Cover Image: The Silent Friend

The Silent Friend

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Member Reviews

This is the enthralling tale of two women who find themselves caught up in a shocking event that will change their lives forever. It's a story about grief,guilt and deception that has the predominant theme of family as it's heart. It's also about having the strength of character to accept that we humans are not infallible,we make mistakes,we make bad decisions but for the sake of our own mental health,we have to learn to forgive ourselves and others and move on with our lives.
The story is written from the perspectives of Laura who lives in Ireland in a grubby flat with her cat Harry and Sandrine who lives in France with her husband Sam and their two teenage sons. The chapters of the story were set before and after the horrific event that would not only affect Laura and Sandrine's lives but also many many others and send  shock waves rippling all around the globe. The author's descriptions of the shocking events on the night of the concert were chillingly realistic and full of edge of your seat tension.

To be honest, when Laura was first introduced into the story, I thought she was a rather irritating individual but then we were introduced to her mother and I fully understood why Laura behaved the way that she did. Laura's mother treated and spoke to Laura in the exact same way as my own mother treated me so I could fully understand why Laura never felt like she could do anything right. I loved Laura's cousin Declan, I think he was my favourite character, I loved the banter between him and his partner Patrick and how they cared for and supported Laura after her horrific experience in France.

I couldn't help feeling a lot of empathy for Sandrine as she found herself being interrogated by the police,ostracized by her friends and neighbours and forced to face some shocking truths about her two sons. The story raised the age old nature v's nuture dilemma and the fact that no matter how good a parent you think you are, in reality we have no control over our children's decisions and behaviour.

As the story unfolded both women made spur of the moment decisions that could be construed as wrong but I could fully understand why they made those decisions. Who knows what they would do if they found themselves in the same situations?I

The Silent Friend is a very well written,character driven,gripping blend of thriller and domestic drama that has a scarily topical plot and a cast of vivid,realistic characters. It's a thought provoking story that would raise some interesting discussions if it was read by a book group. I thought this was a very enjoyable read and I would happily read more of this author's books in the future.
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Enjoyed this one. I felt like there was something missing though, something I needed to love it. Well thought out plot and easy to read.
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Laura’s dreams are coming true-she’s going to France on vacation to see her favorite band with her best friends. Tragedy happens and Laura connects with another person on a victim support network and her life will never be the same. 

I didn’t realize this book involved terrorism until I was already reading it. Although disturbing, this author told a story that I wanted to keep reading. I didn’t really find this book to be psychological suspense as much as a book about how people can destroy one another and the victims left in the wake. It’s a good story and was very eye-opening to how tragedy strikes so many lives in so many ways. 

Thank you to NetGalley for this ARC.
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What a great book thoroughly enjoyed throughout read it super quick didnt want to put it down....would definitely recommend this book to others
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First off, The Silent Friend was really not what I was expecting.  A bloody good read, nonetheless.

This book explores the lives of the two main characters, Laura, a victim of a terrorist attack and Sandrine, the mother of one of the terrorists.  For me, this really was more of a psychological drama than a psychological thriller as it dealt with how two women are affected by the same horrific event in different ways.  Yes, there were secrets and lies but it lacked anything that would make it a thriller but there's plenty of emotion and drama to make up for it.

The Silent Friend has a unique plot with well defined characters that take you on an emotional roller coaster, as we see how these two women deal with loss, grief and trauma.  

A thought provoking, heart wrenching read.
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A thought provoking story told from two view points....a really great story mainly centred around Laura, a shy girl who faces her fears and goes on a trip which ends in disaster.  Highly recommend.
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This is a brilliant read.
Wonderful well written plot and story line that had me engaged from the start.
Love the well fleshed out characters and found them believable.
Great suspense and found myself second guessing every thought I had continuously.
Can't wait to read what the author brings out next.
Recommend reading.
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Thanks to Netgalley and HQ Digital for a copy of this book for my review.

This book is such a good, exciting and riveting read.  Based around two women, Sandrine and Laura, this story gripped me and i found it an intriguing read.  A good dramatic read that seems to start off slow but gets quickly into the story..  The story is based around an event that affects both Sandrine and Laura, I do not want to give too much away but its an emotional read.  I will be looking for more books by this author.
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3 and a half stars, rounded up to 4. After having read a few of the reviews, I almost didn't read The Silent Friend. Not because they were negative (they weren't), but because they all had one thing in common - this book was not what they were expecting. Not your typical thriller. I had a sneaking feeling I knew what it was - I think somewhere it was implied, and that topic is of absolutely no interest to me. But, on a whim, I decided to get on with it, and am glad I did. 

The Silent Friend was well written, interesting, and on some level terrifying, but certainly not your average thriller, domestic or otherwise. I won't read it again, but I'm glad I did. It gave me insight into something all too common these days, but not only the act, or contemplation of the act, but also the aftermath, and repercussions for those left behind, especially the families, and in this case I mean Sandrine more than Laura. 

I don't want to give too much away, but I found Antoine/Zak a dilemma, and really cannot fathom why a young man from a loving family would turn out the way he did. Enough said! Give it a try, it's a break from the normal, for me anyway.

