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Book Review – In The Silence by M. R. MacKenzie

I wanted to like this book because it was a murder mystery, and the background motive made sense to me. But alas I didn’t, as most of the book didn’t make sense to me.

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!! Damn, 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!!

I received an ARC from NetGalley and publisher Bloodhound books, and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

When Anna, a criminology lecturer, does return to Glasgow from Rome, during the coldest winter in memory, tragedy strikes. While out with her best friend from school, Anna has a chance encounter with a former flame, Andrew, and later that night discovers Andrew stabbed and dying on a blanket of snow.

Soon Anna finds herself at the centre of the investigation as the star witness for the police, and embarks on investigating the case herself. But Anna doesn’t realise the danger she is in and soon finds herself in trouble.

When another body shows up, who has links to the first victim, it appears that the motive may lie buried in the past.

As Anna gets closer to the truth, the killer starts closing in.

Publication date : 10th September 2018

Publisher : Bloodhound Books

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