What happened while they were sleeping?
A school for the deaf takes an overnight trip to the snowy woods. Five teenagers go to sleep, but only four wake up. Leon is missing, and a teacher’s body is found in the forest…
Sign language interpreter Paige Northwood is brought in to help with interrogations. Everyone at the school has a motive for murder – but they all have an alibi.
As Paige becomes increasingly involved, she suspects there’s something sinister going on. With the clock ticking to find Leon, only one thing is certain: the killer is among them, and ready to strike again…
Whilst, as I did, you can read this book as a stand-alone there are references to Paige’s backstory so, as ever, perhaps we should all 🎼 ‘let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start…’! That said this story does stand on its own merit.
Paige is brought in on a missing teenager case. Leon is considered vulnerable as he is deaf and has disappeared when on a school weekend away. The weather is bad and when the headmaster, who is leading the weekend, turns up dead concerns about Leon increases – but is it because he may be another victim or is he the murderer?
In this Paige Northwood is a freelance sign language interpreter who often works with the Police. She is the voice of this story. The police have brought Paige in as the school Leon attends and is a boarder of is specifically for deaf students. So not only is Leon deaf but so are many of the other characters. Paige herself is not deaf but her immediate family are so she is not only qualified as an interpreter but understands other issues that can come into play when dealing with people from the deaf community.
Paige has been brought in by the newly promoted DS Singh – they have worked together before and have a good, professional working relationship. There is also something else at play but as Paige is seeing someone, Max, she puts this aside in order to be as professional as possible during the investigation.
At the school there are teachers, the deputy head who is temporarily in charge and the pupils – a few who board and the rest who attend daily. The investigation centres around those that board since Leon did, one particular friend who doesn’t board, the school staff and a social worker.
Silent Night is a story which moves steadily through the police investigation as various characters are considered, information is gathered and leads are chased up. Paige, as the interpreter, is central to what is found out and takes a more active role checking out sources than may be expected or, indeed, acceptable as she is caught up in her concern for Leon and her dread that he is being considered as much as a suspect rather than just a victim. When DS Singh finds out he is pretty annoyed especially as he worries that it will bring Paige into harms way.
This is a story that will have you working out whodunnit as you are reading and certainly wondering why the students who are mixed up in the investigation are holding secrets that might help find Leon and catch a killer.
It is when a second victim is discovered that the investigation hots up and the danger that the students are in puts even more pressure on the investigation – will they catch the killer before more deaths occur? Will they find Leon? Who is the killer and why, why are they doing this?
All is revealed in this story with it’s feisty main character, Paige, and a team of police whose voice is DS Singh. So we get both the police procedural and a ‘private detective’ angle albeit it one who is working with the investigation rather than separately. It’s an interesting angle which needs a good balance to work and I think Nell Pattinson achieves that.
This is a good story and a smashing read. It brings lots about Paige into the book and we, the reader, get to know her and we see how she has got to this place in her life. It’s important to this particular investigation too, not just background, and it allows us to meet her circle of friends and family.
It gives a fascinating insight into the deaf community and the, often complicated, ways in which communication happens. A unique, to me at least, which I enjoyed very much.
At the heart is a murder investigation and a missing persons case and that is both unique and twisty. With a wintery setting which doesn’t make things any easier and compounds the urgency to find Leon.
This is an enjoyable and absorbing read – a series that is definitely one to keep on the worth reading list.
Published: Avon Books (12 Nov 2020)
Nell Pattison is the author of a crime thriller series featuring British Sign Language interpreter Paige Northwood. Her debut novel, The Silent House, was a USA Today bestseller.
After studying English at university, Nell Pattison became a teacher and specialised in Deaf education. She has been teaching in the Deaf community for 13 years in both England and Scotland, working with students who use BSL. Nell began losing her hearing in her twenties, and now wears hearing aids. She lives in North Lincolnshire with her husband and son.
The Silent Suspect – coming April 2021
"Vivre le livre!"
Book Reviews & More
Life is too short to read books you don't love
The Welsh Crime Writing Collective
Book Reviews & The Joy of Reading
a classics club blog
Be Kind | Browse Safely | Buy Books
The poetry and writing of Ailsa Cawley. Welcome!
Musings about books and a blog journal
This bookish nook belongs to Meggy Roussel and her furry babies
A guy hunting for thrillers across the world, and a firm believer in the power of tea
Author of suspense novels Sketch, Justice For Belle, Search For Maylee, Aggravated Momentum, and a medley of short stories.
...a crime-fictional site
A bookish blog (mostly) about women writers of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries
By [Sarah] Cavar
WordPress & Blogging tips, flash fiction, photography and lots more!
A book lover writes about this, that and the other
A Community of Classics Lovers
Book reviews of mainly modern & contemporary fiction
Murder Down To A Tea
Criminally good reads
Book reviews and the occasional ramblings of a book blogger
The Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival Challenge
One Girl, Too Many Books
Musings and Ramblings of a Disorganised Blogger
Read All About It
No one ever reads the same book. We all react to the written word differently. The following are my opinions regarding the books I have read.
Books, travel, and other things that make life interesting
For book lovers everywhere
Free bookreviews and other free book related stuff
And for summer days
Spotlight on Nordic / Scandinavian crime fiction... and connections
All things bookish.
“Read the best books first, or you may not have a chance to read them at all.” ― Henry David Thoreau
Escaping reality one book at a time
Just a quiet knitter with an addiction to books
Reader | Writer | Blogger
Louise Jensen - Writer - www.louisejensen.co.uk
Monthly Festival : Turn your book into a movie and get it seen by 1000s of people. Or garner FULL FEEDBACK from publishers on your novel and help your next draft. Or get a transcript video of your novel performed by professional actors.
Reading and Reviewing Books - May Contain Beard: "From Tiny Book Blog Buds Shall Mighty Book Blogs Grow" - TBBB
The place where I put down all my thoughts and observations
Reading under the light of a Carolina moon