Title: The Silent House by Nell Pattinson
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery
Length: 400 pages
Book Rating: C+
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
If someone was in your house, you’d know … Wouldn’t you?
But the Hunter family are deaf, and don’t hear a thing when a shocking crime takes place in the middle of the night. Instead, they wake up to their worst nightmare: the murder of their daughter.
The police call Paige Northwood to the scene to interpret for the witnesses. They’re in shock, but Paige senses the Hunters are hiding something.
One by one, people from Paige’s community start to fall under suspicion. But who would kill a little girl?
Was it an intruder?
Or was the murderer closer to home?
The Silent House by Nell Pattinson is a perplexing mystery with an interesting premise.
British Sign Language (BSL) Interpreter Paige Northwood is called to the scene of a horrific murder to translate for DI Forest and DC Singh. Eighteen month old Lexi has been brutally murdered and her father Alan Hunter and stepmother Elisha Barron are both deaf. Also present in the home at the time of the murder are six year old Jaxon and toddler Kasey. Paige also translates for Jaxon and Lexi’s mother Laura Weston who lives her mother Bridget. The police have very few clues about who killed Lexi and tensions are already running high when Paige begins receiving threatening messages. Why is someone targeting Paige? And most important, who murdered Lexi and why?
Paige realizes immediately she has a conflict of interest since her sister Anna is Lexi’s godmother and Laura’s best friend. Due to the urgency of the investigation, she keeps this information to herself as long as possible. She is deeply affected by the case and she struggles to maintain her composure throughout the various interrogations. Not sleeping, haunted by long ago memories and Lexi’s murder, Paige does not know whom to trust as she and Anna turn amateur sleuth in order to find the young girl’s killer.
Singh and Forest immediately question Alan, Elisa and Laura about the night of Lexi’s murder. As the BSL interpreter, Paige tries to maintain her objectivity. She is quite observant and she cannot help but wonder if everyone is being completely honest with the police. But what information would they withhold from the investigation?
Although Paige and Anna are likable characters, they are somewhat immature and impatient with what they perceive to be no progress in the investigation. Frustrated, Paige makes the impulsive choice to divulge confidential information to Anna. She is also quite irritated that no one seems to be taking the threats to her seriously. Paige does not know what avenues Singh and Forest are investigating and she makes several missteps that put her at odds with Forest. Undeterred, Paige plunges headlong into a dangerous situation that could result in deadly consequences.
The Silent House is a baffling mystery that is somewhat slow paced. The glimpses into the deaf community are insightful and informative. The characters are interesting but they are not very well developed. Since most of the novel is narrated from Paige’s perspective, readers do not have much insight into the actual murder investigation. With some shocking twists, Nell Pattinson brings the mystery to an action-packed conclusion.