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The Silence

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Antiques dealer Nell West is valuing the contents of her late husband Brad’s childhood home, Stilter House. Set on the remote Derbyshire Peaks, there was once a much older property there, in which the notorious Isobel Acton committed a vicious crime. Warned against visiting the house by an elderly aunt of Brad’s, Nell hears mysterious piano music soon after her arrival. It Antiques dealer Nell West is valuing the contents of her late husband Brad’s childhood home, Stilter House. Set on the remote Derbyshire Peaks, there was once a much older property there, in which the notorious Isobel Acton committed a vicious crime. Warned against visiting the house by an elderly aunt of Brad’s, Nell hears mysterious piano music soon after her arrival. It becomes clear that the music is tangled with Isobel Acton’s macabre fate more than a hundred years earlier. A fate whose consequences still menace the present.


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Antiques dealer Nell West is valuing the contents of her late husband Brad’s childhood home, Stilter House. Set on the remote Derbyshire Peaks, there was once a much older property there, in which the notorious Isobel Acton committed a vicious crime. Warned against visiting the house by an elderly aunt of Brad’s, Nell hears mysterious piano music soon after her arrival. It Antiques dealer Nell West is valuing the contents of her late husband Brad’s childhood home, Stilter House. Set on the remote Derbyshire Peaks, there was once a much older property there, in which the notorious Isobel Acton committed a vicious crime. Warned against visiting the house by an elderly aunt of Brad’s, Nell hears mysterious piano music soon after her arrival. It becomes clear that the music is tangled with Isobel Acton’s macabre fate more than a hundred years earlier. A fate whose consequences still menace the present.

30 review for The Silence

  1. 5 out of 5

    Kaethe Douglas

    Jume 13, 2013 Ah, there's nothing like a British ghost story, set in an old house with the electricity off, fires and storms, and comforting post-trauma cups of tea, to really delight on a sunny day in the 90s. Nell has received a commission from a great-aunt of her dead husband to take inventory of a family home before it goes on the market. She's there to roughly appraise the furnishings and bric a brac in her professional capacity as an antiques dealer. And, because it's a home her late husban Jume 13, 2013 Ah, there's nothing like a British ghost story, set in an old house with the electricity off, fires and storms, and comforting post-trauma cups of tea, to really delight on a sunny day in the 90s. Nell has received a commission from a great-aunt of her dead husband to take inventory of a family home before it goes on the market. She's there to roughly appraise the furnishings and bric a brac in her professional capacity as an antiques dealer. And, because it's a home her late husband visited as a boy, it's lovely to take along their daughter, connect a little with each other and the past. My beloved MIL loaned this to me after she finished it, because we share the Rayne/Barbara Vine/Minette Walters reading strain that makes us fans of psychological mysteries stretching back into the past. Let me just say that she was disappointed not to learn more about the furniture and such. (Not me, because I'm more interested in architecture and building than in furnishing). I love in unreservedly. There's the strong sense of place, the chilling horror on a stormy night, digging up the past in layers, a light smattering of very mild contemporary romance, skeletons in closets, nasty things in woodsheds, and past horribleness than one can fit into forty pages of revelations. There's also what I think of as the distinctly Mary Stewart trick of taking a break from the creepiness to enjoy a cuppa and a delicious meal. Fans of Edwardian children's fiction will also be pleased. Library copy

  2. 4 out of 5

    C.