Many thanks to NetGalley for my ARC.
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It’s supposed to be Laura’s dream holiday: a trip to France with a group of friends to see their favourite band play live. But the holiday quickly turns to disaster, and Laura is left haunted by terrifying images from the worst night of her life.

Upon finishing this books I have mixed views. I enjoyed reading the book - it was an interesting and turbulent story that is easy to sink your teeth into, but there are also aspects that didn’t sit right with me. 

First and foremost this is a book about terrorism - which I did not expect from reading the blurb. It is thrilling, but the story itself is more of a coming-of-age emotional rollercoaster of someone coming to terms with being apart of a horrific night and learning to manage the trauma from that event. It’s about two women communicating (one being less than honest) and being a support network for each other. It was really interesting reading the two different perspectives - one from someone who was right in the middle of this attack, and one from the mother of the boy who led it. I found this interesting because you don’t often hear from the perspective of the family, who often have no idea their children are apart of the extremist world. 

The things that just didn’t sit right with me, though, drag the book down (hence the 3 star rating). First and foremost, it makes me sad that it took more than half of the book to even talk about this being an extremist view of the Islamic faith. While Jeffrey kind of tip toes around the whole religious aspect, it is mentioned early on that the terrorists were Islamic. But they are extremists and we need to stop painting all Islamic people as terrorists and I am sad that Jeffery had the opportunity to do this and didn’t. Don’t tip toe, just say it. 

The other thing that didn’t make sense to me was the title and the cover - It definitely paints the book as this thriller, which it’s not. The title also confused me because no one is really silent. Sandy lies to (or deceives) Laura, but she’s not silent. While it’s important not to judge a book by it’s cover (or title), this one led me expecting a VERY different story to the one that I read.

This is my long winded way of saying - it’s a good book, but some aspects let me down and left me feeling somewhat confused...
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This is the first book I have read by this author and it certainly won't be my last.  What I have just read is an emotional read which is more of a drama than a psychological thriller. The story of two women whose lives are ripped apart following a dreadful incident one  night. This isn't an edge of your seat thriller but a slow burner that however you will want to keep turning those pages to discover what the outcome will be.  The characters are written about so well and the descriptions are so good you will feel you are experiencing what is going on. An outstanding 5⭐ read for me.
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3.5 Stars

I received this book free from Netgalley for an honest review.

Okay.... I thought from this synopsis that this would be a legit mystery/ thriller but I was disappointed. I’d say more of just someone’s retelling of an event. There were no twists or turns, there was nothing particularly thrilling either. The tiny thrill that there was lasted only a chapter or if that and that was the end. This was just not the way I thought the book was going with this cover and synopsis. 
Not sure if I’d recommend.
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What a hard book to read, but one I enjoyed. The story centers around Sandrine, the mother of a terrorist who is responsible for 82 deaths and many more injured at a concert, and Laura, one of his hostages. 

Reading each woman's story you could really feel what they went through and I was able to sympathize with both of them. Sandrine was not accepted by her in laws because she wasn't Muslim, but her two sons were taken to their grandparents on a regular basis by their uncle Abdel. This was a mistake you later find out. What the parents of Antoine (Zak) go through due to his actions is so sad.

Laura lost two friends during the attack and her third friend is paralyzed from the waist down. She has her own struggles but finds a support group online that starts to help her heal. And she finds a friend their as well. 

A really good read.
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I went into this book expecting a thriller, full of cliff-hangers and suspense. What I actually read was more of a coming-of-age, emotional drama that reflects on two women’s experience of a very fateful night.

The subject matter of this book is quite close to the bone. When Laura is caught up in a terrorist attack at a concert in France, it sets off, naturally, a very long road to recovery. The narrative switches between Laura and Sandy, also known as Sandrine. It is revealed that she has also been affected by this terrible night, but in a very different way. Over the internet, the women strike up a friendship yet, both remain ‘silent’ about key elements. For Laura, it’s the full details of what happened that night; with Sandy, it’s how she was impacted by the terrorist attack. Whilst Sandy’s silence is far more profound, they both symbolise the characters over-coming the trauma that has been caused by this event.

I was really surprised when I saw the plot development. It headed in a direction that I was not expecting. I think that if the blurb had been more clearer, I probably would not have read the book. For me, I could not help but be reminded of the terrorist attack that happened in Manchester at an Ariana Grande concert: in other words, this book was too close to the bone and too realistic of known, tragic events.

This is a story that is swamped in emotion. Readers follow Laura and Sandy’s path of recovery and how the people around them accept the consequences. It was really profound to see the strength that both women pull upon and I think this reflects the growth of their characters. Indeed, whilst reading this book, I could not help but feel incredibly sombre. This is a credit to Jeffrey’s writing because it is so vivid and interesting, even if the subject matter did not suit.

