The latest Advance Reader’s Copy this pedometer geek read was The Quality of Silence by Rosamund Lupton. This is the first suspense novel by this author that this reader has read, but it will not be the last based on this gripping story. The novel was received through Blogging for Books, but that in no way affected this extended review.
The Quality of Silence
by Rosamund Lupton
Published by Crown Publishing, 2015
an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group,
a division of Penguin Random House LLC
To set the scene for this suspenseful thriller, here is the way the story is described on http://www.Goodreads.com: On the 24th of November Yasmin and her deaf daughter Ruby arrived in Alaska. Within hours they were driving alone across a frozen wilderness…where nothing grows; where no one lives; where tears freeze; and nights will last for another 54 days. They are looking for Ruby’s father. Traveling deeper into a silent land. They still cannot find him. And someone is watching them in the dark. (While this may seem like a spoiler, it isn’t since this can be construed from reading the novel’s dust jacket blurb.)
As indicated above, Yasmin and her daughter Ruby have arrived in Fairbanks, Alaska expecting to meet up with Matt, their husband and father respectively, only to be told that he is dead, killed in a fire that wiped out an entire village. Yet, a phone call they received has convinced them, especially Yasmin, otherwise, and she hires a trucker to take them north to an airport that will get them closer to where Matt is located…that is, if he truly is still alive.
Alaska, particularly the Arctic Circle, is the setting for this suspense thriller that pits Yasmin, wife and mother, and her deaf daughter Ruby against an unseen threat. The setting itself, its harsh environment and its bone-chilling cold, is as much a threat as the tanker truck with the blue lights who follows them deeper into the Alaskan tundra on ice-covered roads.
Tracking Matt down may cost the pair everything as mile after mile takes them deeper into the interior of Alaska. Added to that, the temperature drops precipitously as a storm hits. All the while the blue lights remain in the truck’s rear-view mirror. And then there are the mysterious emails that Ruby receives to add to the suspense.
As the action escalates and the temperatures drop, the reader is dragged into the same fears as Yasmin and Ruby. Despite having read this during July, one of the hottest months in recent years, this reader could almost feel the cold, could almost feel the threat of the tanker that kept creeping up on their truck, all the while hoping that the decisions being made would bring the pair to a successful outcome. Gripping suspense keeps the action moving toward a surprising conclusion. Not only that, but there is a message behind all the threats that could affect the world.
This reader loved the character of Ruby. She is resourceful and bright despite, or perhaps because of, her deafness. Her Voice Machine and her ability to lip-read makes the action realistic. Yasmin is an equally interesting character as she deals with the fear for her daughter as well as the long odds of survival in the desolate north. The ancillary characters are a mix of good and bad, but never appear as cookie cutter cutouts.
Overall, this is a highly recommended read for those who love thrillers and suspense novels. It also gives a look at the realities of those who call Alaska home, especially in the winter when days look no different than the nights. Besides that, knowledge of some native Alaskan words are utilized.