Friday, 25 September 2015

The Quality of Silence by Rosamund Lupton

Rosamund Lupton takes the reader on a nail-biting ride through an Alaska in sub-zero conditions with her latest novel, The Quality of Silence.Yasmin arrives at Fairbanks to meet up with her husband, Matt, a wildlife film-maker, with her hearing-impaired daughter, Ruby, in tow. They are going to spend Christmas together, which is only a few weeks away, so as you can imagine, the weather in this part of the world is somewhat less than balmy.

When the northern Inupiaq settlement Matt has made his base is reported destroyed in a gas explosion with no survivors, Yasmin refuses to believe her husband is dead. The mother and daughter determine to journey north across the snowy wastes with a storm imminent. It will be a race against time to find her husband alive, and with the last flight cancelled, Yasmin has to depend on the good nature of the trucking community.

As if this isn’t enough, Yasmin has the distinct impression of being followed, feelings supported by Ruby who has a knack for noticing people’s body language. Lupton ups the tension notch by notch to a real cliff-hanger of an ending - the desperate drive through the night as the storm hits, a final showdown with the malefactor determined to stop her.

The Quality of Silence is a total page-turner, but it also gives the reader plenty to mull over on the dangers of fracking in a fragile environment and about the challenges of being a deaf child trying to fit in at school. On one level it is about communication - of both truth and lies - but mostly it reads as a pretty decent sort of thriller. Rug up warmly first though.

Posted by JAM

Catalogue link: The Quality of Silence

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