    Sarah Rayne is a gem, publishing genuinely mysterious spirit mysteries for adults. In “The Silence”, 2013, the authoress unravels a cluster of old cases, without the detracting tendency to tack on modern ones. Present day excitement derives from ghosts! This house was personal. Nell's husband enjoyed vacationing there. Appropriately, she brought Beth to acquaint her Dad's childhood. Unfortunately, I felt the rooms were hardly explored or described. Books rarely portray the emotional meetings with Sarah Rayne is a gem, publishing genuinely mysterious spirit mysteries for adults. In “The Silence”, 2013, the authoress unravels a cluster of old cases, without the detracting tendency to tack on modern ones. Present day excitement derives from ghosts! This house was personal. Nell's husband enjoyed vacationing there. Appropriately, she brought Beth to acquaint her Dad's childhood. Unfortunately, I felt the rooms were hardly explored or described. Books rarely portray the emotional meetings with spirits I want. I don't want evil. Beholding proof of spirits would be naturally spooky. I want characters to communicate with spirits in their awe. Beth did with a boy, a little bit. If a female ghost could endanger Nell, surely they could have talked. Nell's reluctance to believe in spirits is stupid and Michael wondering what to do upon received a warning from Brad's living Aunt. This is their third ghost investigation! It seemed odd that Nell & Beth took few mementoes from a house they were closing. A key document being in a book that they took home, only thanks to Michael, was overly convenient even for me. Every other way in which they strung the mysteries together was invigorating. This was less riveting than “Property Of A Lady” but far less grotesque and entailed direct hauntings. These first and third volumes register five stars. There are other novels I love more but these are my favourite kinds nonetheless. I locate them in hardcover. Motive is usually my criticism. Murder is never justifiable. However when you read how bizarrely a boy interpreted a warning to clam up, why he didn't identify the killer to his father later, and why his mother died; you will consider the explanations exceedingly weak. What's clever is his identity, connecting with crimes spanning decades, that drifts to the forefront.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Diane

    A chilling and fascinating ghost story. I actually read it in less than a day. Nell West is a widowed antiques dealer with a young daughter, Beth. Her late husband's aunt asks her to evaluate the contents of Stilter House, an old house that has belonged to the family for more than a century. It is situated on the Derbyshire Peaks and is built on the remains of an older home owned by the Actons. Nell is drawn to the house because her late husband spent time there as a child. However, unbeknownst t A chilling and fascinating ghost story. I actually read it in less than a day. Nell West is a widowed antiques dealer with a young daughter, Beth. Her late husband's aunt asks her to evaluate the contents of Stilter House, an old house that has belonged to the family for more than a century. It is situated on the Derbyshire Peaks and is built on the remains of an older home owned by the Actons. Nell is drawn to the house because her late husband spent time there as a child. However, unbeknownst to Nell, the property is the site of horrific crimes, some of which predate Stilter House. Although Stilter House looks empty, it is most definitely not - as Nell and her daughter soon discover. Ms Rayne does a good job of combining history and horror. Old journals, news accounts, and even confessions play an integral part in the story. However, there is plenty of action as well, most notably in a nail-biting scene when Nell and Beth encounter a truly horrifying specter. This is not a book you want to read late at night. I like Nell, Beth, and Nell's boyfriend, Michael Flint, a professor at Oriel College and author of the "Wilberforce" stories (children's books about his real-life cat). Ms Rayne does a very good job with her characters. You really come to care for them. I like the little jokes about Michael's cat, who has a penchant for getting into trouble that reminds me of my cats. It's funny to think that a professor who teaches Swinburne and Tennyson to college students is also the author of a children's series about a rambunctious cat. Very recommended.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    I have grown to think that there are supernatural novels that work for casual readers of the genre and those that work for those readers that concentrate on horror and dark fiction. This novel was for the former. Is there such a thing as a horror “cozy” like there are for mysteries? If so, this is a horror cozy. If it was a movie it would be rated PG. Rayne is a good writer and I didn’t dislike the book. I don’t really have a complaint other than this story was too bland for my tastes.

