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  • Writer's pictureJudith D Collins

The Silence

Narrator: Cassandra Campbell

ISBN: 9781696613019

Publisher: Highbridge Publication Date: 03/12/2024

Format: Audiobook

My Rating: 4 Stars (ARC)

From a New York Times bestselling "writer to reckon with," a psychological suspense about a woman whose life is fractured by a childhood crime (The New York Times Book Review).

There was the moment eight-year-old Ruth Corrigan ran away from playing in the woods with her best friend, and then the moment after, when Ceely was gone. Murdered. Now the silence of that day lives within Ruth. Lives in the judgment she sees in the faces of so many in the small town she still calls home. Ruth may be older now, tougher, a cop by trade, but her life has been unraveling ever since that tragic day in the woods. Alcohol, sex, broken marriages—nothing can lighten the truth she knows inside.

Until the child-killer returns, free and unencumbered, having already paid for his crime. A predator who will act again unless Ruth can prove him guilty. Only no one will listen to a police officer on suspended duty, a woman whose life has been one personal disaster after the next, not even Maddie Pardeau Klein, her dead playmate's older sister. It’s up to Ruth alone to trap the vicious criminal before he strikes once more. No matter what it takes. Or who gets hurt.

My Review

Master storyteller Mary McGarry Morris' THE SILENCE is a dark and twisty psychological suspense/literary fiction about a young woman, Ruth, now a cop, who has been tormented, traumatized, and guilt-ridden by the death of her childhood friend, Ceely, at age eight.

AUDIOBOOK: Cassandra Campbell is one of my long-time favorite authors, and I was delighted to see she was narrating THE SILENCE! A perfect voice for Ruth, and the cast, she gave a stellar performance and brought the characters to life. I highly recommend the audiobook. I was glued to my AirPods from beginning to end.

Ruth Corrigan and her friend Ceely (her best friend) were playing in the woods at age eight, and then a moment later, Ceely was gone. She was murdered and left in the river near the woods. However, her friend had told her a secret. Could this have something to do with the murder?

Now, twenty-five years later, the silence of that day still haunts Ruth as an adult. People in the town always blamed her since she was with her before her death.

Ruth has spiraled out of control from alcohol and broken marriages. Now, she has been suspended from the police force due to drunk driving and drinking. However, this will not keep her from investigating and sleuthing to find the real killer.

Years ago, they arrested a drunk who happened to be near the woods and coerced him into confessing to close the case. However, the person stating they saw the drunk that was sent to jail was a priest. Ruth believes the real killer is still doing damage and hiding in plain sight.

The priest has a suspicious past. Ruth suspects he might be the abuser and murderer. However, how will she prove it? Is he a predator? Has he done evil things to other little girls who kept silent, and does the parents know, or are they being blackmailed? Will Ruth be able to get them to talk and confess?

Ruth begins digging, and some people in town do not like her bringing up things, causing trouble due to things they have put behind them. But she will stop at nothing until she has justice for her friend and all the victims and their families.

Her family even suspected she may have done something to her friend, an argument, or an accident that she had forgotten. Ruth knows this is not true.

She must go back years to find witnesses willing to speak up before they are silenced. However, no one believes a suspended cop with no credentials they think has gone mad compared to a priest. There is a predator still out there, and she thinks an innocent man was sent to prison for a crime he did not commit. Who is the real murderer?

Even her former friend's family does not believe her. As she gets closer to the truth, she is in danger, and some (his family) will do anything to keep their dark secrets hidden.

THE SILENCE is a dark, twisty, and psychologically rich crime suspense thriller with a tenacious protagonist you will root for to the end. When the past collides with the present, it is a deadly game of obsession and murder—from trauma, abuse, murder, evil, and highly charged topics. A fitting title.

My cons: Almost every other line/word throughout the book was the F* bomb—it was too much, over the top, and unnecessary. Also, the book is a slow burn and drags while everyone thinks Ruth has gone mad. Then, when all the action takes place near the end—when all the pieces of the puzzle come together—it is rushed, abrupt, and over very quickly. I would have liked to have spent more time with the ending wrap-up and the conclusion. There were also no likable characters, and the book is sad and moody with TW: SA of children, murder, foul language, priests, drugs, drunk driving, and alcohol abuse.

Otherwise, I highly recommend the audiobook. I am looking forward to reading some of the author's impressive backlist. For fans of Aime Austin's Without Consent.

Thanks to Highbridge Audio and NetGalley for a gifted ALC for review purposes and the intro into this talented author's work. This is why I love NetGalley!

@JudithDCollins | #JDCMustReadBooks

Pub Date: Mar 12, 2024

Praise for Mary McGarry Morris

“Morris can depict society’s outsiders . . . with rare understanding and compassion.”

—Publishers Weekly

“A superb storyteller.”

—The Washington Post

“Morris’s nearly flawless prose is mesmerizing.”


"Sheer clarity of vision."

—The New York Times Book Review

"A master storyteller."

—USA Today

About the Author

I was born in Meriden, Connecticut in 1943 and raised in Rutland, Vermont with three younger brothers. I was educated at Mount Saint Joseph Academy in Rutland, the University of Vermont, and the University of Massachusetts/Amherst. I am married to Michael W. Morris, an attorney, and I’m the mother of five children, and grandmother of twelve. I live on the North Shore in Massachusetts.

My first novel Vanished was published in 1988. It was nominated for the National Book Award and the PEN/Faulkner Award. A Dangerous Woman was published in 1991 and was chosen by Time magazine as one of the “Five Best Novels of the Year.” It was made into a motion picture starring Debra Winger, Barbara Hershey, and Gabriel Byrne.

Songs In Ordinary Time was published in 1995. Two years later, it was chosen as an Oprah’s Book Club selection, which propelled it to the top of the New York Times Best Sellers List for many weeks, as well as making it an international best seller. Songs was made into a CBS television movie starring Sissy Spacek and Beau Bridges. The highly acclaimed Fiona Range was published in 2000, followed by A Hole In The Universe in 2004, The Lost Mother in 2005, followed by The Last Secret in 2009 and Light from a Distant Star in 2011.

My most recent novel is The Silence.



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