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  • Writer's pictureJudith D Collins

The Quiet Dead

DI Sebastian Locke Mystery

Narrator: Elizabeth Knowelden

9 Hours, 33 Minutes

ISBN: 9781666647112

Publisher: Dreamscape Media

Publication Date: 09/05/2023

Format: Audio

My Rating: 3 Stars (ARC)

Fifteen years ago, he confessed to the murder of his wife and children.

As a teenager, Hayley DaSilva walked into a nightmare, discovering the bodies of her mother, twin brother, and friend all brutally slaughtered in her home…and her nine-year-old brother missing. Her father, Leonard DaSilva, confessed to the murders, but Ethan was never seen again.

He lied. But why?

Now, Hayley has fled her dreadful past in Thamespark—until the call from Detective Sebastian Locke. Little bones uncovered in a shallow grave belong to Ethan…and the investigation reveals holes in the case that prove Leonard’s confession was false. He didn’t kill his family. So why did he say he did?

As DI Locke and the squad realize that a killer has been hiding in plain sight in the sleepy commuter town of Thamespark, the previously cold case becomes an urgent investigation. But as the squad gets closer to the truth of who really murdered the DaSilvas, it becomes clear that the culprit won’t hesitate to spill blood to keep their shocking secrets hidden…

An absolutely unputdownable police procedural with a shocking twist, The Quiet Dead introduces Detective Sebastian Locke and is perfect for fans of Karin Slaughter, Cara Hunter, and Sharon Bolton.

My Review

N.J. Mackay's THE QUIET DEAD is the first in a new series, DI Sebastian Locke #1 —a mystery surrounding a murder fifteen years ago comes to the surface. The killer is still out there, and the one behind bars is innocent in this whodunit suspense thriller.

Fifteen years ago, Hayley DaSilva, a rebellious teen, walked into a murder scene of her mother, twin brother, and friend, brutally slaughtered in her home, and her nine-year-old brother, Ethan, is still missing.

Her father, Leonard, confessed to the murders, but the brother, Ethan, was never seen again.

So why would the father confess to something he did not do? Who was he trying to protect?

Hayley is building a new life with a partner she is not crazy about.

Detective Sebastian Locke is on the case, and Haley has been brought back into her past when bones are uncovered in a shallow grave that belongs to her brother Ethan.

Someone is in the small town of Thamespark and the cold case has been brought to the present. Now, the investigation is in full swing to find the real killer. A big mystery to solve!

In the meantime, Hayley and her father have a lot of making up to do. A father she thought murdered her family is now untrue. So how will she get back all these years with him?

While I liked DI Locke, the personal and business, the cop procedural part, and the narrator, the book started strong and slowly went downhill from there. I thought it was too drawn out with all the drugs, which I do not care for. I found myself fast-forwarding the audio to get to the end. My first book by the author, and I will try again.

The narrator, Elizabeth Knowelden, did a good job with the performance; however, the book was OK but did not hold my interest.

Thanks to Dreamscape Media and NetGalley for an ALC in exchange for an honest opinion.

@JudithDCollins | #JDCMustReadBooks

Pub Date: Sept 5, 2023

My Rating: 3 Stars

About the Author

I am a writer and a bookworm. I studied Performing Arts at the BRIT School. It turned out I wasn’t very good at acting but quite liked writing scripts. I went on to take a BA (Hons) in English Literature and Drama. I later won a full scholarship for my MA in Journalism. My first two novels as Niki Mackay‘I, Witness’ and ‘The Lies We Tell’ – feature private investigator Madison Attallee.

The latest Niki Mackay novel ‘Loaded’ was released in May 2021.

‘Found Her’ was my first digital-only release and was followed by ‘The Girls Inside’. Both digital titles were written under NJ Mackay and both are standalone psychological thrillers.

I am a contributing author to the crime anthologies ‘Afraid of the Light’ and ‘Afraid of the Christmas Lights’. WEBSITE

I am also co-host of a true crime podcast, Crime Girl Gang. I talk about writing here, and reading here. I am represented by Hattie Grünewald at The Blair Partnership.







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