  5. 5 out of 5

    KL Caley

    Nell West returns in another historical mystery. In this novel Nell is invited to Stilter House to catalogue its contents. Nell takes her daughter Beth along with her as it was Beth’s deceased fathers childhood summer home. Immediately Nell gets entangled in uncovering the past and the truth about the mysterious Isobel Acton. This story is the third in the Nell West series and differs from the previous Nell West novels in that the historical plot is mostly revealed through the use of old docume Nell West returns in another historical mystery. In this novel Nell is invited to Stilter House to catalogue its contents. Nell takes her daughter Beth along with her as it was Beth’s deceased fathers childhood summer home. Immediately Nell gets entangled in uncovering the past and the truth about the mysterious Isobel Acton. This story is the third in the Nell West series and differs from the previous Nell West novels in that the historical plot is mostly revealed through the use of old documents, letters, diaries and the odd newspaper cutting. I think this format worked really well and was very intriguing as a reader to follow. For me, Rayne’s writing really shines during the historical timeline. Edmund and his relationship with his father is brilliantly described and very believable. The characters Jack and Samuel were also really interesting and how each character’s story knitted together was brilliantly tantalising right the way through the story. As with all Sarah Rayne’s books I have read, the settings and atmosphere are excellently written and the reader can’t help but be absorbed into the dark and mysterious environments. The only minor downside in this novel was the modern storyline takes a very minimalist approach with Nell only really being there to discover the historic story. I do think Nell and Michael are both really great characters and would have liked a little more of them in this book (particularly Michael who was so interesting in the Sin Eater). Overall I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. As a few others have mentioned it did take a little longer to get into that previous books by Sarah Rayne but I think that was mostly due to the historic storyline being revealed in a different manner. Once you get into it though, it is really intriguing and I must say I really enjoyed the outcome. For those that haven’t discovered the Nell West collection, I would suggest these novels are quite similarly written to Phil Rickman’s work; old story exposed, great characters and slightly eerie.  Please leave a like if you think my review/feedback of the item was helpful to you. Alternatively, please contact me if you want me to clarify something in my review.

  6. 4 out of 5

    tinalouisereadsbooks

    I stumbled on this author by chance and had to read one of her books. The Silence is the third to feature Nell West and Michael Flint. I do prefer to read in order but my local library didn't have the first one, so I jumped straight in with the third. My way of thinking is that if I don't enjoy this one I probably won't like the rest of the series. Enjoy it I did. This book for me was a really enjoyable read. Nell West is invited by an aunt to catalogue valuables in Stilter House in Derbyshire. I stumbled on this author by chance and had to read one of her books. The Silence is the third to feature Nell West and Michael Flint. I do prefer to read in order but my local library didn't have the first one, so I jumped straight in with the third. My way of thinking is that if I don't enjoy this one I probably won't like the rest of the series. Enjoy it I did. This book for me was a really enjoyable read. Nell West is invited by an aunt to catalogue valuables in Stilter House in Derbyshire. The house however has plenty of residents ghosts, and a few legends to go with it. Nell and Michael together uncover the history of the house and try to lay the ghosts to rest, although Nell is sceptical about all of that. A lot of the story about the house and past residents is uncovered in diary, letter, journal form with varoius characters giving their accounts. I really enjoyed this and theses were my favourite part of the book. The story is a ghostly tale, classic haunted house. The story however was dark and fearsome but did have some creepy moments. I liked Nell and Michael and will get around to getting more books in the series. If I don't read them in order I really don't think it will make much difference. This book was spooky and fun to read. A light easy read with plenty of creepy moments. Glad I have discovered this author.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Charlotte Hunter

    This is the third in a series, but the author makes the story easily accessible to readers who've not read found the first two. Nell West, widowed mother of a daughter, goes to Stilter House, in Derbyshire, England, to catalogue antiques in a house recently left vacant after the death of one of her deceased husband's aunts. Nell and her daughter, Beth, go on the journey together, staying at Stilter House--and, of course, the power is out--so that Beth can share in what, long ago, was a place her This is the third in a series, but the author makes the story easily accessible to readers who've not read found the first two. Nell West, widowed mother of a daughter, goes to Stilter House, in Derbyshire, England, to catalogue antiques in a house recently left vacant after the death of one of her deceased husband's aunts. Nell and her daughter, Beth, go on the journey together, staying at Stilter House--and, of course, the power is out--so that Beth can share in what, long ago, was a place her new-dead father enjoyed as a boy, during school vacations. Almost immediately Beth meets Esmond, a young mute boy who plays upon the grand piano in the drawing room and communicates with Beth, and only Beth, silently . . . and Nell gradually realizes her husband, as a child, also knew Esmond. Swirling around this main story are letters between the surviving aunts of Nell's husband, one of whom is convinced Nell should not stay in the house, tho' her objections are cryptic. Other letters comprise whole chapters, these written by the man who designed and built Stilter House, early in the 20th century. All these are critical to Nell's eventual understanding of the mysterious sounds and frightening images that fill Stilter House and, in fact, appear to menace her and Beth. I love ghost stories, but this one doesn't work for several reasons. First, while Rayne produces some very nicely creepy moments, particularly a dark figure seen by Nell outside the house on several occasions, her attempt to tie the ghosts together in a meaningful, emotionally satisfying manner, is unsuccessful; the denouement feels clunky, almost forced, and throughout the story I had the impression Rayne was never able fully to embrace any of her ghosts, and I as reader thus never cared deeply about the ghosts or what caused them to be bound to Stilter House. Second, epistolary novels can be a great deal of fun, when done well. Rayne, however, doesn't succeed here. NO ONE writes letters such as the ones Rayne constructs for her House builder, and the enormous swathe of letters in The Silence left me feeling Rayne simply could not figure out any other way of introducing the backstory to her readers. These long and unlikely letters (actually, records of interviews between the builder and his doctor) hit the reader over the head and, ultimately, are dull. Third, Nell is properly skeptical at first of the strange happenings at Stilter House. Do ghosts reside here? Are she and Beth experiencing auditory and visual hallucinations? Yet long after everyone else has begun to suspect (if not know) that Stilter House is lousy with ghosts, Nell persists, illogically, in questioning the supernatural possibilities, and here Rayne stumbles again. After all, this is a character who has already experienced the supernatural (despite a healthy skepticism) in two previous books. Would she really be as slow to consider she has done so again? I was perplexed that Rayne asked readers to accept such an obdurate, if not downright stupid, protagonist who becomes the equivalent of the idiot who hears mysterious sounds in the attic and, despite warnings from others and ample evidence that what's up there is definitely not mice, insists on plunging upward armed only with a flashlight and not a lot of smarts. I would have given this book 2.5 stars for the occasional nice creepy moment. Fans of good ghost stories don't have many solid writers to whom they can turn, particularly if they want a touch of romance that doesn't involve the hero/heroine falling in love with a ghost. Rayne, alas, isn't going to fill the void. One would do better to seek out Yrsa Sigardardottir's I Remember You (2014), John Harwood's The Seance (2010), or, better still, reread the delightful--and very creepy--ghost stories written by Barbara Mertz (under the pen name, Barbara Michaels), such as Ammie, Come Home, The House of Many Shadows, The Crying Child, and so on. Any one of Michaels' books, despite dated cultural references, runs rings around the ghost stories written by Sarah Rayne.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Annette Gisby

    This is the third book in the Nell West/Michael Flint ghost series, even though Nell has a hard time believing in ghosts, and I loved it just as much as the other two. Although this is classed as horror, it's not in a gory sense. More in a scared out of your wits sense at things that go bump in the night, and in this case play eerie music that haunts the house and anyone who inhabits it. I had to read something else before I went to bed, something not so scary. I have a soft spot for old-fashione This is the third book in the Nell West/Michael Flint ghost series, even though Nell has a hard time believing in ghosts, and I loved it just as much as the other two. Although this is classed as horror, it's not in a gory sense. More in a scared out of your wits sense at things that go bump in the night, and in this case play eerie music that haunts the house and anyone who inhabits it. I had to read something else before I went to bed, something not so scary. I have a soft spot for old-fashioned ghost stories, which I think this is. At first we don't know anything about the ghosts (for there are more than one) but gradually over the course of the book we find out about Stilter House's past and its past residents. What I loved and what is lacking in a lot of books in the genre, is that we find out things at the same time as the character's do. The reader is more involved that way I think than if they knew things beforehand that the characters didn't. The writing is brilliant, it draws you in from the very first page and doesn't let up until the last page is turned. I devoured the book in two days, I needed to know what happened and the secrets just kept on coming. While Nell and Michael find out things from letters and deeds, it might have seemed a bit contrived, but here it worked and all the loose ends were tied up very satisfactorily. Like with nearly all of Ms. Rayne's books, old buildings play a significant part and Stilter House almost becomes a character in its own right, the setting is so vividly drawn. You can almost imagine seeing the house yourself, or its spectral inhabitants. An excellent read for those looking for an old-fashioned ghost story with enough twists and turns to keep you guessing right to the end.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Alethea

