Reviews for Silence for the Dead

Library Journal Reviews 2014 March #2

It is 1919, just after the close of World War I, and a desperate Kitty Weekes fabricates recommendation letters to obtain a position as a nurse at a remote mental hospital outside of London. Specializing in treating war-ravaged soldiers, the spooky Portis House with its crumbling walls, ancient plumbing, and drafty rooms is as full of secrets as Kitty. There Kitty meets Jack Yates, the enigmatic Patient 16 who is a magnificent war hero hidden from the public. Together they struggle to unravel the mysteries of the horrific happenings at Portis House. Complete with the low-hanging fog that permeates the pages of most gothic mysteries, RITA Award-winning St. James's (The Haunting of Maddy Clare) latest book immediately draws the reader into its creepy grasp, enthralling as it unsettles, with ghostly occurrences, terror, and puzzlement. VERDICT Aficionados of the classic gothic style in the tradition of Victoria Holt won't want to miss this atmospheric tale of romantic suspense.--Crystal Renfro, Georgia Inst. of Technology Lib. & Information Ctr., Atlanta

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2014 February #4

In St. James's atmospheric third ghostly mystery set in post-WWI England (after 2013's An Inquiry into Love and Death), Kitty Weekes is fleeing her abusive father when she learns of a nursing vacancy at Portis House, a grand estate now housing shell-shocked veterans. Hoping the remote location will protect her, she wins the job using falsified credentials. Kitty learns that the eerie house's original owners have mysteriously disappeared and that the patients suffer the same terrifying nightmare as well as a propensity for similar suicides. As fear drives her search for explanations, Kitty bonds with a man known only as Patient Sixteen. He proves an able--and attractive--fellow investigator before a deadly influenza epidemic isolates Portis House, leaving it prey to a past that will not rest. St. James cleverly intertwines the story's paranormal elements with what is now called PTSD, crafting a pleasurably creepy tale about the haunting power of the unseen. Agent: Pamela Hopkins, Hopkins Literary Associates. (Apr.)

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VOYA Reviews 2014 June
The author of An Inquiry into Love and Death (Penguin, 2013) and The Haunting of Maddy Clare (Penguin, 2012/VOYA August 2012) has written yet another romantic "chiller" set in England shortly after WWI. Young nurse Katharine (Kitty) Weekes arrives at Portis House, a hospital for shell-shocked soldiers located in the isolated English countryside, under false pretenses, eventually adding to an already stressful situation that includes grueling work, lack of staff, challenging patients, and stern superiors. Kitty and the patients are terrorized by strange happenings and noises in the night. Kitty understands terror too well; although she would like to escape the past, memories of her difficult childhood often overwhelm her--at times she wonders if she is going mad like the patients. There are secrets at Portis House and mysteries to be solved, notably the whereabouts of the previous residents, the Gersbach family. Kitty forms a bond with one of the patients and resolves to get to the bottom of things The isolated, wet, and foggy English countryside is the perfect backdrop for this suspenseful story. This well-written tale combines historical fiction, mystery, and romance with elements of horror. Issues of child abuse, desperation, and homelessness may resonate with teenage readers, but with some rather mature love scenes, this novel may be most suitable for adult fans of gothic romance and older, mature young adults.--Christina Miller 3Q 3P S Copyright 2011 Voya Reviews.