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 thunder.
It was impossible to get off the island that night. The killer couldn’t have escaped Inisrun, but no-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.
For me this was an incredible read, somewhat dark and sinister but very well written and so hard to put down! The story was told in a then and now format with the ‘then’ sections titled The Crowley Girls. The book is about the death of stunning Nessa Crowley, murdered in her early 20s with the killer never being caught. That was 10 years ago, but now there is a documentary being made and the interviewers are staying on the island. Parts of the book thus take on an interview format which offers an insight into the views of some of the others close to the situation at the time.
Keelin is the main protagonist and while written in the third person this is very much her story. Her current situation becomes increasingly troubling as the book progresses and without spoilers the author tackles this aspect of the story well. The Kinsella’s seemed to have everything; money, the big house, a loving relationship but since Nessa’s death they have been living under a dark cloud of suspicion and are ostracized on the island. The telling of the story highlights the truth and demonstrates how appearances can be deceiving. With Keelin as the central character this allows some strong female themes to be explored, how she is talked about, notably after the documentary airs, but also her experiences as a woman, a wife and a mother.
This book doesn’t always make for a comfortable read, but I thought it was brilliant. After the Silence is a book for fans of stories where the surface is stirred and the dark undercurrents are exposed. Gone Girl comes to mind, I suspect because of the revelation of a marriage not being what it seems. The murder is intriguing, I had my suspicions but honestly can’t say I completed solved it, but this book is so much more than crime fiction. The characters, whilst not all likeable are strong and well developed and this is as much about the relationships as the killing. Very highly recommended.
About the Author
Louise O’Neill is the feminist powerhouse and outspoken voice for change whose novels Only Ever Yours and Asking For It won Book of the Year at the Irish Book Awards 2015 and stayed in the Irish Top Ten fiction chart for over a year. Only Ever Yours won Newcomer of the Year at the Irish Book Awards and the Bookseller YA Prize. Film / TV rights have been optioned on both books. Louise lives and works in West Cork, Ireland. She contributes regularly to Irish TV and radio, and has a weekly column in the Irish Examiner. The play of Asking for It has been on stage in Dublin and Birmingham.
This is a Social Media Blast celebrating the publication of After the Silence which is available today. See below to find out what others are shouting about this superb book.
Thanks to Hannah at Quercus for inviting me to be involved with this and providing me with a gorgeous hardback finished copy of this book.