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The Silence, Luca Veste: A Review

From other reader reviews, I had high hopes for The Silence. I love a good serial killer novel and was looking for something a little darker after a string of suspense reads. Six friends on the verge of transitioning to the next phase in their adult lives decide to attend a 90s themed music festival (really, their first mistake, since nothing good can ever happen at a 90s themed festival, lol). After a tumultuous last night, they retreat to their tents, only to be woken by a scuffle. Stuart's in trouble, being attacked, and in the midst of defending themselves, the attacker is killed. Fearing condemnation and blame, they decide to bury the body instead of going to the police, and in doing so, they stumble on a second body and realize the person who attacked them was more than a random stranger. A year later, it seems he's back for revenge. The friends must reunite in the wake of tragedy before they're all taken out by the Candle Man. Okay. The Silence was so fun. I thoroughly enjoyed this read. First and foremost, I think, because it reminded me so much of 90s slasher cult favorites I Know What You Did Last Summer and Scream. Veste might not have intended it to be that way, but The Silence felt like an homage, a love letter, to these cinematic horror gems. The group dynamics were similar with polar personalities: the bad ass, the loner, the smart guy, the outsider. I appreciated how he used their traits to push the conflict and dig deeper into the local legend of Candle Man.

I also appreciated the alternating flashbacks to the formation of their friendships. Spanning decades, The Silence reads a bit like It but without the monstrous clown eating children in the sewers. It's both a coming of age and an exploration of urban legend, something that could've seemed silly or overwhelming but worked really well the way Veste structured it. I think my only gripe was that because I had such a strong IKWYDLS vibe, I was not in the slightest surprised by the climax and conclusion. The final chapters played out exactly how I imagined they would from the beginning, and in that aspect, I wanted more of a devious twist. That's not to say it was a bad ending, just that if you're familiar with the movie plots, you probably won't be shocked by how the final moments unfold. Overall, The Silence was an enjoyable, fun, quick read with cinematic features and a cast of unreliable weirdos who could be your very own friends. Thank you to NetGalley and Sourcebooks for providing me with an eARC in exchange for review consideration.