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Editorial Reviews

"Silent Child is a unique book, a shining light of hidden horrors and unbearable tension in a genre where it is always difficult to stand out. Emma's slow descent into hell from the moment her son disappears feels real enough to make you hold onto your loved ones that little bit tighter. Sarah A. Denzil masterfully carries the reader alongside Emma on a tortured mental journey: theories, conspiracies and increasingly justified paranoia as suspicion falls on everyone she has ever held dear. Along with Emma, you find yourself pointing the proverbial finger of accusation at a series of characters who once seemed safe. A visceral, darkly atmospheric listen that will make your heart beat, your mind race and your spine tingle." - Gabriel, Audible Editor

"A good audiobook for me is one that takes me on a ride that I never could have imagined, and Silent Child did exactly that. Sarah A. Denzil weaves a tale that starts with heartbreak, adds mystery and suspense, and ultimately becomes a thriller. The writing is superb and it created a blockbuster movie in my mind as I listened. Silent Child had me at the edge of my seat the entire time, and I even fell off a few times." - Sean, Audible Editor

"The premise is shocking and it compels you to find out where Sarah A. Denzil will take the story. But, where I think the author is truly genius is in the way she supports the central plot with some heartbreakingly real and genuinely flawed characters that were so obviously as fully developed in Denzil's mind as the thrilling hook that makes you choose the book in the first place. There's so much more to this one than first meets the eye." - Alexandra, Audible Editor

Publisher's Summary

Winner of Audible UK’s 2017 Narrator of the Year Award

Introducing Audible's Thriller of the Year: Silent Child by Sarah A. Denzil, performed by Joanne Froggatt.

In the summer of 2006, Emma Price watched helplessly as her six-year-old son's red coat was fished out of the River Ouse. It was the tragic story of the year - a little boy, Aiden, wandered away from school during a terrible flood, fell into the river, and drowned. His body was never recovered. Ten years later Emma has finally rediscovered the joy in life. She's married, pregnant, and in control again...until Aiden returns.

Too traumatised to speak, he raises endless questions and answers none. Where has he been? What happened to him on that rainy afternoon? And now that he's back, whom can he trust?

At Audible we love listening to crime books. But every so often one comes along that we think is truly special. An Amazon Kindle number one best-seller, Sarah A. Denzil's Silent Child is taking Audible HQ by storm. In an Audible Exclusive production, Joanne Froggatt (Mrs Bates, Downton Abbey) delivers a powerhouse performance that will keep you gripped until the very last second.

©2017 Sarah A. Denzil (P)2017 Audible, Ltd

Critic Reviews

"This self-published page-turner became essential poolside listening after Audible named it thriller of the year." (Stylist)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    4,323
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    675
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    172
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    92

Performance

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    336
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    81
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    65

Story

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Joanne Froggatt 💕

I rarely find a book I really like on Audible. Narration is a huge thing. Joanne Froggatt was simple AMAZING. I loved her on Downton Abbey. That said, her telling of the story was a beyond plus.

I love Gone Girl (like most people) and Karin Slaughter and Mary Kubica (who has seemed to drop off a bit just like B.A. Paris. However, I love a suspense book. Love.

I really liked this book. It did keep me guessing and normally most books put it out there from the beginning who the bad guy is, but tell you the story surrounding it. This book did keep me thinking...but wait, it's not that person? Wait? So it is a very good book and I'm stingy in my recommendations. I get bored easily and I like twisty books.

Would I have liked the book enough to read it? Yes, but the narration was off the charts great.

I highly recommend this book if you like suspense. I've been a bit bored with my Audible picks lately thinking if I read them, I probably could finish them. Good narration keeps me hanging on and bad narration just makes me mad. How do some of these people get hired?

Book...yes.
Narration...no doubt. Amazing. A+++++++

173 of 187 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Wayne
  • Matthews, NC
  • 01-27-18

Tour de force by narrator Joanne Froggatt!

Silent Child is a very, very dark psychological thriller, the kind that can cause some to have nightmares. It is certainly not for everyone. However, as I try to decide whether listening was worthwhile, I must give the author credit for writing a compelling novel. And the narrator is fantastic.

65 of 70 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Kathy
  • Davis, CA, United States
  • 09-12-17

Silent Child Swept Me Away For Two Days

I found this audiobook engrossing. The author took me places I did not expect or wish to go, and she worried me that I would not be able to sustain my interest--but I certainly did.

In short, a young child, Aiden Price, age six, disappears from his school after a terrible rainstorm. Ten years later he is found wandering the woods nearby. He is reunited with his mother but apparently due to sustained trauma, refuses to speak or provide any information about his captor or where he had been for the ten years.

I don't want to give away any more information. I just want to add that if the subject interests you, get the book and set aside plenty of listening time. You have nothing to lose and lots to enjoy.

The narrator does a bang-up job portraying Aiden's mother. If you were a fan of Downton Abbey, you will recognize her voice immediately--I promise you.

68 of 76 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Review

Absoutely Brilliant book. I listened to the book while doing housework , the book had so many twists and turns that it took me longer than normal to get my house work done. The ending gobsmacket me I never saw it coming. Highly recommended to anyone who likes thrillers.

