The Silent Girls – Dylan Young

‘Ambulance and police. Something’s happened. I don’t know what. But my little girl.’ A sob choked off the sentence… ‘It’s my daughter.’

When a young girl disappears from the edge of the local forest, the Gloucestershire police are convinced she’s been taken by the same killer who stabbed to death beautiful, young Emily Risman eighteen years ago. They’re desperate to finally have the evidence to put him away. To save another girl before it’s too late.

Only Detective Anna Gwynne thinks he isn’t the real killer.

Anna can’t find proof and as time is running out, she realises she needs to get inside the killer’s twisted mind. And she knows just who to ask. Hector Shaw, in prison for killing the six men who caused his own daughter’s death.

Can Anna get what she needs from Hector before another life is lost, or could he lead her down a path that puts her own life in grave danger?

An absolutely page-turning thriller that will have you hooked. If you love Val McDermid, Angela Marsons and M.J. Arlidge, you won’t be able to put down The Silent Girls.


As someone who loves a good serial killer thriller the blurb for this book had me hooked and then from the first chapter Dylan reeled me in.

I found something utterly likeable about Detective Anna Gwynne, maybe it’s her no nonsense attitude, her fighting spirit or her intelligence and slightly weirdly working mind. Whatever it is, she was the perfectly written detective for this novel.

Hector Shaw was such an intriguing part of this story, and I hope that my feeling he might reappear at some point in a future novel does come to pass. I felt there was a lot of thought put into the psychology of his character, why he committed the crimes he did and why he would choose to try and assist Anna with finding this killer in particular. He was easily one of my favourite parts of this book.

From the beginning I found myself second guessing each persons reasons for wanting to assume Neville Cooper was The Woodsman. I couldn’t see him as the killer but equally I couldn’t see the real suspect either, and I am happy to say I didn’t guess until close to the end of the book, just before the final reveal. I did flip backwards and forwards on who I thought it might be a fair few times in the novel, even thinking perhaps one of the policemen were trying to cover their tracks. There weren’t too many people I didn’t suspect in this one. Dylan did keep me guessing for the entirety of this novel.

The detail that went into some of the crime scenes was something that drew me into the story more, and I was both intrigued and disturbed by the chapters that were from the point of view of the killer. There were pieces in those chapters that definitely made my skin chill, but personally I found them to be a fantastic addition to the storyline.

I’m sure I should be disturbed by the amount of crime books being set in or around the Bristol area, but it’s actually quite entertaining being able to spot places I know appearing throughout this book.

For me a great start to the Detective Anna Gwynne series, it kept me hooked from beginning to end and was more than suitably chilling! I can’t wait to read more from Dylan Young.

Thank you to Bookouture & NetGalley for providing me this copy in exchange for an honest review.



  1. January 28, 2018 / 7:10 pm

    Thank you the crooked bookmark. Chuffed.

    • The Crooked Bookmark
      February 18, 2018 / 10:28 am

      My Pleasure 🙂 Thoroughly enjoyable read x

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