cover image Part of the Silence

Part of the Silence

Debbie Howells. Kensington, $25 (320p) ISBN 978-1-4967-0691-1

The discovery of a young woman beaten and left for dead on a farm in Cornwall drives this complex, confusing psychological thriller from British author Howells (The Beauty of the End). When the victim, whose name is Evie Sherman or maybe Jen Russell, wakes up, she has amnesia. All she remembers is that she has a three-year-old daughter whom no one can find any trace of. Meanwhile, Charlotte Harrison recognizes Evie’s picture in the paper and agrees to help the police by talking to the girlhood friend she remembers as Jen. But Jen, sedated in her hospital bed, shows no sign of recognizing Charlotte. The police investigation inevitably leads to a very cold case: the disappearance and presumed death years before of a small girl whom Jen was babysitting. When the body of an errant teen runaway turns up, it’s not clear how, or even if, it’s related. Readers are likely to guess one of the big surprises long before the less-than-satisfying end. [em]Agent: Juliet Mushens, Agency Group (U.K.). (July) [/em]