Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Review: Silent in the Grave by Deanna Raybourn
Set in Victorian London, Silent in the Grave is the perfect murder mystery for a cold night by the fireplace. Or no fireplace, if your mom is like mine and hates the thought of a draft blowing smoke all through the house....Lady Julia Grey is not really all that shocked when her husband falls ill with a seizure and dies. He does, after all, have a heart condition. She doesn't even faulter when a man who claims to have worked for her husband comes forward and tries to warn her that her husband may have been murdered. She shoos Brisbane away and thinks nothing more of the subject until months later when she finds a strange note in her late husband's desk. Together, she and Brisbane set out to find her husband's killer, even if it means opening up secrets about an unhappy marriage and why it ended the way it did.
I loved Silent in the Grave. I mean, strong female main character, great writing, Victorian England. Oh, and also the mysterious Br. Brisbane, who himself has a secret he's trying to keep hidden.
Julia was a very compelling character. In the beginning of the book, she is as her last name says-Grey. She is living in the shadow of an unhappy marriage to a man she once loved but turned out to be a complete stranger. Julia, however, slowly comes into her own identity and by the end is pretty much bursting with color. It's not so much that she's changed, it's more that she's letting out the real Juilia that was pent up inside for so long. I'm excited that this is the first book in a series because it's going to be interesting to see how Julia grows as a person.
The mystery of the murder is in itself very intriguing and well done. In the beginning of the investigation, Julia treats it like a game, despite Brisane's (who actually is a private detective) warnings that they may be dealing with a very dangerous person. As the mystery deepens and they get closer to the truth, Julia realizes that her life really may be in danger. As a reader, my feelings where similar to Julia's. Oh, the murder happened a year ago, this won't be bad. But as the book went on I kept thinking "OMG something bad is going to happen!"
The end of the book leaves a lot of questions unanwers, but in a good way. The reader is left thinking about certain things, like what Julia will decide to do with her life now, or what else Brisbane might be hiding, and the awkward moments between Julia and Brisbane because of their growing attraction to each other. I'm excited to read the next book because I'm sure a bit more will be uncovered in it.
Title: Silent in the Grave
Author: Deanna Raybourn
Date of Publication: 2007
Number of Pages: 512
Genre: Historical Fiction
Source: Personal copy