After the Silence
by Louise O’Neill
Adult Mystery, Thriller
Nessa Crowley’s murderer has been protected by silence for ten years.
Until a team of documentary makers decide to find out the truth.
On the day of Henry and Keelin Kinsella’s wild party at their big house a violent storm engulfed the island of Inisrun, cutting it off from the mainland. When morning broke Nessa Crowley’s lifeless body lay in the garden, her last breath silenced by the music and the thunder.
The killer couldn’t have escaped Inisrun, but on-one was charged with the murder. The mystery that surrounded the death of Nessa remained hidden. But the islanders knew who to blame for the crime that changed them forever.
Ten years later a documentary crew arrives, there to lift the lid off the Kinsella’s carefully constructed lives, determined to find evidence that will prove Henry’s guilt and Keelin’s complicity in the murder of beautiful Nessa.
In this bold, brilliant, disturbing new novel Louise O’Neill shows that deadly secrets are devastating to those who hold them close.
I am such a huge fan of Louise O’Neill so I was incredibly excited when I got my hands on a copy of this book, so much so that I dropped everything else to start it.
In a different than usual genre for O’Neill, her fifth novel, this time again for adults, follows the mystery of Nessa Crawley and what happened to her on that fatal night on the offshore Irish island of Inisrún. It has been 10 years but now a documentary crew have arrived to find the answers in the silence.
This had such a strong hook that I was almost scared it would not live up to it, but I was so wrong. I loved this book so much. I am mesmerized at just how well crafted this story was—O’Neill reveals the mystery to us slowly through a series of different narratives, from the past, the present, interviews—but she really weaves them together so seamlessly that at no point during the novel was I lost or confused. This novel is really a masterclass in storytelling.
The characters were all so strong as well, and I thought the portrayal of domestic violence—in all its shapes and forms—was done incredibly well and incredibly sensitively. Keelin Kinsella is one of my favourite characters I’ve read in a long time. I definitely think this is for fans of I May Destroy You, and also Daisy Jones & The Six.
I feel like it’s so obvious to call this book ‘gripping’, just like many of the blurbs, but this is genuinely one of the most gripping novels I’ve ever read. I wouldn’t usually race through a book as long as this but I did with After the Silence, because I just couldn’t stop thinking about it. Honestly, it felt as though the world was going to end if I did not find out what happened to Nessa Crawley.
After the Silence is out today in all good bookstores, and I can assure you this is definitely one for your bookshelves. There is no question about it—O’Neill has just delivered her best book yet.