29 of 34 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Exasperating

What disappointed you about Silent Child?

Most of the book was taken up by Emma's mental frailties and inability to cope with what was happening to her. Fine, but since this entire portion of the book was all done in first person (and from Emma's perspective) this aspect of the story dragged on and on like an unwelcome house guest. After about 20 chapters of Emma's whining my reaction was "enough already"!

Would you ever listen to anything by Sarah A. Denzil again?

Absolutely not.

What does Joanne Froggatt bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Joanne Froggatt was pretty much the only good thing about the book.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

I listened to the entire book, mainly out of curiosity about how the plot would be finally resolved. Unfortunately, the final resolution of the plot was fraught with holes ending with what seemed to me to be a highly improbable and unsatisfying resolution. In other words, no, not really.

Any additional comments?

No idea how anyone could have given high ratings to this book. Simply awful.

86 of 103 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A good one

I don't care who did whatever dastardly deed the mystery author chooses. I do care that the plot is well designed, the writing and editing tightly presented by a good reader. This quiet suspense novel is very well done.

21 of 25 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Slow building but worthwhile

NO SPOILERS! Joanne Froggatt is spectacular as a reader, and makes this sad, psychological mystery worth listening to. The writing is very good, the actions and reactions of the characters are believable up to a point, and there is a lot of thrilling stuff as it builds to a close. I think you'll keep guessing, as multiple people are implicated in various crimes - is there a single GOOD person in this sleepy village? This is a very emotional, sad story which I would not recommend to everyone, so be prepared going in.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Good in-between-books book

I had no idea what to listen to next and chose this one based on star ratings and amount of reviewers. It was a good book to fill the space with after a string of comedies I had listened to.

Very early on in this book, in the first few chapters, I suspected something about a character and I was half right. There is also a twist of sorts that I didn't guess at all. It wasn't gripping exactly, but I did want to know whodunit. If you're into these types of stories - "psychological thrillers" - then it will at least have you wanting to know what happens next.

The narrator did a really great job emoting for each character and making you really feel the frustrations of the characters. Though I believe the volume/mix could have been better uniformed so that when she yelled it wasn't so loud that I had to turn it down and when she whispered it wasn't so quiet I had to turn it up.

My only real critiques of this book are that there is a character in the end that (I think) deserved WAY worse and it was frustrating to not see better justice done, and the story itself could have been a tad stronger. Wish I understood what is making me feel that way but I'm not sure, so maybe take that with a grain of salt. But like I said, the author did have me wanting to know how it ended and I did look forward to driving so I could finish it.

33 of 41 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Totally implausible story line

This audio book was performed brilliantly by Joanne Froggatt from Downton Abbey. I thought I'd love the book. BUT . . . the first half is terribly slow and evolves into the most implausible story line. Don't bother with this book.

15 of 19 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Louise
  • LONDON, United Kingdom
  • 09-10-17

VERY overrated - not good.

i got this as it had such rave reviews (at the top of the review list...not so, if you scroll further) As the other people who gave 1,2, or 3 stars noted - it is pretty badly written. Begins OK but then is obvious and descends quickly into utter nonsense I admit i finished it because i wanted to be sure who the culprit was - but i resented every 10 minutes more that i listened and was glad when it ended. The writing was about equal to that of a 15 years old - totally silly fight scene with 9 month pregnant woman - and then ridiculous narration by a boy who had been captive since he was 6 using a fully adult vocabulary. In spite of it being a pretty silly book it has left a sort of 'bad taste' ...an unpleasant book.

42 of 55 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • madison
  • 09-06-17

Disappointing

I had high hopes for this as Amazon has "bigged it up" so much, but I found the pathetic heroine very annoying and her overly dragged out performance was irritating- how long can a voice tremble before it ceases to be of any impact!
The climax was ridiculous and very unbelievable for a woman in labour- can't say anymore without a spoiler alert.
A real shame and a waste of a credit.

63 of 73 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Lindsey Peters
  • 10-16-17

Outstanding.

An outstanding story, wonderfully constructed, excellently written and beautifully performed. An unanticipated twist!! I would highly recommend.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-03-17

fantastic

absolutely fantastic book. loved it. very thrilling and entertaining with loads of twists in it.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • G3org3
  • 09-09-17

Predictable

Story okay though I had guessed whodunit relatively early, although not entirely correct. I found that the main character started irritating me about halfway through and I started hoping she'd accidentally fall down a flight of steep stairs whilst holding a pair of scissors and chewing on a chunk of beef.
Joanne Froggatt does a great job and I take my hat off to her for injecting some life into an otherwise two-dimensional character.

23 of 28 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Simon
  • 09-01-17

Silent Child Screams for Attention!

Calling anything a thriller of the year is always a bold claim, especially when there are releases fairly close in the genre from authors like Rachel Abbott and Paula Hawkins as well as a plethora of others.  But that's what Audible have done with this book by an author relatively unknown to their listeners.  Does it match up to that claim?