I know I say this a lot, but this is another example of a different book to ones I have read before. I don’t think I would like to read another story about a terrorist attack, and certainly not one that depicts it in the way that Jeffrey has done. Although the novel focuses on the emotional recovery, it’s a drama that I would tend not to read. Reading another Jeffrey book in future, I hope the subject matter is incredibly different.

With thanks to HQ Digital and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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The Silent Friend was ,without doubt, one of the most engaging, emotional books I've read recently.

The story is told from the viewpoint of two main characters in alternate chapters.  Laura works in a library in Belfast alongside her friends, Sarah, Claire and Ava.. They are planning a girly holiday in Lyon, France where they can see their favourite band, 'The Naturals' ,  perform.  Laura has a fear of flying and has doubts about going, but decides to be brave and join her friends on the adventure. The other main character, Sandrine lives in France with her husband Sam and their teenage boys, Antoine and Maxime.

The novel begins slowly, setting up their everyday lives, but  everything changes on the night of the concert. The author has done a fantastic job of writing this scene.  It was grippng and tense and the reader can really experience what Laura is going through.

It transpires that Sandrine is the mother of one of the terrorists and again the author makes us empathise with her situation. The idea of Laura and Sandrine corresponding is cleverly executed. 

Diane Jeffrey tackles  many difficult themes in this book.  In paticular, it deals with racism, terrorism and radicalisation. We are seeing these atrocious events so often on the news, but here we eperience the fear and the consequences alongside the characters. Sandrine's story raises the question of nature versus nurture. How much influence do our parents have on us? She still had unconditinal lve for both her sons despite their actions.

I can't recommend this book highly enough. Thanks indeed to Netgalley for the advance copy.
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Wow, this is quite an emotional read.  Very unique, powerful, and full of secrets and suspense!  Diane Jeffrey seems to be one who really knows how to use words to create a powerful story, which is sure to be heart breaking and soul shattering.  I highly, highly recommend this unique chilling, thrilling, and shocking read!  It’s completely full of twists and turns, thrills, chills, and shocking!  Well written and unputdownable!  A must read!
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The Silent Friend is one of those books that gets under you skin and inside your head a compelling emotive poweful read that provokes alot of thoughts and feelings a tense, vivid, raw, read one that won't be forgotten and will stay with you for a long time to come.
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Thanks to Netgalley and HQ Digital for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Laura, from Ireland and Sandrine, from France, both experience tragedy during a concert in Lyon, France and become friends through an online support group. The problem is that one of them is keeping a big secret about the way they were actually involved in the tragedy. 

This was a well written book and I got through it fairly quickly. I was a bit disappointed though because it was not a thriller or suspenseful at all and based on a couple of other books I had read by the author I assumed it would be a bit more in that genre. This was like women's fiction in my opinion. It wasn't bad but the motives of the characters weren't as sinister as I would like.
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I enjoyed this book on the whole although at times I did get a little bored with it halfway through. In that case I am only going to give this book four stars as I was disappointed in it. My thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for giving me the opportunity to read this book in return for an honest review.
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women whose lives both get affected by a terrorist attack at a concert in France. 

I really loved the way the prose is written with going from each woman from chapter to chapter in first person. 

Laura is the one who is at the event. What I love about the novel is that we start before the event and follow after. Laura clearly has anxiety and some ptsd from the loss of her dad as a child. Her chapters are often quite emotional as she is really struggling. We get to be part of her journey including therapy sessions. Laura holds alot of guilt esp when she is given a choice that no one ever wants. So when she finds a survivors group she connects with Sandrine, who isn't quite who she says she is. 

I preferred Sandrine's storyline if I'm honest. I found it more harrowing myself. Sandrine is a mother and wife. She seems to have dedicated her life to her sons who are both growing and as all teenagers pulling away. Sandrine is effected by what happened Athan day but completely differently. I honestly could of just read her story and Lauras as serperate books but together it made it that more powerful. 

I have to say the one part of the book that made me feel uncomfortable or rather annoyed I suppose, is the stereotyping within the writing. I understand why it has been done and how that might be what most readers are expecting but I wish it had gone a different way. Thie novel seems to feed into the fears ordinary people.  But I will say even though this annoyed me I still enjoyed the book so much. 

 I suppose I was expecting a bit more of a twist later on in the book which well it kinda came but not in the way I expected and lead to some strong emotions from me. However is this book as psychological thriller? It definately has some parts of thriller in it but it doesn't seem to continue as a theme. However this didn't take away from my love of this story. The psychological elements were great. This book really focuses on mental illness and as always I really appreciated that. Esp at 25 percent of the population suffer with mental illness but its not written about enough  in fiction.

Happy to reward this book with 5 stars I was touing with 4 stats because of the stereotyping elements that didn't sit okay with me but it's not like what was written about doesn't happen.on modern day because it does.i loved that the main twist happens really early on and I have now purchased the guilty mother by Dianne Jeffery's aswell and loving it so far as it's based in my home town. I highly recommend dhis book be prepared for aome graphic scenes but I feel the description is needed to bring us in the moment. 

Thank you netgalley, DIanne Jeffrey's and rbe publishers did the advanced digital copy in exchange for my fair and honest review
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