Part of the Silence takes place on the North Cornish coastline of England in rural Cornwall. The idyllic summer getaway with its beautiful scenery has been spoiled by something very nasty: a vicious attack on a newcomer followed by the murder of a 12-year-old girl that leaves the residents in a state of shock.
This somewhat messy psychological thriller from British writer Debbie Howells centers around the story of Evie Sherman, found beaten in a field, her memory gone. With no clear information available, Detective Abbie Rose turns to the only person able to identify the victim, Evie’s childhood friend Charlotte Harrison. But Charlotte knows Evie by a different name, Jen Russell, and Jen Russell has a disturbing past.
With that setup, readers are set adrift in a world where no one is who they appear to be. As Jen’s memory returns, she swears she has a three-year-old daughter, Angel, who is missing, but there is no evidence a daughter ever existed. (Readers have to accept this with a leap of faith, which given our modern, digital society I had problems with.) Detective Chief Inspector Jack Bentley, fresh from a vacation in Spain, is reluctantly pulled into the investigation. But first he and Detective Rose need to decide if the stories Jen tells are real—or are a cover-up for murder.