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In the Silence: a gripping crime mystery (Anna Scavolini Mysteries) Paperback – October 3, 2021
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SHORTLISTED FOR THE BLOODY SCOTLAND DEBUT PRIZE AND LONGLISTED FOR THE McILVANNEY PRIZE, 2019.
Anna Scavolini hasn’t set foot in Glasgow for ten years – and she’s not short of reasons…
On her first night back in town, what should have been the start of a relaxing Christmas getaway takes a decidedly macabre turn when she stumbles upon an old flame, Andrew Foley, bleeding to death on the snow-clad slopes of Kelvingrove Park.
Who killed Foley in such a brutal manner – and why? If the police have any leads, they’re keeping them under wraps. Convinced that Foley was deliberately targeted rather than the victim of a random attack, Anna begins her own investigation, and in so doing unearths a trail of long-buried secrets, leading back to a crime committed over a decade ago.
A crime so unspeakable its perpetrators are prepared to take their silence to the grave.
In the Silence is a fast-paced, compelling crime mystery which will appeal to fans of authors like Mark Billingham, Stuart MacBride and Mark Edwards.
NOTE: This new edition of In the Silence has been revised to include material not present in the initial publication.
Praise for M.R. Mackenzie
‘Brings a fresh new voice to the field of Tartan Noir.’ – James Oswald
‘Writes with precision and passion.’ – Caro Ramsay
‘Splendidly written stuff.’ – Barry Forshaw, Crime Time
‘An immersive slow burn of a tale, peppered with disquieting fire-crackers of revelation.’ – Morgan Cry
‘Mackenzie has come up with something that defies easy definition and is truly original.’ – Paul Burke, NB Magazine
‘Up there with the best contemporary authors working today.’ – David B. Lyons
The Amazon Book Review
Book recommendations, author interviews, editors' picks, and more. Read it now.
- Publisher : Mad House (October 3, 2021)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 374 pages
- ISBN-10 : 191609483X
- ISBN-13 : 978-1916094833
- Item Weight : 12.9 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.06 x 0.94 x 7.81 inches
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Top reviews from the United States
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Anna comes home to Glasgow for Zoe's birthday after 10 years and gets a chance meeting with her teen crush Andrew who disappears on her and soon she discovers his body in a park. Cops are called, she becomes a prime suspect and cops harass her, no idea why!! Soon other murders start happening and Anna decides to investigate - again no idea why!! Most of the dying characters utter a clue as their last word only to her, when they don't really know her, not to the cops - no idea why!!
I hated the main character, she goes on rants about sexism, misogyny, and equality suddenly in the book. She hates the man yet leaps up on him to have sex and then gives us an explanation - again no idea why!!
The plot was good but delivery failed for me due to Anna. She was a social criminologist with a PhD, but she doesn't use her knowledge in the investigation. She is so convinced of her righteousness most of the times that she verbally goes on an attack mode - no idea why!! Some aspects of mental health and abuse are written well. What triggered the murderer to go on a killing spree years later - no idea!! Wow, did I not feel dumb in this book!!
All the characters except Anna speak in a local dialect which for me spoilt the fun. My brain kept rereading them to understand better. There are a lot of things which niggled me, but one irked me especially. The author wrote some lines with a finality that the characters would never meet again and after a few pages, they meet up. This happened twice - why write the goodbye in a deep philosophical sense when you are going to make the characters meet up - no idea why!!
Maybe this book was Glasgow specific and they would understand it better: the circumstances, the dialect, and the way their cops work. At one point, Anna was strip searched including body cavities and left naked. Don't cops see background, motives, forensics, alibi? Again no idea!! This book was not for me!!
Dr. Anna Scavolini returns to Glasgow, where she grew up, in mid-December to stay with her old best friend, Zoe, and Zoe's brother, Victor. She's been living in Rome for the past 10 years and hasn't been home since. Out celebrating Zoe's birthday, Anna runs into a man she had a mad crush on when they both were in school together. After a few drinks, he disappears, and Anna later discovers him dead in a nearby park. Murdered. And he's just the first victim. Anna gets caught up in her own investigation to find out why these particular persons are being killed and by whom. It happens that this might be a vendetta for something that happened during Anna's school days. NO SPOILERS.
Well, if you can apply a healthy dose of suspension of disbelief while Anna is playing at being Nancy Drew, and if you can get past the fact that the character of Anna is so terribly unlikeable with her pontifications, self-righteousness and holier than thou attitude toward everyone, and maybe if you can ignore how Anna acts and the ludicrous things she does, perhaps you will enjoy this debut novel. For the most part, I couldn't overcome all of those detractors and only read to the end to find out who the killer was. And it all made so little sense even then. I found the Glaswegian dialect inserted to be completely annoying because it was so hit and miss sprinkled around some of the characters and not others. The rest of the characters in the book were not very convincing and could be lumped into the stereotypical category of "bad" guys. I just could not buy into the story, feel any empathy, and got tired of all the soap box proselytism on the subject of consent and rape. And why did all this just happen to come to a head when Anna returns?
I did like the setting, the descriptions of the town and the climate made me feel COLD. Couldn't understand why Anna never seemed to eat or bathe or take her medication. It seemed at complete odds to her supposed level of education. I guess there was something within the pages that made me at least finish it, but I can't say that I found much to recommend this. That being said, I realize this is a first novel, I understand this is a man writing about a real hot spot of an issue of paramount importance to women, and I get that there's probably some sort of takeaway meant to be there. I think I missed it. I just never could buy into how Anna got herself so involved in the mess, her antipathy to the police, and her behavior.
That doesn't mean, however, that I won't read another book by this author. I do thank NetGalley and Bloodhound Books for an e-book ARC of this to read and review. I'm sorry I didn't find it a gripping crime thriller. And lastly, I wish someone would explain that Prologue to me.
Top reviews from other countries
After becoming involved in a murder, criminologist Anna Scavolini turns detective and attempts to solve the mystery, in which people from her past play a part. As an outsider, she faces the importunities of sceptical recalcitrant cops as well as villains determined to put the frighteners on her. In overcoming such obstacles, she undergoes edge-of-the-seat chases and escapes, and she delves into sexual politics and abuse, which form part of the crime equation. The plot is never straightforward and the various convolutions are equivocal and hard to guess, which maintains strong suspense. Anna herself stands out as feisty character, a bit of a ‘feminist’ but also a hard-case woman you wouldn’t want to mess with! There’s clearly a lot more mileage in such a detective figure.
Overall In the Silence is pacy, page-turning and brimming full of noir atmosphere, a most promising debut from an author who has followed it up with two more novels in quick succession – a sure sign of commitment to the genre.