Author(s): Lyn Yeowart
Propelling the reader back and forth between the 1940s, 1960s and 1980s, The Silent Listener is an unforgettable literary suspense novel set in the dark, gothic heart of rural Australia.
In the cold, wet summer of 1960, 11-year-old Joy Henderson lives in constant fear of her father. She tries to make him happy but, as he keeps reminding her, she is nothing but a filthy sinner destined for Hell . . . Yet, decades later, she returns to the family's farm to nurse him on his death bed. To her surprise, her 'perfect' sister Ruth is also there, whispering dark words, urging revenge. Then the day after their father finally confesses to a despicable crime, Joy finds him dead - with a belt pulled tight around his neck . . .
For Senior Constable Alex Shepherd, investigating George's murder revives memories of an unsolved case still haunting him since that strange summer of 1960- the disappearance of nine-year-old Wendy Boscombe. As seemingly impossible facts surface about the Hendersons - from the past and the present - Shepherd suspects that Joy is pulling him into an intricate web of lies and that Wendy's disappearance is the key to the bizarre truth.
'A wickedly dark debut - haunting and unputdownable.' Christian White, author of The Nowhere Child
'A book that should be atop of everyone's reading list. The prose is spectacular, and the characters so richly imagined. This is a novel about inherited violence and redemption packaged as a cracking psychological thriller.' J. P. Pomare, author of Call Me Evie
'Intense, intricate, emotionally devastating. This is proper Australian gothica.' Liam Pieper, author of Sweetness and Light
'Totally addictive.' Books+Publishing
'A cracking thriller with heart. It intrigues, it twists and turns, it deftly combines the muddy domestic details of life on a Victorian farm with a black, Gothic sensibility of lies and violence and the heartbreaking fantasy world of a young child.' Jane Sullivan
'A heartbreaking, terrifying and stunningly accomplished novel that had me holding my breath. Yeowart instantly pulled me into the life of a rural family dominated by an angry, insecure despot from its unnerving beginnings to its shocking end.' Kirsten Alexander, author of Half Moon Lake
'Steeped in atmosphere and with taut, intricate plotting, The Silent Listener, contrary to its title, had me audibly gasping throughout.' Benjamin Stevenson, author of Either Side of Midnight
'An ingenious form of storytelling archaeology- down through layers of family trauma, the truths are finally brought to light.' Jock Serong, author of The Rules of Backyard Cricket