Longlisted for the New Blood Dagger Award 2021
'A darkly gripping and addictive read. I tore through it in a few days’ ESTHER FREUD
'Deeply engrossing … an exquisite literary thriller’ PHILIPPA EAST
‘Emotionally wrenching’ WALL STREET JOURNAL
‘Impossible to put down’ TREVOR WOOD
A missing woman
30 years ago, in the suffocating heat of a Sydney summer, the Greens’ next-door neighbour Mandy disappeared without a trace.
A cold case reopened
In 1997, in a basement flat in Hackney, Isla Green is awakened by a call in the middle of the night: her father is under suspicion of Mandy’s murder.
A devastating secret
How well does Isla know her father? Is he capable of doing something terrible? And is there another secret in their community – a conspiracy of silence which stretches deep into Australia’s past?
‘An atmospheric, convincing portrayal of the way that the decisions we make, both individually and collectively, reverberate down the years’ GUARDIAN
‘Allott uses the scandal of Australia’s stolen children to devastating effect in this memorable debut’ SUNDAY TIMES
'A riveting mystery, beautifully unwound. The Silence excavates dark, decades-old secrets buried in human hearts, in families and in nations. I read it in one weekend’ ERIN KELLY
‘An impressive and beautifully written, Australian-set debut with the devastating subject of the Stolen Generation at its core’ FIONA MITCHELL
‘Tense, atmospheric and brilliantly paced. The Silence is fraught with disturbing secrets and powerful emotions. I loved it’ FRANCESCA JAKOBI
‘A brooding, suspenseful debut’ SUNDAY MIRROR
‘A suspenseful, beautifully crafted debut for fans of Celeste Ng and Jane Harper’ TELEGRAPH AUSTRALIA
‘Intricate and suspenseful… [a] stellar debut’ NEW YORK JOURNAL OF BOOKS
About the author
Susan Allott is from the UK but spent part of her twenties in Australia, desperately homesick but trying to make Sydney her home. In 2016 she completed the Faber Academy course, during which she started writing this novel. She now lives in south London with her two children and her very Australian husband.
British author Allot's solid if gloomy debut touches on domestic violence and a shameful piece of Australian history. In 1997 London, Isla Green receives a phone call from Australia from her alcoholic father, Joe, who tells her he's the prime suspect in the possible murder of Mandy Mallory, who vanished from their Sydney neighborhood 30 years earlier. Isla believes her father when he says he's innocent, and decides to visit Sydney to uncover the truth. Flashbacks to 1967 reveal that Mandy is unhappily married to Steve, a disturbed cop who must forcibly remove Aboriginal children from their families. Meanwhile, Joe's wife, Louisa, distressed by his drinking, leaves him and returns home to England with Isla, then a small child. Joe and Mandy's marital woes bring them together, and they begin an affair. Back in 1997, Isla pieces together cloudy childhood memories with shocking secrets from her parents in her effort to clear Joe's name. Allot does a good job building tension, but what happened to Mandy will surprise few readers. This one's for mystery fans who prefer in-depth character studies to action-driven plots.