The Silenced by Anders de la Motte

Author: Anders de la Motte
Publisher: HarperCollins
Format: Paperback
Genre: Murder-Mystery


When a badly mutilated body is found in the waters of a large government-owned estate just outside of Stockholm, Detective Julia Gabrielsson is put on the case. Who is the deceased? And why has someone gone to such lengths to prevent the body from being identified?

Officer David Sarac is a man haunted by demons. After a violent showdown that almost cost him his life, Sarac is being treated in a mental facility far from the capital. Recently he’s been saving the sleeping pills given him by his keepers. He plans to take them all at once—twenty-five in total—to permanently silence the accusing voices in his head. That is, until a mysterious offer forces Sarac to reconsider his fate.

What I thought

There are, I am sure, plenty of well written books that I have yet to read, but until I discover them THE SILENCED by Anders de la Motte has to be one of the best plotted novels I’ve ever read. Certainly up there with the best of them. Showing a depth and skill mastered by few, de la Motte has woven together a deeply compelling story as seen from a handful of characters POVs. Each of these finely detailed personas tells a part of the story, and each chapter seamlessly dovetails into the one before, and the one after, at a thrilling pace that never lags. 

The dialogue is crisp, snappy, and yes, in places, darkly funny. From observational quips by various characters offering up snippets of detail, to snarky comments about colleagues and their habits, Anders never misses an opportunity to dress a scene, or fill out the background on a character. All without so much as slowing down a riveting pace that, at times, is almost blistering. And then again, at times, also thoughtful. The author manages to find that perfect balance and delivers a thoroughly engrossing read.

I was hooked from opening scene, and interplay between the young Detective Inspector, Julia Gabrielsson, and the newcomer to her division, Amante, complete with his own tortured history. These two opposites are thrust into the depth of what seems to be a cover-up (at best) or worst, something deep, dark, and very ugly; A conspiracy with far reaching consequences. 

Anders, for his part, builds the pace and reveals just enough to keep the reader guessing each step of the way, as characters begin to reveal their true nature, and more, test their allegiances. From the wily police commissioner, Oscar Wallin, to the slippery politician Jasper Stenberg, to Stenberg’s father-in-law, Karl-Erik, always plotting in the wings. Everyone is not who they appear to be, including the once shining hero, David Sarac, the pivotal character who, in the end, just wants to set the record straight before he dies. 

Everyone has an agenda or an axe to grind, and Anders never misses a beat showcasing them all within the majesty of the city that is Stockholm. In and of it self, a character.

THE SILENCED—an action-packed thriller from beginning to end—is the ultimate story of power struggles, brutality, corruption, and betrayal!

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