The Quiet People – Paul Cleave

Cameron and Lisa Murdoch are successful New Zealand crime writers, happily married and topping bestseller lists worldwide. They have been on the promotional circuit for years, joking that no one knows how to get away with crime like they do. After all, they write about it for a living.

So when their challenging seven-year-old son Zach disappears, the police and the public naturally wonder if they have finally decided to prove what they have been saying all this time… 

Are they trying to show how they can commit the perfect crime?

Electrifying, taut and immaculately plotted, The Quiet People is a chilling, tantalisingly twisted thriller that will keep you gripped and guessing to the last explosive page.

Print length: 419 pages. Publisher: Orenda. Publication Date: 25 September 2021

Paul is an award-winning author who divides his time between his home city of Christchurch, New Zealand, where most of his novels are set, and Europe. He has won the New Zealand Ngaio Marsh Award three times, the Saint-Maur book festival’s crime novel of the year award in France, and has been shortlisted for the Edgar and the Barry in the US and the Ned Kelly in Australia. His books have been translated into over twenty languages. He’s thrown his frisbee in over forty countries, plays tennis badly, golf even worse, and has two cats – which is often two too many.

My Review

This standalone crime thriller has just popped straight into my Top Ten books of 2021 and that’s because it’s simply OUTSTANDING.

I read a lot of crime thrillers and whilst so many of them are wonderful, not many of them tick the boxes that THE QUIET PEOPLE does.

The books is original, intelligent, fast paced, gripping and terrifying in equal measures and I literally couldn’t put it down.

This is the story of a crime writing husband and wife team, Cameron & Lisa Murdoch with a successful career, a back catalogue of books, fans around the world and a new book due to be published shortly. They live in New Zealand with their seven year old son Zach. He is not an easy child, prone to tantrums, behavioural issues and potentially on the spectrum, Cameron & Lisa appear to manage his outbursts and cope with his demanding behaviour as well as they can.

When Cameron gets up one morning he finds Zach gone and the bedroom window open. Desperate and scared the parents start looking for their son and immediately call the police.

The book is skillfully narrated by Cameron, an emotional and determined father trying to find his son and the detective put in charge of the case who seems to be blinkered when it comes to solving this crime.

This is an extremely fast paced story with chapters designed to keep the readers on their toes, second guessing everything and everyone throughout the story. You can literally smell the fear from Cameron when the police and the public decide it must be the parents, especially as more evidence is discovered which points to Cameron and Lisa.

There were so many OMG moments and twists and turns throughout the book I felt emotionally drained at the end and The Quiet People makes a parent question how far they would go to save their child and what lines they would cross.

This is the easiest 5 stars for me and I can’t recommend it enough.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

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