First off I have to say that I definitely enjoyed reading it. The tight, clean writing style suggests to me a confident author working in sync with a good editor.  Denzil takes a very human approach to her characters and builds them from a combination of strengths and frailties which mostly rang very true to me.  She gradually builds the mystery in a plot where, in truth, I think some people will feel that not a lot happens during the middle of the book.  For me, the start was excellent, the middle a quite subtle development of the story and characters before the book quite literally explodes towards the end with a conclusion of some considerable drama.

Most importantly to me the central character, Emma, came across very strongly.  She is put through hell in all kinds of ways, both subtle and monstrous but remains thoroughly believable except at one point towards the end which does involve giving the author the benefit of a touch of artistic license near the end.  

Jaonne Froggatt is also new to me, her narration is excellent.  It's a real performance and while it might sound a strange thing to complement her and the production team on they know the value of a little moment of silence.  All too often even the best narrators give a great OMG moment only for the narrative to carry on with the next chapter immediately meaning the listener either doesn't get to savour that great moment or misses what comes next.  Here, there were a couple of great uses of a little silence which was a great extra to add to a fine performance. 

So, in summary this is a fine thriller, well written and performed.  Is it genuinely the Thriller of the Year?  I'm not quite sure I'd go that far but I think it will be on a lot of readers' shortlists.

48 of 61 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Daniela
  • 09-08-17

Caught me off guard

I thought this was going to be another over hyped best seller that didn't stack up...... but boy was I surprised. I was gripped from the outside, by the storyline and the exceptional narration. I didn't see the twists until they hit me in the face. Clever, clever, clever and did I mention the unbelievably fantastic narration. Just wow!

22 of 28 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • R
  • 10-25-17

Brilliant!

Loved it. Brilliant book. Gripping and addictive. Joanne narrates fabulously too. Would defiantly recommend it to thriller fans

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Bob
  • 10-16-17

Fantastically well read story

The narrator draws the listener into both the story and the inner turmoils that the main character wrestles with as she recounts her experiences

There’s a twist at the end that causes a re-evaluation of what you’ve learnt

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Roo :)
  • 10-15-17

Fantastic!

A great listen! Really enjoyed it. Joanne Froggatt read beautifully with passion. highly recommend this

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • John R Cowton
  • 10-14-17

Kept me on the edge of my seat.

I Whispersynced this one for times when I wasn't able to physically read, like driving, which was read by the delightful actress Joanne Froggatt, and also happens to be Audible's 'Thriller of the Year.'
Emma's child Aiden went missing ten years ago, during a flash flood that ravaged her village. He was pronounced dead after seven years missing during which time she married Jake and is expecting his child, and Aiden's father left to join the army.
Aiden reappears from the forest, and does not speak. What happened to him during this time. It seems he was abducted but cannot or will not say who had taken him and what had happened to him.
This is a story of betrayal, deception and kept me on the edge of my seat for the past 4-5 days.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-30-17

Thriller of the year...? Nope.

Not sure how this book was deemed to be a great thriller. Disappointingly predictable and mundane, with a few well-written sentences buried in amongst some sloppy text. The narration didn't help, either, unfortunately; story-teller is an art, not a chore. Disappointing all around.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • suzanne
  • 11-01-17

waste of time

i brought this book because audible gave it their book of the year. i personally thought it one of the worst books i have ever listened to.

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Helen Esdaile
  • 11-13-17

Awful narration and grim story

The narrator ‘s voice for the main character is just grating. I know she’s upset but it’s just tedious. Far too much breathlessness.
Generally an improbable story, poorly narrated.
I’m not a fan of child abuse as entertainment so this probably taints my review.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-29-17

😢 Difficult to finish.

I really struggled to finish this Audiobook but I did persevere. I really do not understand why it is the 'Thriller of the year' as it is predictable and is more about Emma whining and being consumed in her own self pity than it is about her kidnapped son. I really didn't enjoy the style or the story and I felt that the story was a little nonsensical at times. I was disappointed as I quite enjoyed the first couple of chapters.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-19-17

silent child

loved it very thrilling to listen to
very exciting
could not stop listening to the story

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Leanne
  • 09-19-17

Love Joanne Froggatt

Silent Child takes you on a journey with some unexpected twists and turns. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to Joanne Froggatt's voice throughout the story.

Highly recommend it!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jo3
  • 09-09-17

Unforgettable!!!!

The turmoil and heartache was almost to much but Sarah A Denzil's ability to lead you ahead without spoil was all consuming.
Joanne Froggatt was a superb narrator.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • afrosheep
  • 10-26-17

Intriguing, but rough around the edges

This is an energetic and well paced suspense story, though it does share a close resemblance to others I've read. Joanne Froggatt is near-perfect in this; her character separation is spot on, in particular for male characters. My one gripe is the surprisingly poor audio quality. There are distracting background noises, swallowing sounds, and a hissy contrast from dialog to silence that could (should) all have been cleaned up. An unusual oversight for a product carrying the Audible Studios banner.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-19-17

Amazing

Absolutely loved this book it had you on edge the whole time definitely worth it.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-10-17

Silent child

One of the best book I have listened to for a long time! The narrator Joanne Froggatt makes the book come alive ! Highly recommended!!

5 of 6 people found this review helpful