The Great Silence
by Doug Johnstone
It’s my stop on the “The Great Silence” blog tour! Orenda Books have provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review, so thank you to Anne Cater for the invite. If you’d like to learn more about this book, check out the other blogs on the tour, see what people have to say on Goodreads and head over to the author’s Twitter page.
The discovery of a human foot in an Edinburgh park, the inexplicable circumstances of a dying woman, and the missing daughter of Jenny’s violent ex-husband present the Skelf women with their most challenging – and deadly – cases yet…
Keeping on top of the family funeral directors’ and private-investigation businesses is no easy task for the Skelf women, and when matriarch Dorothy discovers a human foot while walking the dog, a perplexing case presents itself … with potentially deadly results.
Daughter Jenny and grand-daughter Hannah have their hands full too: The mysterious circumstances of a dying woman lead them into an unexpected family drama, Hannah’s new astrophysicist colleague claims he’s receiving messages from outer space, and the Skelf’s teenaged lodger has yet another devastating experience.
Nothing is clear as the women are immersed ever deeper in their most challenging cases yet. But when the daughter of Jenny’s violent and fugitive ex-husband goes missing without trace and a wild animal is spotted roaming Edinburgh’s parks, real danger presents itself, and all three Skelfs are in peril.
I’ve loved the Skelf family from the first book in this series, “A Dark Matter” and the second “The Big Chill” was another great read too. If you don’t already know, the Skelf family are a little kooky, running a business with two branches: funeral directing and private investigation. It’s a little odd, but it works!
Three books in and the reader knows the three generations of Skelf ladies very well by now. Dorothy is the matriarch of the family and she works alongside her daughter Jenny and her grandaughter Hannah.
In “The Great Silence” Dorothy is out for a walk with her dog, Einstein, in Edinburgh Park when she finds a human foot. Jenny and Hannah are investigating the slightly suspicious circumstances around a dying woman and elsewhere there are secrets and dangers that are threatening a nice simple life for these ladies.
I really liked that there were a lot of different things going on in this book as it kept things at a very fast pace. I’ve found this to be true across the series and I think that’s why I like it so much. There are touches of mystery, thriller, drama and humour, but most of all I appreciate the humility throughout it all. The chapters are short and snappy and everything feels very relatable and realistic, like these three women could actually be out there somewhere, and this makes for a very enjoyable read.
I particularly like the dark humour in this series and I know that it will be enjoyed by so many. Whilst each book can be read alone, if you are thinking about giving this book a read, I’d really recommend going back to book one and getting to know the Skelf women from scratch. There has been fantastic growth throughout the series as they’ve battled whatever’s been thrown at them since the death of the grandfather, Jim, in book one.
I would say that this book wasn’t my favourite of the three, but I can’t quite pin down why, but I really do enjoy this series and I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to dip my toe back into the Skelf family’s mysteries. Highly recommended!
Overall rating: Book three in the Skelf series is “The Great Silence” and it’s a great 4 star read for me. This is another unique story following three strong women as they investigates the goings on in their home town. I’m a big fan of the character growth and dark humour throughout. I’d definitely recommend this!
Don’t forget to check out the reviews of other blogs on the tour and if you like what you’ve read about it, support the author by picking up a copy on Kindle or Paperback through Amazon UK.
See my other reviews of books by Doug Johnstone here: