Woohoo! Thrilled to be hosting Theresa Talbot’s KEEP HER SILENT blog tour today! Huge thanks to Theresa, Vicky Joss (Publicity) and Aria Fiction for asking me to take part. I purchased this book as originally I was only going to post an extract – however, seeing such rave reviews, I decided to squeeze it in and do a mini review as well! First we’ll find out a little more about Theresa and this book before I share the extract and my mini review!
About The Author
Theresa Talbot is a BBC broadcaster and freelance producer. A former radio news editor, she also hosted The Beechgrove Potting Shed on BBC Radio Scotland, but for many she will be most familiar as the voice of the station’s Traffic & Travel. Late 2014 saw the publication of her first book, This Is What I Look Like, a humorous memoir covering everything from working with Andy Williams to rescuing chickens and discovering nuns hidden in gardens. She’s much in demand at book festivals, both as an author and as a chairperson. Penance is Theresa’s debut crime novel.
About The Book
Oonagh O’Neil is back with another dark and chilling investigation.
‘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.
Set in Scotland, the reader jumps between the 1970’s/80’s and 2002, we find ourselves immersed in a world filled with cover-ups, scandal, buried secrets, uncovered truths, corruption, power, conspiracy, ethics, fear, credibility and abuse to name just a few of the themes I came across in the fantastically gripping story!
A controversial storyline highlights abuse in hospitals, the tainted blood scandal and a serial killer – this book had me hooked from the start! Perfectly paced, with a fabulous build up of suspense – the dual timeline and POV’s really keeps the reader on their toes! I loved the mix of reality with fiction, it gave this novel a real feel of authenticity but you need to pay attention if you want to keep up with everything that is going on in this compelling storyline! Two separate threads – do they come together in the end? You’ll need to read the book to find out for yourself!
Oonagh O’Neil is an investigative journalist and I just loved her character! She seems to have no fear, is oh-so-determined but not without her own flaws! DI Alex Davies is a bit of a Grumpy McGrump face but devoted to his work and the relationship between himself and Oonagh is just fabulous!
The ending kind of left me wondering – it’s a bit inconclusive – but sometimes that is just what happens – and it left it open for me to come up with a whole bunch of mad thoughts and endings myself!
Would I recommend this book? Ab-so-friggin-lutely, I would! I have not read the first in this series, though it has been sitting patiently on my kindle! I’ll soon rectify that! If you want a hard-hitting, uncomfortable yet so-bloody-compelling read, this might just be the book for you! Still unsure? Why don’t you check out the teaser extract below!
Extract from Chapter 6
Oonagh drove north along the coast road, the same one her dad took her on as a kid. Maidens beach stretched out to her left, white horses crashing against the shore; the silhouette of Culzean Castle perched on the hilltop contrasted against the early evening sunlight. She turned left onto a single-track road and eased her car through the woodland area until she got to the clearing. It didn’t matter how many times she’d visited, the sight of the castle always made her catch her breath. Nestled in the crook of the Ayrshire coastline, the gardens enjoyed an almost tropical micro-climate from the Gulf Stream.
She’d arranged to meet Maura Rowinson at seven. The estate was part of a National Trust property, but Maura had assured Oonagh she could access the castle after closing as she had rented an apartment.
Oonagh followed the road round to the right of the main castle to the luxury holiday apartments and parked in the courtyard. There was only one other car there, an MG, British racing green. Oonagh parked alongside and switched off the engine. She caught a brief glimpse of someone at the window, but her arrival would have been obvious for several minutes given the length of the drive. As she got out of the car a slight flutter of nerves played on her chest, but she’d left Gerry, her production assistant, in a pub less than three miles away with a mobile phone, access to a landline and instructions to call the cops if she didn’t check in within the hour.
A middle-aged woman with blonde hair tied back in a ponytail came out to greet her. She looked familiar, but Oonagh couldn’t place her. ‘Oonagh.’ She stretched out her hand; Oonagh smiled.
‘Maura? Good to meet you. In person,’ she added and allowed herself to be led inside and through to the main room, which looked out onto the Firth of Clyde. There wasn’t much that still impressed Oonagh, but this view did. She stood at the window. ‘Wow, this is magnificent.’
‘Not bad, is it?’
‘Long-term let or…?’
‘I’m here for the summer.’
A slight finger of anxiety stroked her chest and Oonagh wanted the small talk over. The view was impressive and the house designed to within an inch of its life, but that wasn’t why she was here. She’d found Maura online. Or rather Maura had found her. It wasn’t uncommon for people to contact Oonagh with the promise of a story. The next big scoop. More often than not they were nutters, but occasionally there was a story worth following. It had taken several emails and a few furtive telephone conversations before Maura had finally opened up enough to tell her it was a story connected to the tainted blood scandal. Oonagh’s first instinct had been to pass it on to the health correspondent. She had little interest in the saga. Haemophiliacs infected with hep C – or was it hep B she could never remember? – from contaminated blood products. They’d been campaigning for years for compensation and there was little more that could be told on the story. But Maura had convinced Oonagh that her take was different. Said she had a human interest story that would be wasted on the health corr. It had been a while since Oonagh’d been to Culzean so she’d agreed to meet her.
There was a current trend for people to have ‘do not resuscitate’ cards on them. Oonagh wondered if there were similar ones with ‘no more tea’.
‘No, I’m good, thanks.’
‘So, shall we get down to business?’
Oonagh was a bit surprised, she hadn’t expected her to be quite so direct, but since she was: ‘Yip, fine by me. So, what’s the new angle on this?’
‘I’m not quite sure where to begin.’
Oonagh decided against saying the obvious and just let Maura continue at her own pace.
‘I need you to know that the world was a different place then. No Internet, no email – we didn’t even have mobile phones.’
Oonagh fingered her own mobile in her pocket.
‘Oonagh, what d’you know about the tainted blood scandal?’ Maura cut in and interrupted herself before Oonagh had a chance to answer. ‘Of course, you’re completely across it – you’re a journalist.’
Oonagh felt a wee bit stung, and slightly embarrassed. Yes, she knew the basic details but couldn’t recite it chapter and verse. Medical negligence stories were ten a penny. ‘I’m… familiar with it.’ She hoped Maura would fill in the gaps. She took her hand-held recorder from her bag and placed it on the coffee table.
‘I’d rather you didn’t.’
Oonagh glanced at the machine and toyed with the idea of switching it on regardless, but didn’t.
‘We stumbled across it by accident.’
‘That doesn’t really matter at this stage, but we had no idea people would get killed.’
Thanks again to Theresa and all at Aria Fiction / Head of Zeus. If you liked what you’ve read, then grab your copy of Keep Her Silent today! You can also catch up with what everyone else is saying if you follow the tour here: