The Silent Daughter

A complex thriller, with family secrets at its heart. Perfect for fans of JP Delaney, C.L. Taylor, Fiona Barton and The Silent Patient.

In the age of digital footprints, is it possible to disappear? And how long would it take to notice someone is missing?

When his wife May is taken into hospital after a serious fall during a competitive run, Chris Morrison does what anyone would do in a crisis: he phones his family. His son Mikey answers the call, but his daughter Ruth doesn’t. She’s always been distant, often working abroad for long stretches and communicating via social media.

As Chris gets increasingly frustrated by Ruth’s lack of response, police investigations into May’s fall force him to answer some challenging questions. Why wasn’t May on the race route when she fell? Was she running after someone, or running from them?

A few uncomfortable certainties emerge: May and Mikey have been keeping things from Chris – and Ruth appears to have been lying to them all. But how many secrets can one family keep?

When Chris realises nobody has had direct contact with his daughter in nine months, he faces every parent’s nightmare – is Ruth missing, or worse? And with his wife in a coma and his daughter missing, suspicions fall on the family – and Chris himself.

Having built a newspaper career investigating incidents and reporting the facts, Chris is well-versed in these kinds of situations. He knows what the outcome might be. But nothing could prepare him for what he finds when searching for traces of his daughter.

The fact that The Silent Daughter has its roots in digital footprints and their repercussions and weaves a narrative around them is something which I especially loved about this book. I read it straight after watching the fabulous ‘I’ll be Gone in the Dark’ and I really enjoyed the post-reading research that I did to find out the ‘story behind the story’ in both cases and thinking about the way crime is being carried out in an ever evolving way and the way that we need to change our methods if we want to catch criminals in an ever-changing world.

MacBook Pro on white surface

The weather has taken a bit of a turn for the better, so I was able to enjoy reading this in my garden and feel like summer had returned for a brief spell. Ruth and May have been hiding a fair bit from their loved ones in this novel and I enjoyed trying to work it out before Chris managed to. Emma Christie writes her characters so convincingly that you really feel that you’ve spent time with them, making it very hard to pull yourself away. It’s a novel made for immersing yourself in on a hot summer afternoon and I got lost in it in this weekend in this stunning late summer summer weather


Chris is a character whose life start to spin off its axis in this novel . His life is very different than the way he thinks it is and as soon as he starts to pull at one piece of thread, when the race goes wrong, everything else begins to unravel for him.  The way we duck and weave with Chris through all of the confusion is really effectively done and we start to wonder whether he will be the one who ends up getting the finger of blame pointed at him because of all the missing evidence. I loved the idea that we were dropped into his world without all the answers and had to figure things out from the snippets we could gather – much as he had to.

person using MacBook Pro

The atmosphere of turmoil and drama is perfectly maintained throughout this novel; We really are not sure what is going to happen next as even Chris with all of his experience in investigation is little prepared for how much he just does not know about his own life. Emma Christie manages to make us as ‘in the dark’ as Chris is for much of the novel and the unsettling atmosphere is very well maintained as we try and penetrate the mystery and find out exactly why Rachel’s life is so secretive and to what extent her mother was complicit in this subterfuge.

Emma Christie is a talented new voice. She draws the reader into her characters’ worlds and turn our expectations on their heads as we try and navigate through this unusual and cleverly drawn plot. You’ll definitely love this novel if you like crime fiction with a twist and a fresh premise that will keep you guessing and confound your expectations.

The Silent Daughter: How Many Secrets Can One Family Keep? by [Emma Christie]
The Sile

Buy yourself a copy here and sample this new crime thriller and it’s unusual hook and satisfying ending for yourself

“A really clever, compelling book with a fresh hook”


“The Silent Daughter is one of those books that forces you to read one more chapter. I was hooked from the first page and struggled to put it down.”


“Emma Christie is a supremely gifted storyteller – the book wrong-footed me at several places. It has one of those endings that make you want to tell someone immediately”


Writer On The Shelf

Welbeck fiction publisher Jon Elek has nabbed Scottish writer Emma Christie’s Edinburgh-set début suspense novel about deep-held family secrets. Elek bought UK & Commonwealth rights, excluding Canada, from Caroline Hardman at Hardman & Swainson to Christie’s The Silent Daughter

The book follows a father, Chris, as he tries to make contact his adult daughter after her mother has been seriously hurt in a mysterious running accident and lies in a coma. As he gets increasingly frustrated by Ruth’s lack of response and her brother Mikey’s evasiveness, police investigations into his wife’s fall force him to answer some challenging questions: Why wasn’t May on the race route when she fell? Was she running after someone, or running from them? And then a “few uncomfortable certainties” begin to emerge…

Elek said that Christie’s book “wrong-footed me at several places, and I just didn’t see the twist coming. It has one of those endings that make you want to tell someone immediately. Just at a point when you thought there wasn’t many places a writer could take you in psychological suspense, someone comes along and shows you there’s still an unmapped lake of darkness out there.”

Christie was born and raised in Scotland but has spent much of her adult life living in Spain and Latin America. She spent five years as a news journalist at Aberdeen and Inverness’ The Press and Journal, covering crime and political stories before becoming chief reporter. She now works as a tour guide and lecturer in history, culture and politics, with a US travel company.

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