These are the facts I collect. My son Gabriel met a woman called Mariela in a bar. She went home with him. They next morning she was found in an allotment. Mariela is dead. Gabriel has been asked to report to Camden Police station in six hours for questioning Linda Moscow loves her son; it’s her biological instinct to keep him safe. But if she’s not sure of his innocence, how can she stand by him? Should she go against everything she believes in to protect him? She’s done it before, and the guilt nearly killed her. Now, the past is catching up with them. As old secrets resurface, Linda is faced with another impossible choice. Only this time, it’s her life on the line…
This is a thriller with serious contemporary relevance, but it’s much more than that, too. Linda Moscow used to be Home Secretary until a scandal forced her to resign. Now she is simply a humble backbench MP. Her relationship with her son Gabriel is a complex one and the two don’t really know how to talk to each other anymore.
Gabriel is a stand up alternative comedian, making a rapid name for himself and very much enjoying the lifestyle that goes with that fame.
So when Gabriel comes to Linda asking for her help because a young woman has been found dead – a young woman Gabriel was with only the evening before her body was discovered, Linda faces a real dilemma.
Not only has Linda to decide whether to help her son, she is also setting out on a quest of her own which will lead her to rural Scotland and place her life in serious danger.
Set between two timelines, the present day and 1992, this novel flits seamlessly across the decades, giving us insight into the characters and laying out the skeleton of the story that has led Linda to her current situation.
In many ways this is not a particularly novel plot, because it has very real echoes of contemporary events and political occurrences. It is, however, a very chilling and extremely clever one. I found echoes here of Line of Duty, and like that exceptional drama, McBeth creates such vivid pictures of a world full of political intrigue and corruption that it is all too easy to believe such events are not just possible, but likely.
It takes a rare storyteller to paint such a strong picture and this is a really well plotted and very convincing narrative. Told from different perspectives as well as different timelines, the characterisation is beautifully done and the book flows really well.
Beautifully written, this is a strong, tense and sometimes very emotional read which is both shocking and stomach churning in equal measure. Highly recommended.
An Act of Silence is published by Wildfire on 29 June 2017
About the Author
Colette McBeth had the idea for her first novel Precious Thing in 1998. Instead of writing it she went to work for the BBC where she spent 10 years as TV reporter. In 2011 she enrolled on the Faber Academy Novel Writing course and completed Precious Thing in 2012. She lives in West London with her husband and three children.