It is my great pleasure to be taking part in the #BlogTour for Theresa Talbot’s latest novel “Keep Her Silent”. This is the follow-up to The Lost Girls (previously published as Penance) and I have been looking forward to this one being published for a long time! Thank you to Theresa and the Publisher for the review copy,
Before I share my thoughts here’s what the official blurb says:
‘Do that which is good and no evil shall touch you’
That was the note the so-called Raphael killer left on each of his victims. Everyone in Glasgow – investigative journalist Oonagh O’Neil included – remember the murder of three women in Glasgow which sent a wave of terror through the city. They also remember that he is still at large…
When the police investigation into the Raphael killings reopens, Oonagh is given a tip-off that leads her straight to the heart of a complex and deadly cover-up. When history starts to repeat itself, it seems the killer is closer than she thinks. Could Oonagh be the next target…?
Authentic and gritty, Keep Her Silent is a gripping and page-turning thriller that will leave you breathless. Perfect for fans of Susie Steiner, and Karin Slaughter, Patricia Gibney.
I’m just about breathing again after the rollercoaster ride of a read that was “Keep Her Silent” by Theresa Talbot. Oonagh O’Neil, media darling and TV journalist has just stumbled on a story made of nightmares and what follows is the most jaw-dropping, heart racing and breathtaking read!
“Keep Her Silent” is the story of Dorothy Malloy, a woman incarcerated in the state hospital for the brutal murder of her husband and son. Watching Dorothy’s mental state unravel and her treatment at the hands of those meant to care for her was terrifying and heartbreaking at the same time. It was impossible not to feel for this woman, despite being told of the crime she has committed. Raw and brutal language captures the atmosphere perfectly and there should be no apologies made for the truth that it uncovers.
DI Alec Davis has been ordered to open the cold case of the Raphael killings in the 1970s which saw Glasgow in fear of a religious killer who had slaughtered three young women.
Oonagh O’Neill is desperately trying to salvage her career following her involvement in the uncovering of historical abuse in the Catholic Church which almost led to the company being sued and Oonagh herself almost being killed. She inadvertently blurts out an idea for a new programme based on women who kill as the hook needed to save her skin. Unfortunately, Oonagh has nothing to back up her idea and she finds herself desperately seeking an angle to convince her producer.
A parallel narrative takes us from 1975 to 2002 with two seemingly unconnected storylines coming together in perfect harmony. Chapter by chapter the author unpicks and uncovers a story so explosive that journalists would be falling over themselves to get the scoop! This is the story of a lifetime for Oonagh but she is not in it simply for the glory, she has a passion for uncovering the unsavoury and battling to achieve justice for the unheard voices. But don’t worry, there is nothing cheesy or do-gooderish about Oonagh, she is not without her own demons to battle. Her inner conflicts cause her a great deal of anguish. Yet she is tenacious, like a wee terrier that just won’t let go. She is not above using her feminine charms to prise out hidden details and can easily fool others that she is not as dangerous to them as she seems.
Oonagh’s relationship with DI Alec Davis is, on the surface, very much one of brother and sister but there is an underlying spark between the two of them. He is always there for her and she kind of takes him for granted a little. I really warm to Alec, there is something about this gruff, no-nonsense, straight-talking detective that warms the cockles of my heart. He is not the most PC of detectives but his heart is in the right place and he doesn’t shy away from what needs to be done, or indeed what needs to be covered up at times!
A sophisticated plotline with so many twists and turns that your head will be doing an exorcist spin at the end of it provides a thought-provoking exploration of conspiracies, cover-ups, abuse and pharmaceutical experimentation as it encapsulates the tainted blood scandal of the 70s; the inhumane treatment of patients in mental health institutions and police corruption. This one had my jaw hitting the floor as Theresa Talbot mastered the plot twists down to a tee!
The tainted blood scandal is of course, pretty topical at the moment with a government inquiry underway. The author approaches this in a sensitive manner and it is heartbreaking when you realise how many people were affected by this scandal and how the repercussions are still being felt even after all this time. Certainly a thought-provoking read.
Keep Her Silent is at times dark and disturbing but there is always that glimmer of the black humour that Glasgow is famous for, those classic one-liners that make your eyes crease with laughter. It’s clever, it is thought-provoking and intelligently crafted. Realistic dialogue meant I felt as though I was Oonagh’s apprentice caught right up in the midst of the investigation. Never dull, it kept me on the edge of my seat from the start to finish!
Don’t forget to check out what the other bloggers have been saying:
Keep Her Silent is available from:
About the author:
Theresa Talbot is a freelance writer, journalist and radio presenter, perhaps best known as the voice of Traffic and Travel on BBC Radio Scotland and as the host of The Beechgrove Potting Shed. Prior to working with the BBC, she was with Radio Clyde and the AA Roadwatch team. Theresa worked in various roles before entering the media as an assistant in children’s homes, a Pepsi Challenge girl and a library assistant. She ended up at the BBC because of an eavesdropped conversation on a no.66 bus in Glasgow. Her passions include rescuing chickens, gardening, music and yoga