Title: A Silent Death
Author: Peter May
Date of publication: 9 January 2020
Number of pages: 419
Spain, 2020. When ex-pat fugitive Jack Cleland watches his girlfriend die, gunned down in a pursuit involving officer Cristina Sanchez Pradell, he promises to exact his revenge by destroying the policewoman.
A SILENT LIFE
Cristina’s aunt Ana has been deaf-blind for the entirety of her adult life: the victim of a rare condition named Usher Syndrome. Ana is the centre of Cristina’s world – and of Cleland’s cruel plan.
A SILENT DEATH
John Mackenzie – an ingenious yet irascible Glaswegian investigator – is seconded to aid the Spanish authorities in their manhunt. He alone can silence Cleland before the fugitive has the last, bloody, word.
Peter May’s latest bestseller unites a strong, independent Spaniard with a socially inept Scotsman; a senseless vendetta with a sense-deprived victim, and a red-hot Costa Del Sol with an ice-cold killer.
A Silent Death is my third book by Peter May. Once again, he managed to grab my attention. This time, he put me at the centre of a tragedy under the Spanish sun.
Despite the heavy presence of the police in this novel, British and Spanish, I can’t categorise it as a full Police versus bad guys race sort of book. Oh, don’t misunderstand me, you will find bad guys here, and police officers of all kinds. And so much more! Call is a psychological crime. Not just crime fiction, not too much on the psychological thriller side… just in the middle. A perfect mix!
You can always count on Peter May for a top-notch characterisation. John Mackenzie, a good police officer who was born without the gene of tact, is easy to warm to. He may appear arrogant at first, but there’s a real heart beating inside his chest and the burden of an ideal world that will never be, no matter what he does. The poor chap is assigned to escort a British criminal arrested in Spain. Easy task, right?
Spain, where the remaining cast of this intense chase is waiting for the reader!
Cristina Sanchez Pradell is a model of resilience. One of the few women on the force, she has to make room among her colleagues to exist. Wife, mother, sister, and niece, she struggles to juggle everything, in a very simple, realistic, and moving way. Cristina is one of us, just doing her best. I liked her fierce desire to be taken seriously.
Ana… I had never heard of the Usher syndrome, and I must say this is one of the worst things I can think of. My sight is bad, and I have always feared of losing it. Thinking about it makes me panicky. Add to this the inability to hear, and you have the most powerful prison that ever existed. Her chapters were heart-breaking yet fascinating. I was entranced by her life story, and felt privileged to be inside her head, to experience the world as she did. The author worked incredibly hard on descriptions and it shows in the way each word carries an image, a feeling, a sound, even in silence. I can only applaud the way Peter May opened the door to us readers, into her life.
What brings John Mackenzie and Cristina Sanchez Pradell together is a mistake. A split-second reaction that should never have been. Lethal shots which will prove to be fatal to more than one person.
I hated Jack Cleland right away. I remember thinking ‘You pretend to be a bad guy, a big muscle in the area, but you can’t even take responsibility for events you’ve triggered!’ Oh, I can’t stand those guys. This provoked a strong need in me to see justice happen. Only I didn’t know there would be such a heavy cost attached to it! See how involved I became in all this??
If Ana was an obvious choice for Cleland to get revenge on Cristina, I was not expecting the lengths he went to to make sure his plans would hurt the woman he believed to be responsible for his pain. My heart broke for Ana’s dog, lost in the pages, never to be mentioned again. I had to point this detail as I am one of those mad people who can’t stand anything happening to animals. Yes, I can handle people dying but a dog will upset me for days. I am not saying the dog died and I do hope he finds his way back… Enough about this detail!
The plot! Winding like those old battered roads suffering from scorching days. Gripping like those tales of faraway adventures filled with danger. Loud like the fireworks that make you jump in the dark. Full of twists, turns, and knots that wrap themselves around the characters’ neck to force the life out of them. Revenge is bloody. Vendettas leave bodies in their trail. A Silent Death draw its originality in the author’s amazing talent at building tension while relentlessly surprising us with an acute and almost scary dissection of what drive us to the edge.
Thank you to Martina at Midas for inviting me to be part of this blog tour. It is a pleasure to follow Peter and his books.
Peter May was an award-winning journalist at the age of just twenty-one. He left newspapers for television and screenwriting, creating three prime-time British drama series and accruing more than 1,000 television credits. He is published in 32 languages and has sold several million copies worldwide as well as winning numerous awards. His last novel I’ll Keep You Safe (2018) was no.1 in The Times book charts and his new novel The Man With No Face is due to come out in January 2019. In recent years he won the Best Crime Novel Award for The Blackhouse at Bouchercon in the US, Entry Island won the Deanston Crime Book of the Year and Specsavers ITV3 Crime Thriller Book Club Best Read Award. See for more details. Or follow him at @authorpetermay