After The Silence by Louise O’Neill – Review

Fiction
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Published: September 2019
Publisher: Riverrun
Pages: 439
My Rating: 🦋🦋🦋🦋🦋/5


10 years ago on the small Irish Island of Inisrún, a young woman named Nessa Crowley was found dead under a suspicious circumstances at the Kinsella house after a party. Although her death was ruled a murder case, the person responsible was never found. The Kinsella’s are a well know and very wealthy family. Now a team of Australian journalists have come to film a documentary about the mysterious death of The Crowley Girl, and with it they open up old wounds and questions soon arise about that night. On that night there was a terrible storm, no one could get on or off the Island.. which means it had to be someone who was at the party. Will the documentary aid in finding Nessa’s killer?


‘You’re so thin,’ he said, his voice admiring. He liked her this way, liked how pure she looked.

Louise O’Neill, After The Silence

This was a completely enthralling psychological thriller. The main theme being domestic abuse, which focused not only on physical violence, but psychological and emotional as well. It also shows the ways in which wealth can influence the criminal justice system.

A term that the author references in her book is coercive control, which was new to me and I was pleasantly surprised to learn that the author actually did a lot of research on the topic and even spoke to victims of domestic abuse who had experienced coercive control. The main character Keelin Kinsella finds herself going from one abusive marriage to another. The first husband being physically abusive and the second emotional and psychologically.

I feel like this book raises awareness on the important topics of physical, psychological and emotional abuse so well. With emphasis on the fact that abuse does not have to be physical to cause lasting trauma. Especially regarding the current climate here in South Africa, as we face high numbers of gender-based violence.

“We always ask ‘Why do these women stay?’ We never think to ask, ‘Why are these men violent?’ “

Louise O’Neill, After The Silence

The story itself was gripping and I felt like I was constantly learning new things about the characters as the book progressed. It is set in Ireland and there are certain Irish words that are used that I needed to look up and find out what they meant and how they are pronounced, but this didn’t take away from the overall enjoyment of the book.

Disclaimer: I was sent this free copy for review by Jonathan Ball Publishers. This does not influence my review or rating in any way. All views and opinions expressed are my own.

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