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432 pages, Paperback
First published August 23, 2018
I would like to thank Avon Book UK and darling Sabah for inviting me to be part of this exceptional blog tour and for providing me with a copy of this book. This review is unbiased and reflects my sole opinion.
All is silence in my head. A deafening silence and a never-ending scream.
Perfect Silence was my first meeting with the DI Callanach series and my first try at Helen Fields’ work.
Oh My God, why on earth did I wait this long??!
Before starting this novel, I could feel the nasty pulse of a reading slump run through my blood. We all have remedies to help with this issue. I shut it up with one of the most exceptional and skillfully plotted police procedural books I have ever read.
Now that I have finished it, I am all happy and eager to put my hands on the rest of the series but don’t be fooled, this is not an easy read! Maybe I am faint-hearted. It is okay. I do read lots of crime fiction, though, so I am used to decomposing bodies and nightmarish visions. But Helen Fields gave my stomach a hard time and my brain some indelible images.
The opening gave me the chills. Claustrophobic, oozing fear and pain, it had a huge impact on me. So huge I just couldn’t stop reading. Even when things got bad. Really bad. Really bloody. Completely and insanely awful. ‘Wow what is happening?????’ awful.
Because Helen Fields has the power to create unescapable atmospheres in which she puts perfectly-crafted and human protagonists through heaven and hell (more of the latter than the former!) and all you want to do is let your eyes run through the stunning narrative. Stronger than tobacco or cake, Helen Fields turns her series into an addiction: her writing style flows like teardrops on the pane on a quiet Sunday night.
I won’t rehash what the blurb says. Bodies are mutilated then discovered minus a few skin parts. If, in the hands of a less capable writer, this scenario would have made me put down the book and never touch it again, Helen Fields superbly balances facts and sensitivity, cleverness and respect, through the characters handling this case. I cringed and chuckled, I was appalled and shocked. I could feel the empathy sliding from the tip of my fingers into the book. Usually, you get everything you need from a novel. In this case, the reader’s feelings are bound to penetrate the pages. A shared experience. I can’t explain it any other way.
What a joy to meet Ava Turner and Luc Callanach! As a fellow French, I was quite happy to see how Luc was portrayed, with layers and a complicated background, without any big clichés, but the right jokes about Scotland and France! A real pleasure and a needed respite from the heavier subjects within the novel. Ava won my heart quite fast! I was not aware there was room for another favorite female main characters, but I fell in love with this hard-boiled, not-taking-crap-from-anyone cop with a big heart, a conscience, and cracks in the walls of her life. No, the combination isn’t new, but there is a freshness to Ava, a little X-factor that makes it so fascinating to follow her step and watch her live and struggle.
On top of those two brilliant characters, you can count on a real team full of surprises, to say the least! My favorite thing in crime fiction! I love first impressions proved wrong, weird situations, and above it all, real authenticity coming from every person making this series alive. Chapeau bas, Mrs Fields!
Intertwined with the dead bodies coming from nowhere and scaring the hell out of me lies another case, and with it, the critical question of society and how cases can be treated differently depending on who is involved. I simply adored the fact that the author took the time to approach such a matter on top of everything else happening! Two clocks running, an unnerving pattern, a game of death for the greater good. I still shiver at the motives behind every action, every woman’s fate, and every wrong turns life can take.
Perfect Silence deals with dark souls but brings shining lights to get rid of the shadows. A pure and phenomenal crime fiction. Definitely my Book of the Month!