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Silent Child

Audible's Thriller of 2017
Narrated by: Joanne Froggatt
Length: 9 hrs and 29 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (12,130 ratings)

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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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Performance

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Story

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  • 3 Stars
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  • 2 Stars
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  • 1 Stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Slowest "Thriller" Ever

I almost gave up on this one. I'd say 80% of this book lead up to a pretty good last 20% but OMGosh it took forever to get there. Way too much detail of nothing happening for me. Not one I'd recommend at all.

46 of 49 people found this review helpful

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Highly over rated.

Despite my attempt, I was unable to finish listening. The characters were not accessible, in particular, the main lead was narcisstic, not likeable and engineered little sympathy. About halfway through, I realized that I had little interest in finding how the book ended. Not recommended.

32 of 34 people found this review helpful

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Stupid

The stupidest book I have ever listened to. The main character spent a lot of time yelling. When the narrator used a slightly different voice for one of the characters, it was a slurred whisper, that even after rewinding over and over I couldn't tell what a few crucial words were. After all the silly twists and turns other reviewers loved, at the short ending, we are left with a glimpse of sweetness and light, which after the events that happened would not be possible. I felt sorry for the baby girl that went thru all this in utro. Would ask for money back if I paid full price.

49 of 53 people found this review helpful

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Absurd!

What a complete waste of time! I don’t want to spoil it for anyone, but the “mystery” is both obvious and implausible. I would ask for a refund if I’d paid for it!

38 of 41 people found this review helpful

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Not really a thriller.

In the US, a thriller is generally paced very quickly, frequently with a race-against-the-clock element. SILENT CHILD is more of a traditional whodunit. The pace is quite slow, particularly in the first half, and much of it feels like filler material. I confess I got tired of being reminded who the characters were in order to clarify the main character's feelings. ("He was my husband.""She was my friend." "He was my son." I know, I know!) The final 10% was fast-paced but, to my mind, pretty implausible.

Read beautifully by Joanne Froggatt.

17 of 18 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Accurate Title

Silent Child is a very accurate title as 90% of the book consists of the ramblings of the main character trying to figure out who kidnapped her child 10 years ago. The ending was predictable and the characters were not well developed. Bottom line- read "Room" instead.

17 of 18 people found this review helpful

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  • Starr
  • Wailuku, Maui, Hawai'i
  • 05-14-18

Repetitive Phrases Unbelievable Actions

Feelings, emotions, actions over and over again, the same old hackneyed phrases. Unbelievable story. Started well, got unmercifully bogged down and turned sunny-side up at the end, ignoring all the problems. Aaaarrrrgggghhh.

30 of 33 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Overwrought

I try not to write negative reviews but here goes:

I do not understand the rave reviews Silent Child received as I was able to predict who did it almost right away, although I didn't know the exact details or the why until they were later revealed. The main character of Emma possessed an over-active imagination and wildly over-reacted to everything she imagined; yet, she continually dismissed all of her suspicions. She seemed to trust all of the people in her life, even as she suspected them! I kept hoping she would grow a backbone instead of constantly devolving into hysterics.

While the narrator was very talented at conveying the overwrought mother, I quickly tired of the constant hysterical delivery.

22 of 24 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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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+++++++

224 of 253 people found this review helpful

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  • Jenn
  • HIGHLANDS RANCH, CO, United States
  • 08-09-18

Would NEVER happen.

I like books that are at least a little realistic. After 7 hours of wondering who it was, the last hour is filled with "yeah, right"s. Characters are completely 1-dimensional. If they're bad, they're horrible, evil, monsters, capable of anything. If they're good, they're a saint.
The redeeming quality was Joanne Froggatt's INCREDIBLE narration. If it had been narrated by anyone else, it would never be getting this much attention.

19 of 21 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.

100 of 115 people found this review helpful

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  • T.A Larsen
  • 10-11-17

fabulous and engaging thriller story

fabulous and engaging thriller story. great read with the twist not being revealed until the very end - loved it

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • N. J. Smith
  • 10-10-17

Absolutely brilliant!

Had me gripped from the very begging. Outstanding story and brilliant performance by Joanne Frogatt.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • EMMA
  • 10-10-17

Gripping Story Line

Brilliantly written gripping story how a mother will fight for a child. Couldn't stop listening.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • guider
  • 10-10-17

Silent Child

Really enjoyed this bookend though I guessed the identity of the kidnapper quite early on . I enjoyed the intrigue . Really well told too

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    2 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.

42 of 52 people found this review helpful

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  • mary rennie
  • 11-08-18

Badly written predictable fluff.

Before the end of the first chapter l was bored. So badly written, it read like an overly long English Exam essay. Self indulgent to the point of narcissistic. If any research was done certainly none of it was used. Please do not waste your valuable time. l can only recommend this as a Christmas gift for someone you really dislike.

26 of 32 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.

55 of 70 people found this review helpful

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  • Ann D
  • 10-22-19

Fabulous tense!

This is a beautifully written thriller. Filled with intrigue and tension, with richly drawn characters. Great twists and a satisfying ending. The narration is also 5*. Although personally, I found it less than ideal, only because Joanne Froggatt’s voice is too familiar to me from Downton Abbey as Lady Mary’s Ladies Maid. Highly recommended.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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

gripping .

loved it will look out for more from both reader and auther read with beliverable passion. excellent partnership.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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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.

12 of 12 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.

14 of 15 people found this review helpful

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    5 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!

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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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.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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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.

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

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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.

4 of 4 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.

4 of 4 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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  • 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

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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

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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!!

6 of 7 people found this review helpful