Standalone or series
First time reading this author?
Why I picked this
It sounded interesting and the idea of a murder happening around the tensions between immigrants and anti-immigration residents opened the possibility of some quite reflective writing.
Review copy or purchase
Thanks to the author, publishers Harper Collins UK and NetGalley for access to an e-ARC. This is an honest and voluntary review.
What it’s about
A body found hanging in the woods brings DI Manon Bradshaw on as lead in a live potential murder inquiry instead of her usual cold case work. The body quickly leads the detectives to a house full of Lithuanians brought into the UK with the promise of a new life only to be forced to work for gangs in unsafe conditions and at all hours of the day to pay off debts for their journey and substandard accommodation. Debts which only ever seem to go up.
The novel looks at immigration, UKIP supporters (including a very thinly disguised Nigel Farage-esque character), the struggle to get out of poverty, to achieve dreams, depression, and more.
It also examines the midlife crisis of DI Bradshaw as she feels her marriage is stale and struggles to achieve the work-life balance her part-time hours are supposed to offer.
Remain Silent is part of a series, but I didn’t feel that was an issue. Any references to previous books were either subtly done or delivered in a way which didn’t make them stand out from the way character backstory is delivered in a first in series or standalone book.
Unfortunately I really didn’t like the main character. As a 40-something professional and mother myself maybe it’s just too close to the bone, but really I found little that I could recognise in DI Bradshaw’s approach to life, and her approach to work just grated on me.
Overall I found this to be a fairly middle of the road crime novel.