This review is written with thanks to Daisy Pearce for my copy of The Silence.
Stella Wiseman was a child TV star, but there’s nothing glamorous about her life now. Alone in her thirties, she’s lost her parents and her friends and she’s stuck in a dead-end job. But just as she hits rock bottom she meets Marco, a charismatic older man who offers to get her back on her feet. He seems too good to be true.
She appreciates the money he lavishes on her. And the pills. But are the pills just helping her sleep, or helping her avoid her problems?
With Stella’s life still in freefall, Marco whisks her away to a secluded cottage where she is isolated from everyone except him. But the closer he pulls her, the worse she gets. He tells her it’s all in her head, and she just needs time away from the world.
No longer sure what’s real and what’s not, Stella begins to question whether she was wrong to trust Marco. Was she wrong to trust herself? Is the one person she thought was fighting for her survival actually her biggest threat?
Told in first person, The Silence is the story of Stella, a child TV star who could never quite escape her past. Pearce does a great job of getting inside Stella’s head and showing the reader how it feels to be a faded celebrity and how it feels to be in a relationship where she is questioning the trust between her and her partner. It was not just Stella who got under my skin. I also found myself caring about the fates of some of the supporting characters, such as Freddie and Carmel.
Through The Silence, Pearce explores some interesting themes, particularly coercive control, which is so important in today’s world. She has an in depth knowledge of the techniques that perpetrators use and how these affect the victims, and weaves it into the story well.
Towards the end of the novel, there are a few twists which kept me on my toes until the final page. The tension built up brilliantly and I was eager to see how everything would be resolved.
The Silence is available from Amazon.