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Out of The Silence by Owen Mullen

Writing.ie | Book Reviews | Crime/Thriller

By Swirl and Thread

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Out of the Silence reveals in it’s opening chapters the scene of a horrifically injured young woman discovered on the grounds of a hospital in the Punjab region of Pakistan. When she is carried into the hospital, she is seen to by a young doctor, Simone Jasnin, who is absolutely horrified by what she witnesses.

Simone is of mixed culture, with a French mother and a Pakistani father. After years growing up in France, Simone decided to return to her father’s homeland as a medical practitioner, in the hope that she could help bring about change to a country so heavily dominated by men.

Ralph Buchanan is a washed up, and washed out, reporter. Once upon a time, he was king of the hill but a journalistic encounter left him shattered. Now a recluse, with an alcohol dependency and a position for the newspaper in this remote outpost of Pakistan, Ralph sees no great hope for his future. Having lost complete respect for himself, Ralph now lives a very disheveled existence as his days blend into each other and his life heads toward a downward spiral.

One day Simone Jasnin walks into his life, hoping he will assist her to expose a terrible injustice. As Simone explains all that she has seen and the truth of the horrors that she has witnessed, Ralph feels the beginning of something stirring within him. His instincts for a story become peaked and he lets Simone lead him down a very intriguing, yet harrowing path.

Out of The Silence is a murder mystery, but it also takes the reader on a journey into the deprivation and inhumane treatment of women. We travel from the dusty roads of a mountain village to the streets and homes of Lahore. A family torn apart as a revenge is dealt them, a young man discovering the strength to be more, a young woman destined for a life of slavery and abuse.

Out of The Silence is the love story of Afra and Jameel, two childhood friends with two very different destinies. Afra is forced into a loveless and cruel marriage to the son of a wealthy family, where her life becomes a living hell. Jameel is taken under the wing of a prosperous uncle and succeeds in becoming a very accomplished business man. Both never forget as the bond between them is very strong.

The scenes in this novel will appall even the most hardened of heart. There are women in this book that suffer barbaric and cruel behaviour as they are treated with disdain and suffer at the hands of very violent men. There are also quite graphic scenes of death and torture as revenge is served with a very savage hand and mind.

Out of The Silence is very much a departure for Owen Mullen and I expect this is a book that is a little more personal to him. I did find it a slow burner at the beginning but it certainly picked up as the story opened out. There are many themes tackled in this book and Owen Mullen handles them all very sensitively. Out of the Silence is ultimately a story of love, honour and murder but it is also of revenge and the strong bonds of family…an enjoyable and informative read.

(c) Swirl and Thread

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