    This was the third installment of the Nell West & Michael Flint series, all involving old homes, angry ghosts, centuries-old mysteries… I didn’t love the second book, which is why I took a bit of a break between that and this, but I had barely begun this novel when I realized I was entirely captured. The story is this – Nell’s deceased husband, Brad, had spent childhood summer with his Aunt Catherine at her home, Stilter House, in Derbyshire. Brad’s aunt asks Nell to come and look over Stilter f This was the third installment of the Nell West & Michael Flint series, all involving old homes, angry ghosts, centuries-old mysteries… I didn’t love the second book, which is why I took a bit of a break between that and this, but I had barely begun this novel when I realized I was entirely captured. The story is this – Nell’s deceased husband, Brad, had spent childhood summer with his Aunt Catherine at her home, Stilter House, in Derbyshire. Brad’s aunt asks Nell to come and look over Stilter for sellable antiques after Catherine’s death. After arriving at Stilter House, Nell and her daughter, Beth, encounter eerie, inexplicable piano music, the faint, slightly blurry ghost of a young, mute boy named Esmond, and the spirit of a frighteningly thin woman who bangs on the outside glass in the music room, scrabbling to get in late at night. The aunt who asked Nell to go there has left a VM at her home telling her to be sure NOT to stay overnight in the house; Michael intercepts the message, has difficulty reaching Nell by phone, and decides to go to Stilter himself. The number of ghosts seemed daunting for the writer, but she interwove them and explored each’s connection to the other, putting them all in perfectly situated places in the narrative, and ending with a fantastic conclusion. I had no inkling who the ultimate killers would be, and so this was attention-gripping until the last page.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Nancy

    Acton House in Derbyshire, England, was the site of a murder. Then that house was torn down and Stilter House built with many claiming it was haunted. Nell West is an antiques dealer who goes to Stilter House with her daughter, Beth, Beth, to evaluate and catalog the antiquities. It is also the house where her now deceased husband and Beth's father had grown up. It doesn't take long for them to hear piano music where there could be none and for Beth to form a friendship with a young boy who may Acton House in Derbyshire, England, was the site of a murder. Then that house was torn down and Stilter House built with many claiming it was haunted. Nell West is an antiques dealer who goes to Stilter House with her daughter, Beth, Beth, to evaluate and catalog the antiquities. It is also the house where her now deceased husband and Beth's father had grown up. It doesn't take long for them to hear piano music where there could be none and for Beth to form a friendship with a young boy who may or may not really be there. Those who said the house was haunted had no idea of the sad history of the place or the number of people who were "living" in the house. A really fun spooky romp through the history of the two houses and the tragedies which took place there. Recommended for anyone who likes a fast-paced spooky read.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jan

    An excellent book. Rayne's books can be overwhelmingly grisly, while beautifully written...also her plots can drag. In this novel she is back in form, all the squares are checked! The ghost story lover, the mystery buff, the historian, the antiquarian - each will find a draw! So will anyone who likes a well-written book compelling enough to turn the next page. Surprise ending! As is seen in other books by this author the evil is done by the living, not by the dead. But the ghosts are not explain An excellent book. Rayne's books can be overwhelmingly grisly, while beautifully written...also her plots can drag. In this novel she is back in form, all the squares are checked! The ghost story lover, the mystery buff, the historian, the antiquarian - each will find a draw! So will anyone who likes a well-written book compelling enough to turn the next page. Surprise ending! As is seen in other books by this author the evil is done by the living, not by the dead. But the ghosts are not explained away by "oh, it was just a kid with a sheet over his head" bromides, which irritate those readers who expect the ghosts to be ghosts! Run, do not stop go, to your bookseller. AAA+++!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Anne

