SECOND OPINION: An Act of Silence by Colette McBeth

Review published on September 27, 2017.

Colette McBeth’s An Act of Silence is a dazzling labyrinth of a novel that delights with every twist and turn. Indeed, what starts out as a seeming examination of the fraught relationship between a mother and her son set against the backdrop of a murder soon swells into a multi-faceted, multi-voiced novel that explores some of the darkest and most sinister issues of our time and some of the most murky and depraved corners of society. The novel deals, as such, with some very and unsettling themes, but does so at all times I felt without gratuity or excess, whilst exploring the troubling world that the story occupies. The author does a superb job of recreating the web of lies, deceit and entanglement that her characters get caught up in and that the antagonists so comprehensively and worryingly weave. I particularly enjoyed the way in which the novel’s purview expands and the many characters’ voices that we hear. I did wish that we’d heard more from Gabriel, the son of the protagonist, Linda Moscow, as their story somewhat gets subsumed into the wider narrative of the novel and ends up rather bookending the novel, but there’s so much to get your teeth stuck into that it doesn’t feel too wanting. For me, this is a novel rich in characterisation and atmosphere that will appeal to individual readers and groups alike, with plenty in the story to facilitate discussion and debate.

Jade Craddock 4/4

An Act of Silence by Colette McBeth
Wildfire 9781472226686 hbk Jun 2017

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