By: Tracy Buchanan
Published on: April 1, 2020
Wall of Silence opens with the inner thoughts of the person who has stabbed Patrick Byatt, the husband and father of the family. It is automatically clear that one of the three children is responsible for it and there is a cover-up being formed, not to mention overall panic. Soon, Melissa comes home from a bike-ride to find her husband bleeding on the kitchen floor. The children provide some responses to her questions on what happened, but being their mother it doesn’t take her too long to realize the answers aren’t completely truthful.
As you read, the author gives you a very well-rounded view of what a gossipy small town neighborhood might be like. The Byatt’s live in a village called Forest Grove labeled “Utopia of the Woods,” where everything is seemingly perfect and serene. That is except for the Byatt’s, who have had their share of tragedies due to the death of one of their sons several years prior – Joel – and one involving Melissa’s mother.
The neighbors and the village play a decent-sized role within the story as well. Sprinkled through-out the book are “Forest Grove Facebook Chit Chat Group” chapters, where we read the messages being sent in real-time by their neighbors and what they are relaying to each other in regards to the events and what they think about them. In these text/chat messages we get a more accurate sense of their inner feelings and prejudices that social media tends to bring out of some. Sniping, conjectures, rumor-starting….
One of the main factors that will most likely determine whether or not you fully invest into this story is whether you can related to the style of the narrative and overall storytelling. It has a different type of presentation than other thrillers especially with the ‘chit-chat’ group chapters, but probably accurately reflects a lot of what you might see in different social media outlets. It wasn’t quite my style, but that is just me and I feel confident this will work for others.
Rating: 3.5 stars
Melissa Byatt’s life in Forest Grove seems as perfect as can be: a doting husband, three loving children and a beautiful house in a close-knit community. But appearances can be deceiving.
One evening, Melissa arrives home to the unimaginable: her husband lies stabbed on the kitchen floor, their children standing calmly around him…With horror, she realises that one of them is to blame. But which one? And why would they attack their own father?
Her loyalties torn, in a split second she decides to protect her children at all costs—even if that means lying to the police. But when someone in the neighbourhood claims to know more than they should, Melissa discovers that some secrets are beyond her control…
Can she find out the truth of what happened before the rumours spread? And can the family unite to escape the spotlight of scandal—or are none of them as innocent as Melissa insists?