John Burley has just released his third novel, The Quiet Child.
1954 - Cottonwood, California. Many residents of this small town are ill, including the McCrays. Although there are environmental reasons that might explain the sicknesses, fingers are instead pointed at six year old Danny McCray, who doesn't speak. But how could a child bring so much illness to the town and his own family? When Danny and his older brother Sean are kidnapped, the townsfolk whisper that it's maybe for the best. But Sheriff Jim Kent and the boys' father Michael are determined to bring them home.
Now, with that description, you may think the book is a mystery - and yes, it is. Who has taken the boys and why? The Quiet Child has echoes of Burley's first book, The Absence of Mercy - fathers and sons, a suspicious small town, what a parent would do for a child and at what cost?
Burley's writing is beautifully descriptive and atmospheric - many passages are worth reading again to savour. I've found that its impossible to determine where Burley is going to take his stories - and this was proven again in The Quiet Child. There are almost 'otherwordly' tones to the book. I was surprised by the turn the story took in the last few chapters - it was completely unexpected.
I was interested to read in the author's notes at the end of the book that Cottonwood is a real town - one Burley visited while writing the book. I wonder what the residents think of this book?Read an excerpt of The Quiet Child.
"John Burley is the award-winning author of The Absence of Mercy, which won the National Black Ribbon Award recognizing a new voice in suspense writing. He attended medical school in Chicago and completed his emergency medicine residency at University of Maryland Medical Center and R. Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore. He continues to serve as an emergency medicine physician in Northern California, where he lives with his wife, daughter, and Great Dane." You can connect withJohn Burley on his website,like him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter. See what others on the TLC book tour thought. Full schedule can be found here.
I received this book for review from HarperCollins and TLC Book Tours.