Book Reviews

Shush: The Silent Ones by K.L. Slater @KimLSlater @bookouture #BookOnTour


the silent ones

Title: The Silent Ones
Author: K.L. Slater
Date of publication:  24 July 2019
Publisher: Bookouture
Format: Netgalley proof
Source: Publisher
Number of pages: 324
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️


Six books. The same excitement as the first time I picked a novel by K.L. Slater. With series, you know what you are going to get. You will meet the same characters, you will walk places you’ve visited before. The risks to be disappointed are lower in this case. To create one standalone after the other and manage to keep things original, addictive, and refreshing takes talent. But Kim Slater doesn’t just write standalones…

My life has been all over the place this month, and my reading… Well, let’s say a slump was underway! I had tried to fight it with the beautiful novels waiting for me but nothing appealed to the mood reader I am. Until a name appeared on my Kindle. No blurb. All I had was a cover and an author’s name. I felt my fingers itch and twist, ready to turn pages. Is there a better feeling? Nope!

Take a lovely family picture. Add a few cracks kissed by a blue sky. Welcome in Chloe and Juliet’s lives. Sisters and business partners, they have different personalities that appeared clearly in the early chapters of The Silent Ones. It doesn’t prevent their daughters to be best friends. The two cute ten years old cousins spend a lot of time together, being kids, getting into small troubles, trying to have fun.

The fun takes a bad turn when they are found in the home of an old lady with serious injuries. The blame falls on both girls, but the accusations only met silence. ‘What could keep those children from speaking?’ was my first thought. Even quiet young souls usually can’t stop talking, and in the light of recent events, you’d think they’d react and defend themselves.

I am not one for favourites. Favourite kids, favourite dogs, favourite aunts… My heart is big enough for many different relationships, as affinities make us lean towards certain people more than others. But…

When the news that two small girls have attacked an elderly hit the village, people start talking. They start gossiping. The venin is out. Kim Slater has brilliantly depicted the urge for an audience to point the finger, their urge for revenge, and their need for someone to be punished. Those details, the small scenes showing the strength and quick reactions from a crowd were so vivid it hurt. We see it every day outside of the pages of a book. Remember the tales of infuriated villagers brandishing torches and demanding justice? (Yes, I am adding a reference to the first Shrek movie here, because there’s so much truth in it that I just had to!) Fed with eye-catching newspaper headlines and unknown sources claiming to know the ins and outs of the case, people are quick to judge and condemn. The girls are guilty. They must pay. This made me so uncomfortable, as I recognized all too well this behavior. This time, it could cost two little girls their lives.

Thankfully, the police want to get this right, despite the pressure weighing on them. I usually don’t rely on police work much when it comes to psychological thrillers as they’re always one step behind, but the author gave me faith in the team she assigned the case to. Aware of the consequences their choices will have, they handle this dangerous investigation with care and heart, without ever going soft. Oh, my heart wanted them to find a way out, but also to get answers about what had happened to that poor old woman. I was torn. I was sweaty and on edge, as if it were my own daughter’s fate hanging in the balance.

The difficult situation the girls are in put the entire family in despair. It also acts like an earthquake and soon enough, the ground stops supporting them all. A distinct crack appears, and I picked a side. I know I said I didn’t like favourites, but Juliet’s pain tugged at my heartstrings. I guess I felt close to her as I used to be a people pleaser, cutting myself in a million parts to make everyone happy, carrying so much on my shoulders that I was in a constant state of anxiety. Chloe puzzled me. I was irritated with her one minute, then feeling sorry for her the next. I guess that’s what having siblings feels like! I was wary of her, I was scared for her, I was offended by her. I just couldn’t stop changing my mind!

As if a brutal attack and the unthinkable horror of holding girls responsible for a devious act were not enough to keep your heart racing, Kim Slater slathers each interaction between the adults with thick layers of the past, distorting the present and poisoning the family dynamics. If I’d always been in awe of the author’s abilities and a huge fan of her plausible and gob-smacking twists, I only took in how much she understands and plays with psychology when everyone got thrown into a mad washing-machine, forcing them to show their true colours. Turning and fighting their feelings, protecting themselves and those around them, keeping quiet or shouting, they all ended up speaking to me. The key to the kids’ words lays in the adult’s tale.

Juliet is riddled with guilt, worried sick, and swimming against the current. Chloe is fighting like a mama bear, showing a strong face and an iron will while falling to pieces at times… If I enjoyed the different personalities, the outstanding secondary characters brought a new light on the two women, drawing a parallel between them and their children…

We willingly accept different standards of behavior from different people and before we know it, the brainwashing is complete.

Could the cousins’ silence be a cry instilled in them by their mothers?

When the past gets unearthed, secrets stain all of the protagonists. Like sand washed away by the wind, guilt appears as the main character. Its invisible hand toying with innocent lives lost tainted by a hundred decisions which have led this family to explode.

The Silent Ones is an emotionally complex novel. I loved every word, every page, every chapter. I fought the fight and felt an indescribable mix of emotions that kept me gripped until the very last page.

Thank you to Kim and Bookouture for inviting me to read and review this book!

As it’s publication day, you can treat yourself! Grab your copy now!

Apple Books

about the author

Kim is the million-copy bestselling author of psychological crime thrillers.

Kim’s titles are also published in paperback by Sphere in the UK and Grand Central in the USA.

For many years, Kim sent her work out to literary agents and collected an impressive stack of rejection slips. At the age of 40 she went back to Nottingham Trent University and now has an MA in Creative Writing.

Before graduating in 2012, she gained literary agent representation and a book deal. As Kim says, ‘it was a fairytale … at the end of a very long road!’

Kim is a full-time writer. She has one daughter, two stepsons and lives with her husband in Nottingham and Yorkshire.

Publishers: Bookouture, Sphere, Grand Central, Audible
Agent: Camilla Bolton at Darley Anderson

Author website:
Twitter: @KimLSlater
Facebook: KL Slater Author
Instagram: KLSlaterAuthor



16 thoughts on “Shush: The Silent Ones by K.L. Slater @KimLSlater @bookouture #BookOnTour”

  1. Amazing review, Meggy. Loved this one too. At first, I had my own little suspect but Slater really did make this such an entertaining, unpredictable read.


  2. Sounded like the perfect book to pull you out of a slump. But with a risk of the next book not being to hold a candle to this whirl of psychological thrills.
    Shamefully I haven’t read any books by this author! 😶. But by your review I think I would love them all.
    Amanda xx


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