Hello everyone, and welcome back to The Bookworm’s Fantast! I hope you’re all doing well. Sorry I haven’t posted for a couple of weeks – I’ve been really busy trying to develop my freelance Copywriting & Marketing business, as well as having to deal with the fact that we’ve just gone into lockdown again here in England!
Today I’m posting my review of Emma Curtis’ latest psychological thriller, ‘Keep Her Quiet’. Curtis is one of my all-time favourite authors, and she very kindly gifted me a SIGNED copy of her latest novel. Unsurprisingly, I really enjoyed the book! Keep reading to discover my thoughts…
Jenny has just given birth to the baby she’s always wanted. She’s never been this happy.
Her husband, Leo, knows this baby girl can’t be his. He’s never felt so betrayed.
The same night, a vulnerable young woman, Hannah, wakes to find her newborn lifeless beside her. She’s crazed with grief.
When chance throws Hannah into Leo’s path, they make a plan that will have shattering consequences for all of them.
Years later, a sixteen-year-old girl reads an article in a newspaper, and embarks on a journey to uncover the truth about herself. But what she learns will put everything she has ever known – and her own life – in grave danger. Because some people will go to desperate lengths to protect the secrets their lives are built on . . .
‘Keep Her Quiet’ (17th September 2020) is Emma Curtis’ fourth novel, following on from ‘One Little Mistake’ (2017), ‘When I Find You’ (2018) and ‘The Night You Left’ (2019). Emma Curtis was born in Brighton and now lives in London with her husband. After raising her two children and working various jobs, her fascination with the darker side of domestic life inspired her to write her acclaimed psychological suspense thrillers.
The book has received lots of positive reviews, from the likes of fellow authors Lesley Kara: “A highly original thriller that will keep you reading well into the night”, Lauren North: “A WOW of a read I won’t be forgetting!”, Jane Corry: “As always, Emma Curtis’ clever skilful writing keeps the reader racing through the pages”, Amanda Robson: “A brilliant, mesmerising novel, written with pure talent”, Nicola Rayner: “Exquisitely plotted, Keep Her Quiet held me in its grip until the small hours” and Claire Douglas: “Heart pounding, unpredictable, clever and original”.
‘Keep Her Quiet’ follows the lives of four protagonists, whose lives are all turned upside down on that fateful night back in 1989. When Jenny gives birth to a baby girl, her husband Leo does not react in the way she hoped. Leo meets stranger Hannah later that night, who has just lost her baby. They make a spur-of-the-moment decision, which will most certainly come back to haunt them…
The narrative is split into two parts: Part One is set in 1989, and Part Two is set 16 years later in 2005. The story is narrated from the first-person perspectives of Jenny and Zoe, and the third-person perspectives of Leo and Hannah, with each chapter switching between narrators. The reader is given an in-depth insight to the characters’ thoughts, feelings and emotions, as well as a distanced account of the events taking place. The narrative is slightly more complex due to the multiple perspectives; however, it is still fairly easy to follow due to the simplistic writing style.
Hannah is by far my favourite character in the novel. When we are first introduced to the young Hannah, she is consumed by grief and loss when her newborn baby dies in the night. She is extremely vulnerable and struggles to deal with the loss of her child – the only thing she has in life. When Hannah meets Leo, she makes a spur-of-the-moment choice that will surely have disastrous consequences for all parties involved. 16 years later, Hannah is trying her best to be a good mother and love her child; but she is still very fragile and has many skeletons lurking in her closet. She becomes extremely anxious and panicky, and struggles to lead a normal life. Hannah is a very well-written, three dimensional character, and I felt a great deal of sympathy towards her throughout the novel.
Leo is another fantastically-written character. He’s a struggling author, and is a deeply emotional and troubled man. He made a huge mistake at the beginning of the novel, and feels an immense sense of guilt for his wife’s loss. When an unexpected face shows up at his front door 16 years later, Leo’s world is thrown into turmoil, and he does everything he can to protect his family from the truth. His marriage to wife Jenny has suffered greatly since that fateful night, and Jenny is struggling to move on from the past. She loves her husband deeply and tries to support him as best she can; but deep down, she’s struggling with a lot of individual issues. I really enjoyed finding out more about both characters as the novel went on.
** TRIGGER WARNING ** This novel explores the theme of death and child mortality in great detail, with the very first chapter describing the death of a newborn baby. The theme of sex and infidelity is also explored throughout the novel, with some scenes describing disturbing sexual acts. Finally, negative emotions of loss, grief, anxiety and depression are portrayed throughout the novel. All of these issues are explored with appropriate sensitivity – but if you feel that they may trigger a negative response, I suggest you skip this book.
As the narrative motors onwards, Leo and Hannah must do everything in their power to prevent the truth from being revealed. Leo becomes more and more fraught, and Zoe finds herself in a very dangerous situation. Will they finally find out the truth, before it’s too late?
So, let’s talk about the ending. There’s a dramatic end scene in which the truth about that fateful night is finally revealed, and the characters must fight for survival. The truth is extremely shocking – I certainly never saw that coming! I have to admit, the ending wasn’t entirely satisfying for me, as I found it to be a little bit far-fetched. However, you may well enjoy the ending much more than I did.
Overall, I highly recommend this novel to those of you who enjoy psychological thrillers, particularly ones that centre around dark secrets and lies. The characters are all fantastically-written, and there is plenty of mystery and suspense throughout the novel. I did find the ending to be a little bit unsatisfying, due to the reasons explained above – however, I definitely think that this book is worth a read!
Sound good? Click here to purchase.
Happy reading 🙂