Cover Image: The Silent Conversation

The Silent Conversation

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Member Reviews

This is Caro Ramsay's latest addition to her gritty character driven Glasgow crime series, featuring DCI Colin Anderson and DI Costello, it is a favourite of mine, and this is a particularly knotty and complex novel, with several threads running through the storyline, with references to an earlier book, The Night Hunter in which Dr Elvie McCulloch investigated the disappearance of her sister, Sophie. Elvie is the girlfriend of DS Vik Mulholland who has serious health issues that require her help in his daily life, the couple are now living in the same building as Costello. Anderson has been instrumental in Vik getting a TV presenting role in Eyes and Ears, a popular crime programme which has been looking at the disappearance of 4 year old Johnny Clearwater from a wedding party 4 years earlier, his mother, Naomi has done all she can to keep him in the public eye since then.

Anderson and Costello find themselves called out to the exclusive gated private development of Maltman Green, owned by Sven Jonsson and Murdoch Wallace, where a policewoman has ostensibly been murdered. Carol Holman has recently moved in, she spends a large part of her time observing from her balcony the picture perfect resident families with their children. She has not met anyone, and does not venture out, ordering food from the deli below her. A traumatised woman, she is extremely reluctant to tell the police what she saw, she is terrified, there are strange sounds, and her belongings are being moved around, is she imagining all this? When Johnny Clearwater's DNA is found on the body of the victim, Rachel Sinclair, Anderson is tasked with finding the boy, trawling through the cold case files. Everyone at Maltman Green, and even the police officer who came to Sinclair's aid, are keeping secrets, can Anderson and Costello get to the truth and find Johnny alive?

One of the highlights of this series for me are the relationships in the police team that includes DC Gordon Wyngate, and co-opted for the investigation is PC Ruby Redding who works with Costello. We follow the developments in their personal lives, Anderson and his family have been revitalised by caring for his son, baby Moses, he is leaving work early wanting to go home to him, but Costello is having a much harder time, feeling old when she compares herself to Redding's energy and enthusiasm, weighed down by the burdens of her past. This is a wonderful addition to a terrific Scottish crime series, it is dark, engaging and compelling, but I don't think it will work well as a standalone, there are too many references to previous events and the characters will be much harder to understand. Highly recommended. Many thanks to the publisher for an ARC.
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This book is the thirteenth book in the Anderson and Costello series. In “The Silent Conversation”, DCI Colin Anderson and DI Costello are investigating an unusual murder. The story is mainly told from the point-of-view of the two detectives, as well as Carol Holman who is one of the witnesses to the crime. Carol saw what looked like a female police officer being attacked in the courtyard in front of her building. Anderson and Costello learn there is more to the story than it appears and that Carol has her own reasons for being a reluctant witness. 

It’s not necessary to have read prior books in the series to get to know Anderson, Costello, and their other colleagues. I’ve read a few of the books, but not the first few in the series and have really enjoyed the later books. Anderson and Costello are interesting characters that work well together because of and in spite of their differences. Costello isn’t always easy to like but her skills as a detective and dedication to the investigation are worthy of respect. 

This time the case is intriguing, but unfortunately a large part of the story relates back to the fifth book in the series called The Night Hunter. I haven’t read that book, so some of the references in this book didn’t make sense to me. I was able to enjoy the book as a whole, but it took me longer to figure out some of the pieces of the puzzle. The book is a suspenseful procedural with complex characters so in spite of some things that confused me, I am glad I read it and will definitely read further installments in the series.

I received this ebook from NetGalley through the courtesy of Severn House/Canongate Books. An advance copy was provided to me at no cost, but my review is voluntary and unbiased.
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A very intense, brilliant plot for the team unravel. 

Carol Holman has recently moved to a flat which is part of a complex owned by two friends, Sven Jonson, and Murdoch Wallace. She is enjoying the cool wind blowing onto the balcony when she sees a woman run into the garden, followed by a man. It appears as if the man hits her, and she falls. CPR is given but the paramedics pronounce her dead. Who is she? Why did she choose this very private residence to hide? Does she have a connection to anyone who lives there?

DCI Colin Anderson, DI (Winifred) Costello, DC Gordon Wyngate and PC Ruby Redding will have their investigating skills assessed to the hilt trying to discover who this woman truly is and why she was in this property. DS Vik Mulholland is still coming to terms with his prosthesis. His girlfriend, Dr Elvie McCulloch has taken to driving him to work and ensuring that his new part-time work as part of a television programme called Eyes and Ears – a community awareness programme that also helps police look for witnesses to crimes. Vik Mulholland is the perfect lead for the programme. 

