Andrew Taylor

Crime and Historical Novelist

The Silent Boy


A Book of the Year for BBC Radio 4’s Front Row, the Sunday Times and The Times
Shortlisted for the CWA Historical Dagger

US publication: October 2015 (Harper)

‘Taylor has not only succeeded in constructing a labyrinthine plot that is gripping to the last page, but he also created an entirely believable child, traumatised but resolute, whose plight is the fuel for true suspense’ - Laura Wilson, Guardian

‘this book... is every bit as fine [as] anything by Hilary Mantel, say, or Rose Tremain... It is utterly gripping, extremely well executed and suspenseful to the last’ -
Cressida Connolly, Spectator

‘A literal and literary tour-de-force...As a writer, Taylor wears his learning lightly and shares with Hilary Mantel the capacity to take the reader directly into a vanished world’ - Jane Jakeman, Times Literary Supplement

‘Three times winner of the... Historical Dagger... Andrew Taylor arguably deserves another victory for
The Silent Boy... Taylor’s mastery of plot and character show to great effect in a story that has a depth few other historical crime novels can match’ - Nick Rennison, Sunday Times

‘Taylor is a wonder; once again he marries flawlessly integrated historical detail ( revolutionary France conjured as vividly as in Charles Dickens’
A Tale of Two Cities) and a knotty and involving mystery...’ - Barry Forshaw, Financial Times

‘this beautifully written drama is a model of historical fiction... Highly recommended’ - Jessica Mann,
Literary Review

‘In this taut thriller, Andrew Taylor deftly weaves unobtrusive historical research with a page-turning plot’ - Antonia Senior,
The Times

‘Great tale, great history, great Taylor’
Front Row BBC Radio 4

Say nothing. Not a word to anyone. Whatever you see. Whatever you hear. Say nothing.

Paris, 1792. Terror reigns in a city gripped by revolution. The gutters run with blood as thousands lose their heads to the guillotine; the streets echo with the sound of musket fire.

Edward Savill, working in London, receives word that his estranged wife Augusta has been killed in France. And that her ten-year-old son, Charles, has been taken to Charnwood Court deep in the English countryside, a house leased by a group of émigré refugees.

Savill is sent to retrieve Charles, only to discover that the child is mute. The boy has witnessed unimaginable horrors, but a terrible secret keeps him from saying a word. Locked in a prison of his own mind, his silence is the only thing he can control – and the only thing that will ensure his safety.

Or so he thinks…

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‘“Taylor is one of Britain’s most accomplished and inventive historical novelists and fans of Hilary Mantel should love this book…This is a complex tale, told from multiple points of view, with many twists. As always, Taylor’s historical backgrounds are wonderfully constructed and his characters, particularly the boy, irresistible’ - Margaret Cannon,
Toronto Globe and Mail

'I enjoyed this book very much indeed. I found the evocation of late 18th Century England, and the French exiles, effortlessly authentic, the hunt for Charles gripping, and the portrayal and first-person narrative of the helpless, traumatised, yet strong and resourceful little boy moving and believable. An excellent work.' C J Sansom, author of Revelation

‘The Silent Boy is a gripping and atmospheric thriller – the perfect blend of dark suspense, appealing characters and fascinating history. I loved it!’ Antonia Hodgson, author of The Devil in the Marshalsea

'Don't keep quiet about The Silent Boy. Tell everyone: it's a really excellent page-turning thriller set at a fascinating period in Anglo-French history' Robert Goddard