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The Silent Boy by Andrew Taylor

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Shortlisted for the CWA Endeavour Historical Dagger 2015.

In the Scent of Death Andrew Taylor introduced us to Edward Savill, a young English clerk in British controlled Manhattan at the height of the American War of Independence in 1778. 14 years later as the French Revolution rages he is working in London when he gets word that his estranged wife has been killed and ten year old Charles is brought to England. But Charles has seen terrible things that he’s been told not to tell anyone, ever and his trauma has left him mute and Edward struggling to unravel the truth.

If you like Andrew Taylor you might also like to read books by Jacqueline Winspear, Peter Robinson and Ruth Rendell.

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The Silent Boy by Andrew Taylor

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 emigre 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'

'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'

'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

About the Author

Andrew Taylor

Andrew Taylor has been a full-time writer since 1981, and has written over twenty books. He has been described by The Times as 'One of Britain's best writers of psychological suspense.'

Having decided to become a writer at the age of ten, he claims that it was his newly recognised facility for writing stories, teamed with the idea that a writer's life consisted of not wearing a tie to work, that first attracted him to the career. More recently however he has suggested that 'one of the attractions of writing fiction is that it allows you to create your own little universe and play God to your heart's content.' It was the discovery of Sherlock Holmes at the tender of age of eight and earlier yet with Enid Blyton's Hurrah for Little Noddy, that his love for crime novels was incited. 'Another thing I like about crime fiction' he asserts, 'is its lack of pretension. It sets out to entertain - it's fiction with its sleeves rolled up.'

In the years preceding Andrew Taylor's breakthrough in the literary world, he worked as a boat-builder, wages clerk, teacher, librarian, labourer and freelance publisher's editor. Since then, Public Lending Right estimates place his British public library readership in the top one per cent.

His novels include the Dougal and Lydmouth crime series, the psychological thriller The Barred Window and his ground-breaking Roth Trilogy, now published in one volume as Requiem for an Angel. He also reviews and writes about crime fiction, particularly in the Independent Awards received for his books include the John Creasey Memorial award from the Crime Writer's Association and an Edgar Scroll from the Mystery Writers of America, both for Caroline Minuscule, and the CWA's Ellis Peters Historical Dagger. The Roth Trilogy was adapted into the acclaimed ITV drama 'Fallen Angel'. 'The American Boy' was a 2005 Richard & Judy Book Club choice.

He lives in the Forest of Dean with his wife, a photographer, and their two children.

Author photo © Caroline Silverwood

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Book Info

Publication date

23rd February 2015


Andrew Taylor

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HarperCollins Publishers Ltd an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers


448 pages


Historical Fiction
Thriller / Suspense
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Crime & mystery
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