I’m waffling about the team because I don’t want to discuss the plot in case, I give away spoilers. It’s a very clever storyline combining several unsolved cases. One is truly horrible and one wonders, like the detectives do, whether they did anyone a favour solving it. Caro Ramsay is such a brilliant author. Ramsay’s writing shows much deeper sides to an investigation. She also manages to include the hidden depths of the main characters. As you follow this series, you find yourself becoming increasingly entangled in their lives. With all her “chips-on-shoulders” my favourite must be Costello. She must be a nightmare to work with, but once you understand her reasons and her aloneness, you discover a truly outstanding character. 


Elite Reviewing Group received a copy of the book to review
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My last review of a book by Caro Ramsay was in 2020 en in that review I mention that there were too many people and too many things going on to be able to enjoying the book. Sadly, The Silent Conversation has the same problem for me.
At first I was attracted to the story because Carol - one of the main characters - is observing some of the other inhabitants of The Maltman. This being a converted building with a lot of expensive flats and an even more expensive central courtyard. All other inhabitants seem to know each other but no friendly welcome awaited Carol when she arrived. Not that she would have liked to enjoy their company, but it is the thought that counts.
Anderson and Costello are in charge of solving the crime that happens one night in that seemingly peaceful place, but are immediately faced with a lot of strange people and happenings.
The building is as much as a character as the people are in this story. My main problem while reading this book was that I could have done with a clear explanation of who everybody was, and preferably a short summary of what happened in earlier books in this series. I became rather confused early on and while I managed to finish the book, it took some of the joy out of it. But the writing is brilliant and the plot intriguing so fans of this series will be happy with it.

Thanks to Netgalley and Canongate books for this review copy.
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Excellent book. Anderson and Costello were nuanced complex characters, and held my interest all the way through. The book was multi-layered with an interesting plot that had lots of twists and turns. I hadn’t realised that this was a series featuring the same detectives. I enjoyed it so much, I will be getting the first book in the series, and start reading, so that I can follow the character development. Highly recommended.
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Another winner from Ms Ramsay.  Her police procedurals are of the highest quality there is and the plots are extremely well thought out.  Her characters are always well developed and so ever interesting.  Still confusing to me why she is not more popular in the States.  Thant to Netgalley for the advance.
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I would like to thank Netgalley and Severn House for an advance copy of The Silent Conversation, the thirteenth novel to feature Glasgow detectives DCI Anderson and DI Costello.

When Anderson and Costello are called out to the death of a policewoman in an exclusive gated community the mysteries abound. Who is she, why was she in the community and why is there a link to Johnny Clearwater who disappeared four years ago as a four year old and has never been found despite his mother’s high profile campaign.

I thoroughly enjoyed The Silent Conversation, which is a story as much about the characters and their secrets as it is about the police investigation. I found myself hooked from the start with one of the residents giving her observations on her rather Stepford-y neighbours. It’s intriguing as, while she’s upfront about her own secrets and problems, there are obviously plenty to uncover about her neighbours. Then comes the death and its nod to Rear Window. 

The novel is full of twists and turns, some more credible than others, so I never felt as if there was a dull moment. The author does a great job of turning what the reader thinks they know into something else, requiring constant recalibration and adjustment and yet it’s not disconcerting or off putting. It still seems to flow.

I like the narration, with the novel being told from three main points of view. The neighbour, Carol, provides her insight and Anderson and Costello provide their assessment from the investigative point of view. As these two have widely differing approaches and, despite a lengthy working relationship and friendship, they seldom agree on perspective and argue frequently. This provides a few laughs. Anderson is settled and content, Costello is constantly grumpy, unsettled and discontented. She might not be appealing to new readers, but still have affection for her and hope she moves on from this bad patch.

The Silent Conversation is a good read that I have no hesitation in recommending.
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I really enjoyed this book, it was gripping and left me wanting more. It had an intriguing storyline and the chracaters were well written and relatable. A really enjoyable read
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The Silent Conversation by Caro Ramsay 
Canongate Books 
Out now in Hardback 

‘The Silent Conversation’ is the latest in the Anderson and Cooper mysteries which are set in modern-day Glasgow. This was an intensely chilling, claustrophobic thriller that is tightly plotted with numerous arcs that truly creeps you out! Normally I would say you could read these books as standalone but you would have benefited from reading the whole series as there are links to The Night Hunter which aren't fully explained. This is a series that I think deserves more recognition than it receives as they are brilliant police procedural with great plots and superbly develop characters. 

