Published by Headline
Publication date – 9 March 2017
Source – review copy
“It’s winter, the nights are dark and freezing, and a series of seemingly random assaults is pulling DI Marnie Rome and DS Noah Jake out onto streets of London. When Marnie’s family home is ransacked, there are signs that the burglary can have only been committed by someone who knows her. Then a child goes missing, yet no-one has reported it. Suddenly, events seem connected, and it’s personal.
Someone out there is playing games. It is time for both Marnie and Noah to face the truth about the creeping, chilling reaches of a troubled upbringing. Keeping quiet can be a means of survival, but the effects can be as terrible as killing.”
A series of random assaults have been taking place across London. The only thing the victims have in common – they all have criminal records. When assault turns to murder, Marnie and her team have to race to find the culprit before more victims appear. Marnie also has to contend with a burglary at her parents home. And then a child disappears. Soon it seems all three events are linked and Marnie has to unravel the past to find out what is happening in the present.
When I pick up a Sarah Hilary novel I know I’m going to be in for a treat. Quieter Than Killing is no different. I was soon drawn into this story and try as I might to make it last, I found myself racing through the end all too soon.
This is a more personal case for Marnie. Her family home has been ransacked, her tenants attacked. And personal items, lost since her parents murder, make their way back to her. She must face Stephen and the reasons why her foster brother killed her parents. It’s also much more personal for Noah Jake. The detective finds his brother Sol has gone missing, apparently escaping the gang he is caught up in. We see Noah torn between his career, his lover and his family.
The other storyline is as I have come to expect from Sarah Hilary, one that is often missing from crime fiction. Sarah Hilary has the knack for choosing unique crimes and plot devices to create a gripping and thought provoking novel. Quieter Than Killing is no different. Using the idea of vigilante justice with a twist this is fantastic thriller that will have you gripped until the very end.
I’ve said this before in a review for a previous Sarah Hilary novel but I’ll say it again. In Someone Else’s Skin Sarah Hilary set herself out as one to watch. She is now an author that is firmly on the crime writing scene, and a standout author at that. It’s often said that genre novels, in particular crime novels, aren’t as ‘worthy’ as literary fiction, not a notion I’d endorse. I’d suggest that whoever says this hasn’t read a novel such as one by Sarah Hilary. She’s author that can be relied upon to create compelling, moving novels, tackling little mentioned crimes, shied away from or unknown in the wider world but which lend themselves to moving, thought-provoking stories.
Quieter Than Killing is book four in the Marnie Rome series but it can be read as a standalone. I would though urge you to read them in order if you haven’t read any before. You’ll be in for a treat if you do.
Sarah Hilary is one of the few writers whose books I will always read, and whose books are always eagerly awaited. She could put her name to the Yellow Pages and I’d speed read my way through it. I can only wait impatiently for book five.
Taut writing, fantastic characters, a gripping storyline and the bittersweet regret of reaching the end. What more could you want from a book?
About the author:
Sarah Hilary’s debut novel SOMEONE ELSE’S SKIN won the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year 2015. It was the Observer’s Book of the Month (‘superbly disturbing’), a Richard & Judy Book Club bestseller, and has been published worldwide. NO OTHER DARKNESS and TASTES LIKE FEAR continue the DI Marnie Rome series with QUIETER THAN KILLING to follow in early 2017. Sarah lives in Bath.
Other books in the series (click on the title to see my review):