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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

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 5.0
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Performance

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Story

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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+++++++

46 of 48 people found this review helpful

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  • 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.

27 of 28 people found this review helpful

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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.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Could not stop listening!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Loved every second of it. I wanted it to go on longer even after the exciting conclusion! The characters are well written, the suspense starts from the get-go, and builds and builds throughout. There are many twists and turns, keeping you on your toes.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Aiden who has been through hell as a child, who has so much pain and hurt locked up inside him, unable to express himself. <br/>Rob, the ex husband who turns out toby the most faithful, loving and protective of all the characters.

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

I actually chose the book because of her narration and was not disappointed. I loved her in Downton Abbey and she is an amazing narrator. Unlike most others I have heard, who read the book, with some inflections and "voices" here and there, Joanne acts it. She has so much meaning in her voice you can almost see her acting the part in a movie. Her voices and accents are natural and not forced, and she puts huge amount of feeling into every sentence.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The ending, the ending, the ending!! Can't give it away. But one spoken sentence has never moved me so much!

Any additional comments?

Read it. It will not disappoint!

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

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Edge of my seat the whole way!

Would you consider the audio edition of Silent Child to be better than the print version?

Yes. The narrator kept the tension tight. I could not stop listening.

Who was your favorite character and why?

My favorite character was her missing son.

Have you listened to any of Joanne Froggatt’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Yes, this is my second book and I appreciate her ability to weave a story that includes wonderful visual imagery woven through the storyline.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I was scared for her son, scared for her, and aware of the danger of judging others, which seems to be a running theme in this book.

Any additional comments?

Red this book, or listen to this book... it will stick in your mind. Days later you will wonder what's happening in the lives of her characters.

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

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Couldn't stop listening!

Wow. Not only did I stay up WAY too late to finish this, but I also called my husband every few hours to bring him up to speed on what had happened. He got just as caught up as I did! Also, probably best narrator I've ever heard. Phenomenal all around!

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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A Fantastic Listen...

I was skeptical when I read the reviews from other people about this book. But it turned out to be probably one of my all time favorites. There were unexpected twists & turns - even the twists that were expected were exciting.

I thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of this story. And Froggatt was spectacular! I remember her from Downton Abbey, but she completely transformed herself for this Audible production. She was engrossing & theatrical. Amazing.

I highly recommend this to anyone who loves a good "whodunit".

13 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

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.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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Could NOT stop listening

I normally never take the time to rate books and go through about three a week. Don't start this one if you've got a busy schedule ahead. You'll end up staying up late to listen! I'll look for more from this author now. It was really good.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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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.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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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.

47 of 53 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-09-17

How this is Audibles thriller of the year I will never know!

I found this book so tedious I actually had to give up on it which is something I hate to do. I got 2/3s in before throwing in the towel because the whole book is the main character moaning and repeating herself endlessly. If you want a book that is exciting with twists and turns, a book that keeps you on the edge of your seat, a book you can't put down...look elsewhere.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • Jill
  • 09-17-17

Variable

I found the idea behind this book to be very ambitious. No matter how much background reading you do, to place yourself in the woman who this has actually happened to is a tough call. Sometimes the author succeeded extremely well, other times the weird phrasing grated a little. The time-frame is also rather rushed - seeing her son putting on weight or expecting him to speak within a week doesn't seem very realistic considering the trauma he is supposed to have been through.

The idea is a good one, and Sarah had a good crack at it. It just didn't work for me sometimes, that's all.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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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.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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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!

18 of 23 people found this review helpful

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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.

40 of 52 people found this review helpful

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  • Mrs. C. Partridge
  • 09-09-17

Fantastic

I could not take my ear phones off! I was hooked from the moment it started. Brilliantly read, the suspense & the depth of feelings conveyed. One of the best I've listened to.

14 of 19 people found this review helpful

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  • Molly
  • 09-02-17

narrator too whispery

I cannot easily listen to this narrator. she drops her voice too often and I was constantly turning the volume up and down. very disappointing :( did not get past chapter two. book refunded

19 of 26 people found this review helpful

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  • Andrew
  • 09-17-17

Appalling. Don't waste 9.5 hrs of your life...

This was at its best points mediocre and the majority of the time, poorly written, full of cliches similes and metaphors, implausible in every way and not remotely interesting. Characters are 2D and that's being generous. Pace is slow and NOTHING happens. The big reveal is obvious and uninteresting. The 'twist' is non-existent. Narrator does her best but you can't polish a t*rd. seriously, don't waste your time. Read Mark Billingham, Ben Aaronovitch, Clare Mackintosh or even Robert Galbraith instead. At the very least, the quality of writing in those books is strong. This is shoddy and it genuinely disturbs me to think so many people have bought in to Amazon's / Audible's hype around a dreadful, poorly written story that lacks any originality and skill whatsoever. Save your money and 9.5 hours of your life. Trust me.

16 of 22 people found this review helpful

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  • Lesley
  • 09-16-17

Disappointing

Following the publicity I had great hopes for this book but abandoned it after chapter 3. The story might indeed have become compelling but I could no longer listen to the narration. I loved Joanne Froggatt in Downton Abbey but, as an audio book narrator I found her voice flat and uninteresting and a little too fast. Sorry!

11 of 15 people found this review helpful

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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

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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

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 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!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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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!!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Joie
  • 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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Linda
  • 09-09-17

I ate this all at once!

This was so good that I listened to this so quickly. I was supposed to just listen on my walks and in the car but I couldn't put it down.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Brewy67
  • 12-13-17

Gripping!

Great book! Could not stop listening to it. Most enjoyable with an unexpected ending. so many twists and turns, never expected who the kidnapper was.

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  • Tanya Clarke
  • 12-12-17

Awesome

So impressive I basically listened to this book for its entirety because I needed to keep listening the story was so intriguing.