Title: The Quiet Child
Author: John Burley
Genre/Audience: Mystery, thriller, adult
Publication: William Morrow, 2017
Source: For review, TLC Book Tours
It’s the summer of 1954, and the residents of Cottonwood, California, are dying. At the center of it all is six-year-old Danny McCray, a strange and silent child the townspeople regard with fear and superstition, and who appears to bring illness and ruin to those around him. Even his own mother is plagued by a disease that is slowly consuming her.
Sheriff Jim Kent, increasingly aware of the whispers and rumors surrounding the boy, has watched the people of his town suffer—and he worries someone might take drastic action to protect their loved ones. Then a stranger arrives, and Danny and his ten-year-old brother, Sean, go missing. In the search that follows, everyone is a suspect, and the consequences of finding the two brothers may be worse than not finding them at all.
In a word, this book is riveting. Not only are we looking at a child abduction case of two young boys, we are also looking at an unusual child who doesn’t talk and the superstitions surrounding him in his small town. Add that in to the historical setting where detectives don’t have the advanced technology we do in this day and age, and it makes for an even tougher case to crack.
Lots of plot twists along the way had me reading at a fast pace. I was pulled in from the very first chapter as the disappearance happens within the first few pages. Talk about gripping! The story really started out with a bang. From there, it truly picks up speed and never stops moving. I’ve always been a sucker for a missing persons story, and this one did not disappoint in the least. Not only was the missing children aspect intriguing, so were the mysterious illnesses inflicting the town. I was left to guess at every turn as to what had happened to the boys and constantly wondering who knows what, who isn’t talking, and so on. So very much to ponder and uncover in these pages.
This book was absolutely thrilling in the best way possible. It was mysterious, fast paced, and had me on the edge of my (proverbial) seat. I am very eager to pick up Burley’s previous books now. He will definitely be going on my auto-read list for sure! Highly recommended for all fans of the mystery, thriller, and suspense genres.