The Silent Boy
Paris, 1792. Terror reigns as the city writhes in the grip of revolution. The streets run with blood as thousands lose their heads to the guillotine. Edward Savill, working in London as agent for a wealthy American, receives word that his estranged wife Augusta has been killed in France. She leaves behind ten-year-old Charles, who is brought to England to Charnwood Court, a house in the country leased by a group of émigré refugees.
Savill is sent to retrieve the boy, though it proves easier to reach Charnwood than to leave. And only when Savill arrives there does he discover that Charles is mute. The boy has witnessed horrors beyond his years, but what terrible secret haunts him so deeply that he is unable to utter a word?
In this taut thriller, Andrew Taylor deftly weaves unobtrusive historical research with a page-turning plot
Great tale, great history, great Taylor
Taylor has not only succeeded in constructing a labyrinthine plot that is gripping to the last page, but he also created an entirely believable child, traumatised but resolute, whose plight is the fuel for true suspense
As a writer, Taylor wears his learning lightly and shares with Hilary Mantel the capacity to take the reader directly into a vanished world
Taylor is a wonder; once again he marries flawlessly integrated historical detail… and a knotty and involving mystery as strong as anything in the historical crime fiction field. I suspect Taylor should start clearing a space next to his current writing trophies
Don’t keep quiet about THE SILENT BOY. Tell everyone: it’s a really excellent page-turning thriller set in a fascinating period in Anglo-French history
Many elements of The Silent Boy bring Dickens… It is utterly gripping, extremely well executed and suspenseful to the last
Taylor's mastery of plot and character show to great effect in a story that has a depth few other historical crime novels can match
I enjoyed this book very much indeed. I found the evocation of late 18th Century England, and the French exiles, effortlessly authentic, the hunt for Charles gripping, and the portrayal and first-person narrative of the helpless, traumatised, yet strong and resourceful little boy moving and believable. An excellent work.
‘A gripping and atmospheric thriller – the perfect blend of dark suspense, appealing characters and fascinating history. I loved it!’
Showing 5 of 10 reviews