    Nell is asked by her deceased Husband's aunt to go and evaluate the things in Stilwater house which she plans to sell. Nell is interested in this jaunt because her husband lived there years ago and she is curious about the old place. As they decide the spend the first night there without electricity, etc. right away your senses are awakened that something strange will be happening. A past murder, a boy who may or not be there, strange music and other things contribute to the sinister aspect of t Nell is asked by her deceased Husband's aunt to go and evaluate the things in Stilwater house which she plans to sell. Nell is interested in this jaunt because her husband lived there years ago and she is curious about the old place. As they decide the spend the first night there without electricity, etc. right away your senses are awakened that something strange will be happening. A past murder, a boy who may or not be there, strange music and other things contribute to the sinister aspect of the home.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Lynn Reynolds

    Disappointing. Creepy ghosts in a creepy setting, but a protagonist almost "too stupid to live." (If you were alone in a house with no power and no phone and an apparently crazy woman broke in and terrorized you, would you really keep going back there - even though the woman hasn't been a apprehended? Would you bring your little girl along each time???) I have read and enjoyed other books by Sarah Rayne, so I'm just going to put this one down to her having an off day. Disappointing. Creepy ghosts in a creepy setting, but a protagonist almost "too stupid to live." (If you were alone in a house with no power and no phone and an apparently crazy woman broke in and terrorized you, would you really keep going back there - even though the woman hasn't been a apprehended? Would you bring your little girl along each time???) I have read and enjoyed other books by Sarah Rayne, so I'm just going to put this one down to her having an off day.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Stacie Morrell

    Creepy spooky fun! Ms. Rayne continues the relationship with the main characters from "Property of a Lady' and "The Sin Eater' in this book. It provides nice development to the characters and a chilling traditional ghost story that had me looking over my shoulder more than once. Home alone on a dark night? Might not want to read this if you have a sensitive disposition. Save until daylight. Creepy spooky fun! Ms. Rayne continues the relationship with the main characters from "Property of a Lady' and "The Sin Eater' in this book. It provides nice development to the characters and a chilling traditional ghost story that had me looking over my shoulder more than once. Home alone on a dark night? Might not want to read this if you have a sensitive disposition. Save until daylight.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Deanne

    Good ghost story which focuses on the spooky rather than the gory.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Debbie

    creepy at times but it moved way to slowly for me..

  17. 4 out of 5

    Patricia

    Another terrific English ghost story for Sarah Rayne. I have one caveat but will not mention it here because it would be a spoiler. Still it was a great read and I enjoyed every bit of it.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Trine

    The best book in the series so far. Very spooky read!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Helen

    I find this haunted house series to be a compelling combination of creepiness and cosiness (regarding the latter, I wish Michael's cosy stories about Wilberforce the cat really existed; I would so read them!) This one was of particular interest as it's set in my neck of the woods ie. around Bakewell in Derbyshire and I could easily visualise the village and Stilter House, a place with a macabre history. It's a spooky read with Rayne's trademark gruesome touches including the use of a scold's bri I find this haunted house series to be a compelling combination of creepiness and cosiness (regarding the latter, I wish Michael's cosy stories about Wilberforce the cat really existed; I would so read them!) This one was of particular interest as it's set in my neck of the woods ie. around Bakewell in Derbyshire and I could easily visualise the village and Stilter House, a place with a macabre history. It's a spooky read with Rayne's trademark gruesome touches including the use of a scold's bridle.... what a dreadful invention. Michael and Nell remind me of Mulder and Scully although I don't understand why Nell still has such a disbelief in the supernatural when she's witnessed so much evidence for it!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Sadia Saleem

    I absolutely love books that span through various eras and tells a tale that intrigues you to read on. The silence was just right up my alley. A book dedicated to a haunted house and the darkness that unrests within it. A wife returns with their daughter back to her deceased husbands summer vacation home which he frequently visited, a home owned by his aunt along with ghosts that lurks in the house. Nell, an antiques dealer is intrigued to find out what happened in Stilter House and unfolds the I absolutely love books that span through various eras and tells a tale that intrigues you to read on. The silence was just right up my alley. A book dedicated to a haunted house and the darkness that unrests within it. A wife returns with their daughter back to her deceased husbands summer vacation home which he frequently visited, a home owned by his aunt along with ghosts that lurks in the house. Nell, an antiques dealer is intrigued to find out what happened in Stilter House and unfolds the mystery surrounding deaths and disappearance along with her second husband Michael. Esmond was the one character that you would remember in this book with a sadness. I love reading a good, well written ghost tale and this did not disappoint. A light haunted read!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Farshana ❤️rainnbooks❤️