I want to live in Maltman Green - not the building in this story but the concept of it sounds amazing. It really was a character of it's right as it evoked claustrophobia, lent to a gradual build-up of tension and suspicion and allowed for a great ending to the book. I could feel the heat of the summer coming off the pages and boy I wish I lived near that deli! 

It was extremely interesting to see the effects of a crime committed in the past still has on it's victims. Both the parents of the missing boy and also Carol one of the victims from The Night Hunter. 

I loved this and instantly put it on my website as for some reason I had missed its release in hardback.
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the silent conversation is pretty silent in its means to convey the end of this case. 

I felt very dissatisfied at the ending, and if I’m being honest, at the majority of the book. the story felt like it was unfolding at a good pace (in terms of the case itself), but the characters were so one-dimensional. it just didn’t do it for me. 

lots of aspects of the story were quite relatable - the nosy neighbors, the unsolved mysteries of the town, the detectives who are probably more professional sleuths at this point, and of course, the style of mystery writing. 

I would love to read more in this series and see if the style of writing is similar to this one. I loved the idea behind the thriller, however, it just didn’t land on its feet for me. 

wine pairing: cabernet sauvignon finger lakes
rating: 2.5 stars
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I loved this book, I loved the characters, I loved the authors writing. I never read the previous books in this series but I’m going back to read them now! 5 stars
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A Convoluted Conundrum….
The thirteenth in the Anderson and Costello mystery series finds the inimitable team with a convoluted conundrum. A broadcasting team, an exclusive gated community, a murder and links to the past coupled with numerous bizarre and baffling events may well leave this team stumped this time? A worthy addition to this enjoyable, long running series.
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Numerous threads to open this novel which intertwine as the plot is revealed.
Characters are never what they first seem and we are left guessing until the final scenes. The series is maintaining its appeal. An enjoyable read all round!
Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to review this title.
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Very twisting and twisted. I had no idea who did what and the case seemed unfold very realistically. I had no solid idea who the emails were from,.  I could empathize with the pain of the telecast reliving trauma and the agoraphobia that was the result of the previous killer’s victim. It will keep you guessing
Thank you netgalley and the publisher for this arc
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This is the first book by this author i have read and although the writing is good, I found it quite complicated to follow. Was it because I didn’t read great chunks of the book at each sitting, I don’t know. There were a lot of characters and the setting was a warren of houses and floors and rooms set around a common area.  The premise being, a recent murder had DNA evidence linking it to a missing child from 4 years previous.  I will read another book by this author but maybe i will start at the beginning.
#netgalley #silentconversation
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This was a truly amazing book.  The characters were excellent as was the description of The Maltman, it’s layout, the deli and the families and people who lived  there? The plot is complex and totally riveting,  I loved every minute of reading ,this book and sincerely hope that the author will weite. follow ups with the same characters. I highly recommend it, a page turner story with a reasonably comfortable ending.
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The Silent Conversation is the 13th installment in this Scottish police procedural series, and my first foray in the series. Unfortunately, having not read any of the other books, I felt like I was playing catch-up from the start, and was a little lost with the characters. The complicated plot and large cast of characters, coupled with the Scottish idioms, made this a tough book to follow, and it just wasn’t enjoyable for me. I received an ARC of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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What a welcome return to Costello and Anderson – as good as ever.  Ramsay never disappoints.

Thank you to the author, publishers and NetGalley for providing an ARC via my Kindle in return for an honest review.
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This is the first in this series of books I e read so at times I felt I was missing out because of referenced stuff from previous books. Having said that it did not dissapoint. And it's only made me what to read the series from the start. Having said that the story was stróng with good relatable characters. The story was edge of your seat and the ending an absolute triumph. Loved it!
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The Silent Conversation starts off in such a way that I felt sort of jumbled up trying to sort out what was going on.  A very clever device that made me realize at the end how it must feel to try to sort out a mystery with only a few clues.   Have patience and wait out the cast of characters.  In the end, the pieces do fall together, not at all like I had supposed early on in the book.  Overall, a very good read.
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