Zaffre | 2018 (3 May) | 400p | Review copy | Buy the book
To their neighbours, Harriet and Malcolm Benson seem just like everybody else. They live private and normal lives in their comfortable house. They have a ten-year old daughter, Daisy, although it’s very unlikely that any of the neighbours would know this, and one day they tell Daisy that she is about to have a little sister. How could she be anything but overjoyed? As thrilled and happy as her mummy and daddy. But Daisy knows their secret. She is not their daughter. And neither is the little girl shortly to join her. Where there was one now there will be two. Another family to grieve and mourn a lost child.
When six-year-old Poppy disappears, snatched from her family home, DS Nathan Cody and DC Megan Webley are given the case. It’s a traumatic one. The evidence suggests that the abduction was carefully planned and carried out with astonishing brazenness. Liverpool hasn’t seen anything like it before and the city’s on edge. Cody has his own issues to deal with and there’s a history between him and Webley but nothing is more important than finding Poppy before the worst can happen.
Don’t Make A Sound is the first David Jackson novel that I’ve read and that is now something I’m determined to put right. I’ve now bought the previous two Cody novels to read as soon as I can. It didn’t matter at all that I hadn’t read the other two novel. Don’t Make A Sound works perfectly as a standalone novel and it is without doubt my first contender of 2018 for book of the year.
I couldn’t have put this incredible crime thriller down if I tried and, despite work and all those other unwanted distractions, I read Don’t Make A Sound in one glorious day, staying up until late into the night, determined to find out how it could possibly end. This is storytelling at its best. The premise and the plot are brilliant. We’ve probably all read stories about abducted children before but I can assure you none of them are like this. Malcolm and Harriet Benson are extraordinary characters and the situation they’ve created seems even more chilling and terrifying than usual because of their normality and calmness. David Jackson gets into their heads as much as he infiltrates their house, both are vividly made real. This all feels like it could be real, like it might be going on right now. That anything can be going on behind a closed front door and curtained windows.
An extra quality is added to the novel by the portrait of its children. Daisy is drawn beautifully and with so much care. Your heart will go out to her on every page. The other side of the story is that belonging to Cody and Webley. Even though I hadn’t met either of them before I fell for them instantly, especially Cody. I loved him and I can’t wait to read more about him.
Don’t Make A Sound is one of the most compelling, gripping and accomplished crime novels I’ve read in a very long time. What it describes is so horribly awful and yet it feels completely believable and real. Outstanding characters, beautifully written, and all presented with a style and skill that urges the reader to keep turning those pages. When you pick this book up, put everything else aside. Prepare to be lost within it. Brilliant.