A Silent Death by Peter May ~ Crime on the Costa del Sol @authorpetermay #Thriller #FridayReads #AudiobookReview @riverrunbooks


Author: Peter May

Performed by Peter Forbes

Published: January 2020 by riverrun

Category: Crime, Thriller, Suspense, Audiobook, Book Review

A silent vow.

A silent life.

A silent death.

Spain, 2020. When ex-pat fugitive Jack Cleland watches his girlfriend die, gunned down in a pursuit involving officer Cristina Sanchez Pradell, he promises to exact his revenge by destroying the policewoman.

A phone call from a concerned neighbour sets in motion a chain of events that results in bloodshed and ruined lives.

Officer Cristina Sanchez Pradell is one of the two officers sent to check out a suspected break in at the villa belonging to an Ian Templeton, whose real identity is Jack Cleland, an ex-pat fugitive who is wanted for drug offences and murder. Things quickly go from bad to worse when Cleland shoots his partner, mistaking her for one of the police officers. It’s only recently his personal life has had some meaning and he blames Christina for taking it all away, unwilling or unable to admit the fault lies with him alone.

Ex Met Police Officer John Mackenzie, newly attached to the National Crime Agency, is tasked with travelling to Spain to escort Cleland back to England to answer the charges against him. Simple. Well, actually no. Cleland escapes and Mackenzie’s trip to Spain is extended indefinitely in order to join the Spanish police in the hunt for Cleland.

As always with Peter May’s books, the characters and the location are exceptionally well devised and described. The two stand out characters for me in A Silent Death are Mackenzie and Cristina’s aunt Ana. Mackenzie, although on the surface a troubled man with marital problems, there’s so much more depth to his personality. It didn’t take long to warm to him, he has a good heart, is highly intelligent and principled although short on people skills which had much to do with his upbringing, his awkwardness and forthrightness both endearing and amusing in turns.

Susan began to find fault with everything he did and said, as if only now noticing how socially ill-adjusted he was, counting up the friends they had lost, the people he had insulted, the senior officers who had promoted him sideways to claw him out of their hair.

His response had been to retreat into himself, sitting up late at night alone in his attic office — when not on shift — immersing himself in study, as if somehow knowledge could fill all the empty spaces he had inside.

Ana is a very engaging and sympathetic character suffering from Usher’s Syndrome, a condition I hadn’t been aware of previously, causing combined hearing and vision loss as she grew into adulthood. I can’t even imagine living in such a closed off world, but Peter May brought Ana to life with feeling and compassion.

Another ‘character’ in this author’s books is the setting, which is always described in vivid detail, giving the stories a real sense of place and in this case takes in Southern Spain between the Costa del Sol and Gibraltar. Much more than just a police procedural, we learn about the characters lives making them three dimensional and realistic. The well written and worked through plot twists and turns, with red herrings, surprises and a horrifying climax. I did question Cleland’s motives sometimes but nevertheless A Silent Death is a compelling story, only made more so by Peter Forbes’ excellent narration.

Book links ~ Amazon UK | Amazon US | Book Depository | Hive 

About the Author

Peter May’s breakthrough as a best-selling author came with The Lewis Trilogy. After being turned down by all the major UK publishers, the first of the The Lewis Trilogy – The Blackhouse – was published in France as L’Ile des Chasseurs d’Oiseaux where it was hailed as “a masterpiece” by the French national newspaper L’Humanité. His novels have a large following in France. The trilogy has won several French literature awards, including one of the world’s largest adjudicated readers awards, the Prix Cezam.
The Blackhouse was published in English by the award-winning Quercus (a relatively young publishing house which did not exist when the book was first presented to British publishers). It went on to become an international best seller, and was shortlisted for both Barry Award and Macavity Award when it was published in the USA.

Author links ~ Website | Twitter | Facebook 

3 thoughts on “A Silent Death by Peter May ~ Crime on the Costa del Sol @authorpetermay #Thriller #FridayReads #AudiobookReview @riverrunbooks

  1. I usually love Peter May’s books but decided to pass on this one because of the deaf-blind character – I find the idea too upsetting. I’m glad to hear you enjoyed it, though – he always handles things sensitively and his settings are so well done!

    Liked by 1 person

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