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13 Reviews
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping, disturbing and truly frightening...
Suzanne Milner, a researcher who works with young, persistent offenders is drawn into the investigation surrounding the death of a young woman whose body is found under the waterwheel of a decaying mill and workshop. Gradually, the people around her become involved until every aspect of her life seems at risk and her past threatens to overwhelm her. The settings are...
Published on 12 Mar. 2001

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Should appeal to fans of this genre
I read this book because it was chosen by a member of my book club, who only chose it because she's originally from Sheffield. I don't read crime fiction usually, so this book certainly didn't entice me to read any more. It does have some very interesting twists and turns, but I found it difficult to empathise with any of the characters, and would have liked a deeper...
Published on 2 Nov. 2010 by wannabewriter


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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping, disturbing and truly frightening..., 12 Mar. 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Silent Playgrounds (Hardcover)
Suzanne Milner, a researcher who works with young, persistent offenders is drawn into the investigation surrounding the death of a young woman whose body is found under the waterwheel of a decaying mill and workshop. Gradually, the people around her become involved until every aspect of her life seems at risk and her past threatens to overwhelm her. The settings are everyday - city parks and streets, a university, a block of flats, but this is an intriguing and disturbing thriller in which these everyday settings become imbued with fear and menace. There is a sense mouldering but powerful evil, and the tension builds up into real terror. The characters are generously and sympathetically drawn - paticularly six-year old Lucy who tries to warn the people around her of the monsters that lurk in the run-down park, and the troubled central character, Suzanne. The narrative is gripping, and the plot is convincing with its focus on topical concerns. The plot keeps you guessing - the identity of the killer is a true surprise - but this is more than just a guessing game - it is a superior thriller. Highly recommended!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Should appeal to fans of this genre, 2 Nov. 2010
This review is from: Silent Playgrounds (Paperback)
I read this book because it was chosen by a member of my book club, who only chose it because she's originally from Sheffield. I don't read crime fiction usually, so this book certainly didn't entice me to read any more. It does have some very interesting twists and turns, but I found it difficult to empathise with any of the characters, and would have liked a deeper explanation of how the main character turned out how she did and a deeper understanding of her relationship with her son. Certain relationships seemed shallower than they could have been, and who exactly was it who dictated that modern novels must contain one [gratuitous] sex scene (and I don't object to non-gratuitous ones!)?

A decent page turner, some interesting twists - sometimes you'll struggle to keep up with the twists, but a diverting reading experience rather than an enriching one.
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3.0 out of 5 stars "Carol does eggs with faces on.", 30 July 2014
By 
Eileen Shaw "Kokoschka's_cat" (Leeds, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Silent Playgrounds (Paperback)
This smartly delivered police procedural is an absorbing read with good characterisation and a gripping finale. Six year-old Lucy is imaginative and brave who ‘knows’ there are monsters in the park but firmly concentrates on the dog and cat she equally strongly imagines into life. There is also someone she calls Tamby, whom adults seemingly cannot hear or see. Her mother Jane lives next door to Lucy and her Mum, Suzanne, who is working at a place called the Alpha Centre, which provides a respite for young men who have fallen foul of drugs, drink or the law. Suzanne has interviewed Ashley, a compellingly attractive young man, but she finds it hard to make sense of what he tells her and anyway, her tenure is not secure at the Centre and she fears it will not be renewed. Jane and her husband have also parted which occasions a bond between the two now single mothers. Then, Lucy’s babysitter Emma disappears and is found dead in the mill-run adjacent to the park, surrounded by thick woodlands. Soon after the first death, another girl, also a sometime babysitter, Sophie, also disappears and a drug dealing operation is exposed.

