of Usher's Syndrome, so tragically deaf and blind since birth. The way that May takes us into her world, a plain poor girl with such huge difficulties is just perfect and she absolutely stole the show for me.

Despite all that I think what will make or break this story for a lot of people will be the villain, and expat fugitive called Jack Cleland. His behaviour is key to how the book develops and if the credibility of the story is balanced finely on anything it's the things that he does and the way he reacts. Obviously I won't give spoilers but all I can say is that I did buy it!

To bring this to Audible May teams up with old partner in crime Peter Forbes who is obviously perfect for the Scottish lead but also rides smoothly over all the Spanish names and terms. I can't vouch for his Spanish accent as French and German were the only languages that my school tried and failed desperately to get me to learn but it worked well for me and seemed very smooth.

So, another top quality release from Peter May, I can imagine people having problems with it surrounding the Cleland character and one or two other things but with the quality of writing, sense of place and especially the beautiful Ana I still won't hesitate to recommend it!

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • David M
  • 10-01-2020

The author has a way with words

This is my first book by this author. What struck me immediately was the quality of the writing. The author seems to love the process of writing and is not simply aiming to get the story out. We get wonderful descriptions of scenes, using alliteration and (I confess), words that I had to look up!

In outline our main character is John MacKenzie from the British police, who gets sent to Spain to bring back the captured criminal Jack Cleeland. Unfortunately the prisoner escapes from the Spanish police before he can be handed over, so John Mackenzie ends up assisting the Spanish police to find and re-capture him.

This is much more than just a police investigation, we delve into the personal lives of both John Mackenzie and some of the Spanish police. John Mackenzie for example is brilliant academically but socially awkward and likely on the autistic spectrum. Interestingly, quite a bit of the story is told from the perspective of "Anna" who is deaf-blind. That really was a feat of writing on behalf of the author. I wonder if he has some special insight into the world of the deaf-blind.

A good suspense thriller angle too, as we're aware of people being under threat, perhaps more than they realise themselves and we feel for them as we sit metaphorically on the edge of our seats.

It doesn't quite make 5 stars for me simply because I'm not that fond of police investigations - although it is a very good police investigation, and good descriptions of life in Spain. Peter Forbes narrates really well, so good that I was hardly aware of him.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Mrs Karen Weller
  • 20-01-2020

Superb read

Gripping. I could not stop listening. One of the best books Peter May has written. Very well narrated.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Liz
  • 18-01-2020

Peter May continues to deliver

Excellent story beautifully narrated by Peter Forbes. Lovers of Peter May’s work will not be disappointed.
Characters are clearly defined and recognisable. Expect the usual twists and turns. Regular visitors to southern Spain and Gibraltar will identify with the places and atmosphere. Enjoy!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • JENNIFER
  • 18-01-2020

An excellent book

Always look forward to the next Peter May novel. As usual this was as good as all the others. Peter Forbes adds to the excitement. Many thanks Peter.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Sandy Moncrieff
  • 15-01-2020

Andalusian adventures

Yet another superb story from Peter May, expertly delivered by Peter Forbes.
Using his knowledge of scottish pschye combined with an understanding of the expat underworld made an excellent story.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 13-01-2020

what a story teller.........

oh boy ! it was good....very good good voice to listen to..now my next book.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Mrs. Madeleine Empson
  • 20-01-2020

One of the best!

Whilst I thoroughly enjoyed the detective elements of this story, i found it more emotive than the previous stories. I liked this new aspect. Peter has an amazing descriptive ability, enhanced by the narrative skill of the other Peter, that brought the characters to life and tears to my eyes on more than one occasion.
As usual this book left me looking forward to more of the same.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 17-01-2020

a good story

I've enjoyed Peter May novels and recommend this one too. Fast moving and unpredictable. Interesting character. Could he reappear in a sequel?

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Minnou BH
  • 14-01-2020

Wonderful book great narrator

Looking forward to the next one Thank you Mr May. Till next time. Going to reread all you other books .