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Friday 17 November 2023

‘The Quiet Dead' by N. J. Mackay

Published by Canelo,
7 September 2023.
ISBN: 978-1-80436492-5 (PB)

Fifteen years ago when she was a teenager, Hayley DaSilva found her mother, twin brother and a friend, Ryan Dudley all brutally murdered in the family home. Her nine-year-old brother Ethan was missing. Leonard her father confessed to the murders and now all these years later a shallow grave reveals bones of a child.

Detective Inspector Sebastian Locke and Detective Constable Lucy Quinn are called to the scene. The post mortem and remains of pyjamas in the grave convince the police to believe it is Ethan. Reluctantly Sebastian’s boss Jackie Ferris gives him permission to re-open the case.

Hayley has made a new life for herself in America but when Sebastian rings her and tells her about finding Ethan’s bones, she is devastated and makes arrangements to fly back to England. She had been very close to her young brother and had desperately hoped he was still alive somewhere.

As the investigation progresses, it is obvious Leonard DaSilva is innocent, it’s proved he couldn’t have killed his family. Sebastian visits him in prison and learns Leonard was very drunk the night of the murders and does not remember a thing. Why did he confess, was he trying to protect someone?

Suspicion temporarily falls on Hayley, but she has an alibi for that evening, she was with friends at a party in the woods. But was she there the whole of the time?

The more Sebastian and Lucy delve into the police records at the time, the more they become convinced that it was a really botched investigation. Evidence comes to light that drugs were also involved, but this all seems to have been swept under the carpet.

The big question of course is if Leonard did not commit the murders, who did? Sebastian is outraged that the killer has been able to get away with it for all these years. Can he and the team at last bring the real culprit to light? Plus did the same person kill Ethan and if so, how come his body was not with the others?

A highly recommended, really intriguing murder mystery, which keeps the reader guessing right through to the very end. The main character’s Detective Inspector Sebastian Locke and Detective Sergeant Lucy Quinn make a great investigative team and I look forward to the authors second book about them.
Reviewer: Tricia Chappell

Niki Mackay studied Performing Arts at the BRIT School, and it turned out she wasn’t very good at acting but quite liked writing scripts. She holds a BA (Hons) in English Literature and Drama and won a full scholarship for her MA in Journalism.


Tricia Chappell. I have a great love of books and reading, especially crime and thrillers. I play the occasional game of golf (when I am not reading). My great love is cruising especially to far flung places, when there are long days at sea for plenty more reading! I am really enjoying reviewing books and have found lots of great new authors.

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