    The Silence by Sarah Rayne is the 3rd book in the series featuring Michael Flint and Nell West. There's a similar basic thread running across all the 3 books that I have read so far but each of them have been different in varied ways.This was more of a murder mystery unraveling thru letters and notes of previous occupants or builders of the Stilter House. Nell and Michael are more like spectators in this story with things happening to them without serious effect. Esmond's background story was pa The Silence by Sarah Rayne is the 3rd book in the series featuring Michael Flint and Nell West. There's a similar basic thread running across all the 3 books that I have read so far but each of them have been different in varied ways.This was more of a murder mystery unraveling thru letters and notes of previous occupants or builders of the Stilter House. Nell and Michael are more like spectators in this story with things happening to them without serious effect. Esmond's background story was painful but for a horror thriller, the horror chills were lacking.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Ananda

    I would probably give this book a 2.5. I enjoyed the first half of the book; however I felt a bit disappointed with the ending. (view spoiler)[ There was no final conflict/resolution with the evil ghosts, and the resolution of the mysteries surrounding the house mostly came from a single letter and had to do with one culprit (which, for this particular book, seemed a little too coincidental). (hide spoiler)] However, overall it was a fun read. I would probably give this book a 2.5. I enjoyed the first half of the book; however I felt a bit disappointed with the ending. (view spoiler)[ There was no final conflict/resolution with the evil ghosts, and the resolution of the mysteries surrounding the house mostly came from a single letter and had to do with one culprit (which, for this particular book, seemed a little too coincidental). (hide spoiler)] However, overall it was a fun read.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    I liked this book a lot, but one thing bothered me. The character's last names! It's as though Ms. Rayne looked for the most mundane inanimate objects and made them into last names. Here's a sample: Hatfull Stump Brodworthy Burlap Bundle Pursefoot Bracegirdle It's a little thing, but I found them distracting. :-) I liked this book a lot, but one thing bothered me. The character's last names! It's as though Ms. Rayne looked for the most mundane inanimate objects and made them into last names. Here's a sample: Hatfull Stump Brodworthy Burlap Bundle Pursefoot Bracegirdle It's a little thing, but I found them distracting. :-)

  24. 5 out of 5

    Baz

    Wasn't keen on this because I struggled with the time period related to the characters. I also didn't find the plot exciting enough to keep my attention & in fact I didn't finish the book. Disappointing for me. Wasn't keen on this because I struggled with the time period related to the characters. I also didn't find the plot exciting enough to keep my attention & in fact I didn't finish the book. Disappointing for me.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Suvi Tartia

    There were interesting ideas in this book, but I felt that they were not utilized to their full potential, or at least they didn't match my expectations. Would not mind checking out author's other books, though. There were interesting ideas in this book, but I felt that they were not utilized to their full potential, or at least they didn't match my expectations. Would not mind checking out author's other books, though.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Darlene Williams

    Ghost Story With More Than One Ghost Nell, Michael and Beth are delightful main characters. It seems whenever they travel they find ghosts. These poor ghosts are not going to rest quietly until the truth comes out. Lots of investigating goes on. A very good ghost story.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    I don’t understand. The premise sounds amazing and is literally exactly the kind of story I want to read right now, but I’ve tried several times to get into this and I just...can’t....The writing seems so...dry? The characters are flat....I don’t know what it is, but it’s really disappointing!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Fran

    A great plot, as long as you're not too skeptical. A great plot, as long as you're not too skeptical.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Kim Dallmeier

    Definitely one of my Favorites by Sarah Rayne. Really well written, and creepy!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Clifford

    I love these types of stories. And I have read Sarah Rayne before, but this was not one of my favorites, She is a great writer and I love her books, but not this one in particular.

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