The DI in charge of the case is the unmarried, attractive but somewhat withdrawn D I McCarthy and Suzanne finds herself drawn to him, but before anything much gets off the ground between them several incidents occur that suggest that Ashley holds the key to unwrapping the secrets kept by the denizens of the Alpha Centre. Then the situation gets worse with a house fire and the discovery that there may be others involved in drug dealing and the frightening situation is enhanced. The plot then coalesced and I was able to make sense of it as the danger to both of the children increased. Suzanne is also put in extreme danger in a nail-biter of a finale. I felt there were a few two many characters involved in this rather nasty tale with familial complications invented that rather strained credibility. Not that I didn’t find it enjoyable, but sometimes less is more.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing. There are so many points of view in ..., 12 Sept. 2014
This review is from: Silent Playgrounds (Hardcover)
Disappointing. There are so many points of view in the novel, and they sometimes switch so rapidly that you feel punch drunk as you are flipped from one person’s thoughts and perspective to another.The main characters are perhaps Suzanne Milner and D.I. Steve McCarthy but there are at least another half a dozen points of view – some of them very minor characters – it is as if Reah feels she has created all these people and wants to be fair to all of them, give them all a turn. She even finishes the novel rather flatly on the perspective of a minor character whose point of view had not been introduced before, and for whom the reader cares little and so is left bemused. Reah fails to make her characters real: you never really understand their motivations and they behave in bizarre unexplained ways that don't seem credible. On the plus side she does build tension quite well. Full review at: http://stevek1889.blogspot.co.uk/2014/06/sheffield-novels.html
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Children's nightmares come to life, 5 Aug. 2012
By 
Kay (Cheshire) - See all my reviews
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Silent Playgrounds All too often 'damaged' people try and help others who are also damaged, not always a good choice. The role Suzanne has taken in this book was certainly not a role she could have filled, and it was for that very reason that she has placed herself in danger. The plot moves like a car travelling up the wrong side of the motorway, the reader can see what's going to happen because they are, unlike the main character, perceptive and alert to the possible dangers. However, the reader is still in for some big surprises. I'm not sure whether it was a case of my tiredness causing me to have to re-scan some narrative, especially in the run up toward the end of the book, or the plot becoming a little too confusing. I'll go with my tiredness. There is romance in this book, a little more than in Danuta's last book, and in my opinion far better written. I'm already looking forward to the next.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A gripping read - recommended as a well written thriller, 27 Feb. 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Silent Playgrounds (Hardcover)
A well thought out plot, carefuly crafted - forced me to keep reading. I enjoyed Only Darkness, and this second novel is even better. Looking forward to another by Danuta Reah.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A real page turner, 26 Feb. 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Silent Playgrounds (Hardcover)
I found this book very atmospheric and hard to put down. The gradual build up made it a real page turner, and some of the scenes were so frightening that I had to keep the light on! The settings were very real - they came to life for me. I think it would make a brilliant TV drama. I could identify with the characters and get involved with them - Suzanne, who manages to get everything so wrong, the little girl, Lucy (the writer gets right inside the child's mind), the interestingly ambivalent detective, Steve. The book dealt with real issues, real tragedies and real people.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Taut, tense and troubling, 25 Feb. 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Silent Playgrounds (Hardcover)
If Hitchcock were alive he could have made a great, claustrophobic movie out of this taut, tense and troubling tale. Beautifully written, it moves slowly but at an assured pace and holds the readers attention all the way. More please!
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dark, disturbing and gripping, 11 Sept. 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Silent Playgrounds (Paperback)
A lot of thrillers can leave the reader with a sense of dissatisfaction. This one has real depth - it's a book I could easily read more than once, and find more in it on the next read. It has all the right elements for a mystery - it's scary and exciting, and the ending surprised me. But it also had characters of great psychological depth. Suzanne is a woman who has problems realting to her child and is struggling with terrible guilts from her past, the cop, Steve McCarthy, is interestingly ambivalent, and Lucy, the little girl, is a tour-de-force. It is really difficult to write children realistically - Lucy is a great creation. The story moves slowly but inexorably through its dark, urban setting to a real edge-of-the-seat conclusion in a derelict block of flats in the city centre. This is powerful stuff
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars As engaging a read as Only Darkness - talented author., 27 Feb. 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Silent Playgrounds (Hardcover)
Having read Only Darkness, I found Silent Playgrounds equally as compelling. Interesting characters with a story-line that had me desperate to get to the end to find out 'who done it' and why/how and what else was I to discover along the read. I disagree with the negative review posted. It was refreshing to find an author who does not go into boring and unneccesary detailed descriptions of characters and their lives/loves, or lengthy descriptive detail of scenery/surroundings. Maybe that individual is currently writing their best seller - I look forward to the read. This book flows well and doesn't pad itself out with unnecessary detail, and as such my interest was maintained.
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Silent Playgrounds
Silent Playgrounds by Danuta Reah (Paperback - 9 Oct. 2009)
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