From the No. 1 bestselling author of THE AMERICAN BOY comes a brilliant new historical thriller set during the French Revolution. Selected as Historical Novel of the Year by The Times and Sunday Times, and picked as one of Radio 4’s Crime Books of the Year.
Paris, 1792. Terror reigns as the city writhes in the grip of revolution. The streets run with blood as thousands lose their heads to the guillotine. Edward Savill, working in London as agent for a wealthy American, receives word that his estranged wife Augusta has been killed in France. She leaves behind ten-year-old Charles, who is brought to England to Charnwood Court, a house in the country leased by a group of émigré refugees.
Savill is sent to retrieve the boy, though it proves easier to reach Charnwood than to leave. And only when Savill arrives there does he discover that Charles is mute. The boy has witnessed horrors beyond his years, but what terrible secret haunts him so deeply that he is unable to utter a word?
Praise for The Silent Boy:
‘In this taut thriller, Andrew Taylor deftly weaves unobtrusive historical research with a page-turning plot’ The Times, Books of the Year
‘Great tale, great history, great Taylor’ Radio 4, Crime Books of the Year
‘Taylor has not only succeeded in constructing a labyrinthine plot that is gripping to the last page, but he also created an entirely believable child, traumatised but resolute, whose plight is the fuel for true suspense’ Guardian
‘As a writer, Taylor wears his learning lightly and shares with Hilary Mantel the capacity to take the reader directly into a vanished world’ Times Literary Supplement
‘Taylor is a wonder; once again he marries flawlessly integrated historical detail … and a knotty and involving mystery as strong as anything in the historical crime fiction field. I suspect Taylor should start clearing a space next to his current writing trophies’ Financial Times
‘Don’t keep quiet about The Silent Boy. Tell everyone: it’s a really excellent page-turning thriller set in a fascinating period in Anglo-French history’ Robert Goddard
‘Many elements of The Silent Boy bring Dickens … It is utterly gripping, extremely well executed and suspenseful to the last’ Spectator
'Taylor's mastery of plot and character show to great effect in a story that has a depth few other historical crime novels can match' Sunday Times
'I enjoyed this book very much indeed. I found the evocation of late 18th Century England, and the French exiles, effortlessly authentic, the hunt for Charles gripping, and the portrayal and first-person narrative of the helpless, traumatised, yet strong and resourceful little boy moving and believable. An excellent work.' C J Sansom, author of Revelation
‘A gripping and atmospheric thriller – the perfect blend of dark suspense, appealing characters and fascinating history. I loved it!’ Antonia Hodgson, author of The Devil in the Marshalsea
About the author
Andrew Taylor is the multiple award-winning author of The American Boy, his No. 1 bestselling historical novel which was a 2005 Richard & Judy Book Club choice. He has won many awards, including the CWA John Creasey New Blood Dagger, an Edgar Scroll from the Mystery Writers of America, the CWA Ellis Peters Historical Award (the only author to win it three times) and the CWA’s prestigious Diamond Dagger, awarded for sustained excellence in crime writing.