The Silent Listener (Lyn Yeowart, Viking)
Lyn Yeowart’s debut crime thriller The Silent Listener is the intense, horrific, utterly devastating and totally addictive tale of the Henderson family. Spanning four decades and encompassing a missing child and a secluded farm house hiding too many secrets, the story is wrought with so much tension and suspense that the reader barely has time to catch a breath as the narrative unfolds. When Joy Henderson returns home to nurse her father in his final days, her thoughts spiral into the sinister history of her childhood, the early years of her parents’ seemingly happy marriage and her deeply religious father’s dual faces: upstanding, beloved community and church member, and absolute monster. The domestic abuse is detailed and exceptionally confronting. The passages are deftly written and drip with despair, desperation and fear—trapping the reader in the moment alongside each character to whom the blows are dealt. The mind of the protagonist, Joy, is unstable, permanently scarred literally and figuratively, so the narrative is at times equal parts unreliable and completely believable. The Silent Listener is for fans of Jane Harper and Christian White’s taut crime writing. It will stay with you long after you’ve read the final word.
Kate Frawley is bookseller and the manager of the Sun Bookshop.