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4.0 out of 5 stars Another good tylor novel
As always with Andrew Taylor lots going on and a good solid story. Recoomend it as a very good read.
Published 5 months ago by ruth cooper

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Such great potential.....
James is called to visit Lily, a long-lost "friend" who is dying, only to be told that their earlier relationship (he as a juvenile and she as an older married woman) produced a child he didn't know about. That child now needs help because she fears she is wanted for murder. It is a complication in James' life he doesn't need, as he is happily married etc., but Lily...
Published on 11 May 2007 by johnverp


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Such great potential....., 11 May 2007
This review is from: A Stain on the Silence (Paperback)
James is called to visit Lily, a long-lost "friend" who is dying, only to be told that their earlier relationship (he as a juvenile and she as an older married woman) produced a child he didn't know about. That child now needs help because she fears she is wanted for murder. It is a complication in James' life he doesn't need, as he is happily married etc., but Lily induces his co-operation because he too has a dark secret only Lily knows about.

Taylor weaves a very interesting tale, offering clues in installments, as James shuffles between protecting Kate today and recalling the circumstances of his infatuation and relationship with Lily. Taylor is very clever in his use of the drip-feed, closing chapters with bombshells and using the next chapter to take us to the other time zone - this formula compelling us to keep ploughing on!

The novel is well-written, has some good lines and has great ingredients for an absorbing plot.

Why then spoil it all with such an unsatisfactory close? Taylor could really have done better than produce such a hurried finish which I clearly won't give away here.

I will still look out for more of his books in the hope that the "failing" here, in an otherwise excellent read, is a one-off. 7/10
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars It doesn't do what it says on the tin, 19 Feb 2007
By 
Jules "policechick" (Hertforshire, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: A Stain on the Silence (Paperback)
I bought this book on the strength of a previous Andrew Taylor book - The American Boy - which I thoroughly enjoyed. Great characters, very atmospheric, fully of suspense and anticipation.

However for me this story just didn't really get going. The characters seemed one dimensional so it's difficult to understand the motives behind their behaviour and therefore to make real sense of the story as it unfolds. The main male character James just seemed like an absolute wet weekend. If like Kate, I found out he was my father, I'd be running in the opposite direction like a dose of sauce. He seemed to be completely without any kind of backbone and had no understanding of how to manage relationships with women.

Carlo on the other hand had the potential to be an really exciting character - real charm and menace is hinted at but never really explored in any kind of satifactory way which is such a shame.

I have to say I was suprised to read the plaudits on the book jacket from the Daily Telegraph, Time-Out and The Times. They implied this was a page turner from one of Britain's best writers of psychological suspense but for me it just doesn't live up to their claims - hence the title of my review.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Competent, but not riveting read, 12 Jan 2010
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This review is from: A Stain on the Silence (Paperback)
Curiously enough, this feels much more like one of Robert Goddard's books: its hero Jamie is much very like one of Goddard's lame, bewildered, middle-aged, male anti-heros, who do inexplicable and obviously stupid and unlikely things, surrounded by people who are sharper, cleverer and more cunning than they are. It is still readable, but not nearly as good as Taylor at his best, and it's without the twists and turns that make Goddard still very readable despite the above. And then it just stops, unsatisfactorily, as though he couldn't work out how to end it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Really average, 28 July 2009
By 
H. Lacroix (France) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A Stain on the Silence (Paperback)
I decided to read Taylor, an author I knew nothing about, after I saw him on the one show and saw that he had been awarded a diamond dagger prize for a lifetime's achievement. This is only the first one I read and I hope that others will prove better, as this book, apart from its quite beautiful title offers very little that is trully satisfying in a murder mystery. It is however by no way a bad book, merely a rather conventional one with few surprises and few twists and turns. James, in his forties, married to Nicky, sees his past catching up with him when a former lover, Lily, (and stepmother of a schoolfriend) phones him to tell him that they have a daughter Kate and that the young woman is in trouble as she thinks she may be accused of her lover's death. Lily is dying and implores James to help Kate.
I suppose that one of the reasons I didn't like the book too much is that I disliked Kate from the onset, saw how manipulative and deceitful she could be and was annoyed that James didn't seem aware of it. I must admit I thought less of him because of it. Another problem was the relationship between James and Nicky and the contrived and utterly unconvincing dialogue between them when Nicky leaves him because she thinks Kate is James's mistress and is unaware of their real relationship. I thought the author followed the safe lines that any soap would take but clever writers usually surprise us and sometimes shock us by going along more daring roads and their books are usually all the better for it. So, all in all, not a catastrophe, not a book to be thrown away in disgust but don't expect too much either!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Another good tylor novel, 30 Jan 2014
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This review is from: A Stain on the Silence (Paperback)
As always with Andrew Taylor lots going on and a good solid story. Recoomend it as a very good read.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wild oats that bite back....., 1 Oct 2007
This review is from: A Stain on the Silence (Paperback)
This is a good pschological thriller - Andrew Taylor writes well and the style he uses in this book gradually drip feeds you the back story as the present conflict unfolds and this keeps you reading - I really enjoyed it and rattled through it in a couple of days.

I liked the premise for the book - Samuel Becket said his work was the only thing the made life worthwhile, his way of leaving "a stain on the silence"! - according to Andrew Taylor most of us leave children but what if we don't know about them!!! This book is all about things that are done in our youth but then come back to bite us. We all probably have a few of those!!!

This book along with "The Barred Window" remind me of Ruth Rendell when she has her Barbara Vine head on. I would definitely recommend it and must now read "The Raven on the Water". If you have not read any of his previous novels try them they are all great - especially "The American Boy" and the "Roth Trilogy".

I can't wait for "Bleeding Heart Square".
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must read, 14 Jun 2007
By 
J. Michael - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A Stain on the Silence (Paperback)
This book is very different to Taylor's fascinating historical novel the American Boy, yet his absorbing style remains. A fantastic read.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Blood near the gate and the sound of thunder on a fine day, 23 Aug 2010
By 
Eileen Shaw "Kokoschka's_cat" (Leeds, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A Stain on the Silence (Hardcover)
James is a man with a lot of secrets in his past, and then one of them turns up on his doorstep. He is happily married to Nicky, who unfortunately can't have children; the girl, Kate, who turns up one day says she's his daughter, and what's more, she's pregnant. But is she his daughter? And how is she related to his old school-friend Carlo with the violent temper? The novel takes us on a journey back to the time when James was seventeen and invited for the holidays, to meet Carlo's kindly father and his beautiful young stepmother, Lily. Now Lily is in a hospice, waiting to die and those long gone days are about to erupt into James's life once more.

There is a complex but compelling mystery to unravel in this well-paced and intriguing psychological drama. Perhaps not every twist is entirely credible, but the writing is elegantly full of suspense and the characterisation is accomplished. I would place this on a par with Barbara Vine at her best. A very good, edgy, and engaging read, every bit as good as his earlier Victorian drama: The American Boy.
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A Stain on the Silence
A Stain on the Silence by Andrew Taylor (Paperback - 25 Jan 2007)
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