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The Silence Hardcover – 22 Jan 2013

3.8 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Severn House Publishers Ltd (22 Jan. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0727882481
  • ISBN-13: 978-0727882486
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 2.2 x 22.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 766,899 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"Fans of this veteran author will be well pleased."
Booklist on The Silence

"Rayne continues to mix eerie hauntings and witty protagonists in her enjoyable third neogothic mystery"
Publishers Weekly on The Silence

"Rayne's third Nell West ghost story perfects the craft of deftly chosen details, simmering suspense and chilling surprises, all woven into a quiet, elegant narrative."
Kirkus Reviews on The Silence

""Fans of this veteran author will be well pleased.""
Booklist on The Silence

Book Description

Antiques dealer Nell West is valuing the contents of her late husband Brad’s childhood home, Stilter House. Set on the remote Derbyshire Peaks, there was once a much older property there, in which the notorious Isobel Acton committed a vicious crime. Warned against visiting the house by an elderly aunt of Brad’s, Nell hears mysterious piano music soon after her arrival. It becomes clear that the music is tangled with Isobel Acton’s macabre fate more than a hundred years earlier. A fate whose consequences still menace the present. --This text refers to the Digital Download edition.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Debra F TOP 500 REVIEWER on 20 Nov. 2013
Format: Hardcover
This is the story of Stilter House in the small Derbyshire village of Caudle. Recently widowed Nell and her daughter Beth go to stay in the house whilst Nell catalogues the contents. This was a home much visited by Beth's father in his childhood and Nell is hoping that Beth will find some connection with him there. Nell and Beth do make connections with the past, just not quite as they had intended.
I took a while to get into this book but once I did, I was hooked. All the present day events take place over the course of a few days so there is a lot going on. Much of the book harks back to two separate time periods in Stilter House's history . This is done through the use of old documents, diaries, newspaper reports and letters. I particularly enjoyed this method of giving us the information - a small piece of information in a nineteeth century letter to a builder, a passing comment in a diary in the attic coupled with an old newspaper report created a wonderful jigsaw to puzzle out.
This is a ghost story & there are several ghosts to choose from. The descriptions of two of the ghosts and the events around them created a wonderful atmosphere. Who could fail to feel hairs rise at a description of gouge marks from someone's hands as they tried to get out? Sarah Rayne is a master of suspense and this is definitely one of her best.
The modern day characters of Nell, Beth and Nell's boyfriend, Michael aren't particularly special. They are really there to be characters to do discovery work for the reader. The really well constructed characters are those from the past, especially Jack & Samuel Burlap, Esmond and his father. These characters all drew conclusions from events and made decisions which had far ranging consequences.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book.
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Format: Hardcover
I read this on the ferry going to and from France recently, and was completely shut into this bleak world of Stilter House and its previous occupants and connections. I'm not giving too much away by saying that it's full of surprises and shocks, but what achieves this is the superb structure. Every page revealed a new development towards the chilling climax involving not only Nell.
Brilliant.
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Format: Paperback
A very predictable, plodding story. To call the people in the book "characters" would be to flatter them. They are flat, dull people and the story could be told in a few lines. I was annoyed by the ridiculous notion mistakes. In the first few pages, Nell, the mother, puts her daughter to bed in a room lit only by candles ( there's no electricity in the old house) then begins to examine old books by candlelight. These books , she thinks are all antique, possibly first editions dating from 1910 or 1920. How then, does she proceed to make notes about them "including their ISBN number" since this system of book identification did not start until the 1970s...Its a warm night apparently, but conveniently, a storm blows up , causing Nell to go to the rain spattered window, just when a ghost has presented itself outside with outstretched fingers, staring eyes and dripping rags for clothes...Nell, a stalwart character certainly. Me - Id have woken my daughter and beat it out of there in seconds flat for a b&b - its still only 9.30 apparently. Instead, Nell tries to type up her notes on the laptop. She obviously has a good battery life on hers, since she travelled from the South to Derbyshire with it and it can't be plugged in - there's no electricity - or landline - or signal for mobile phones either...
Give us a break Sarah - at least get your facts right ! I noticed another reviewer mentioned something about a piece of crochet being wrong in this book. If i try another of Sarahs books it will be to see if she can makes mistakes like this often, or this book was just an unfortunate one.
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By Keen Reader TOP 50 REVIEWER on 13 May 2013
Format: Hardcover
I've read a few of the author's books previously, and they are always a good read. So I looked forward to this latest offering.

Nell West is asked to value the contents of a home after the elderly owner dies. Relatives of her late husband, she is of course keen to be involved, and goes down there for a few days with her daughter Beth. But when she hears piano playing on a piano that is locked, and she and Beth are frightened by a woman on the property at night, the papers that she has found telling something of the history of the property's previous owners begin to take on a more sinister turn.

This is a great ghost story; some of the language used in the old letters and correspondence seemed, to me to be a bit incorrect for the period, but that's a small quibble against a narrative that races along with plenty of intriguing twists and turns. Great stuff; I look forward to more from this author. As this is the third in the series featuring Nell West, I need to go back and read the first and second ones now.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Chilling, compelling, menacing and macabre, The Silence is the third in Sarah Rayne's spine-tingling supernatural suspense series featuring antiques dealer Nell West and Oxford don Michael Flint.

Rayne's vivid writing captivated me from the first page. I was hooked with these words:'I don't think we need to worry over what Charlotte said about the house. She was always a bit eccentric and given to imagining she saw things. I always thought she simply needed stronger reading glasses.'

The subtle touch of humour simply underlines the fact that the reader needs to worry - and the reasons emerge via a gripping narrative packed with secrets and edge-of-seat suspense. In no time at all, ghostly music - and the stirrings of century-old sins - echo down the years and through the rooms of the spookily atmospheric Stilter House.

The stories behind the hauntings are skilfully told through a series of letters, deeds, statements and court reports. The author gives even these minor off-page characters distinctive `voices' and I love how she's developing the relationship between the main players, Nell and Michael.

Like a spider's web, its intelligently-paced plot is both extraordinarily intricate and beautifully constructed. It trapped this reader to the final line. For me, The Silence is a book to shout about.
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