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  • Writer's pictureWendy Percival

A mystery with two literary twists!

While debating what book I should read next, after two set in Cornwall, The Silence Before Thunder by Kathy Shuker appeared on my radar.

I read a post on the Devon Bookclub Facebook Page congratulating Kathy on her book being listed for a Dorchester Literary Festival writing prize.

Having previously enjoyed Kathy's books, and being "in between books", I decided to get the copy of this latest title. A great decision! I really enjoyed it.

And it's here where the second literary connection comes it. The story focuses on the disturbing question of whether the protagonist's aunt - famous author, Eleanor Lamb - had fallen from the clifftop of her coastal garden, or had been pushed. The setting is a Devon coastal village where they're preparing for a literary festival!

Read on for my review which I posted on Goodreads.


This was a book which I was always eager to pick up to read the next bit. The mystery - did best-selling novelist Eleanor fall, did she jump or was she pushed? - smoulders in the background of this Devon set novel, its intensity increasing as the story unfolds.

The main protagonist, Eleanor’s niece Jo, is suspicious that something about the accident doesn’t add up. Her aunt (who brought her up after her mother’s death) suffered a head trauma and remembers nothing of the incident so it’s left to Jo to assess each of the cast of potential perpetrators - a group of old writer friends of Eleanor’s who have assembled to run a series of workshops.

Suspicion floats around all of them in some way or other, along with Eleanor’s tetchy personal assistant. Clearly, something in their shared past is at play here but Jo has no idea what.

The introduction of the local café owner and his teenage son add an extra dimension to the storyline and contribute to the developing plot.

An interesting set of characters, diverse and well drawn. Great story. A most enjoyable read.



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