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Under a Silent Moon

(DCI Louisa Smith #1)

3.48  ·  Rating details ·  3,026 ratings  ·  364 reviews
Two women share one fate.

A suspected murder at an English Farm. A reported suicide at a local quarry.

Can DCI Louisa Smith and her team gather the evidence and discover a link between them, a link which sealed their fate one cold night, Under a Silent Moon?

A tense, compelling and unsettling novel mystery brimming with source material and evidence set over just six days, Und
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published April 15th 2014 by Harper (first published October 15th 2013)
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Beth Roberts If you are in the US you can buy it for the Kindle app and your other format options will be listed on Amazon as well.

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Average rating 3.48  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,026 ratings  ·  364 reviews

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Sep 28, 2013 rated it liked it
So I have to tell a personal story, and if you don’t like it, that’s just tough bananas and crackers. Sometimes it pays to wander around aimlessly in the middle of a mystery conference. You never know what wonderful solutions you might stumble upon. In this particular instance, I happened upon Elizabeth Haynes, and her newest novel UNDER A SILENT MOON. Of course, I had to bypass a slightly impaired individual first, who when I asked her, “What’s everybody in line for?” She promptly and without t ...more
Maxine (Booklover Catlady)
This is a difficult book for me to review. I am a huge fan of all of Elizabeth Haynes' books, each and every one. This book threw me a bit as I found it to be quite different to the other books I had read, I'll try and explain...

I found the plot slow to begin with, I was hoping for more psychological thrill than what I got, it meandered along for some time, this novel having a strong focus on police procedures throughout which was interesting, but still I was wanting more dark psychological stuf
Oct 30, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
I loved Into the Darkest Corner, wasn't too enamoured with Revenge of the Tide, but loved the last, Human Remains and eagerly anticipated this one.

I have the say that this fell a little flat for me somehow. There is something distinctly lacking overall; there isn't the wow factor and even the psychological suspense, but more police procedures and analysis, which then, ultimately, leads on to a lot of repetition of the events which we have already read about.

I do like DCI Louisa Smith, but leadi
Sep 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
An excellent police procedural.

It follows the usual route of detective mystery but it does it really, really well.

Very thorough and the characters are complex and the story compelling.

This is why Elizabeth Haynes is one of my favourite authors - she has never let me down whatever genre she is writing.

I shall carry on happily reading everything she has ever written!
Oct 15, 2019 rated it it was ok
This was SO close to "dnf". Let's be clear - I really enjoyed Darkest Corner and I read book 2 of this series a few weeks back. Coming across this one in a charity shop I thought it might be ok. However this is nothing like book 2. Silly plot lines and some very under developed characters made this a poor read IMO. The characters - some the same - are much better in the second book. Ho hum.
Cleopatra  Pullen
Aug 17, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
Under a Silent Moon is a departure from the previous books by Elizabeth Haynes as this is more of a police procedural than a psychological thriller.

This book follows an investigation into two deaths discovered in Morden Village. Using dispatch logs, emails and some nifty charts representing the work of a police intelligent analyst which was the author’s previous job. The first body found was that of Polly, a beautiful woman who had many liaisons throughout her time in the village. Polly was fou
Liz Barnsley
Sep 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Coming Soon

Thank you very very very VERY much to the author and publisher for the advanced copy of this book for review.

A Murder. A Suicide. Two Women share One Fate. Can you connect the clues to discover the killer? Solve the crime alongside DCI Louisa Smith and her team.

I will start by saying that initially, when I first heard that the next novel by Elizabeth Haynes was to be the start of a series rather than another stand alone book, I was concerned. For me, her particular brand of storytelli
 Reading Reindeer Cobwebbed
Review: UNDER A SILENT MOON by Elizabeth Haynes (DCI LOUISA SMITH #1)

An engrossing British police procedural. UNDER A SILENT MOON is also very psychological and delves into the extremes of human emotions, including some of emotion' s perverse aspects. Detective Chief Inspector Louisa Smith is experienced in policing, but the killing of Polly Leuchars is her first session as leader of a Major Crime investigation. She must prove herself qualified before her superintendent and before her team, at t
I wasn't very excited about this book. The characters were okay, but for a suspense novel this felt rather tedious. It was more of a procedural than a page-turner, I understand that, but it just didn't work for me. Plus, the investigation seemed rather bungled and the plot twist didn't come as much of a surprise. More complete review to come.

Full review:

Under a Silent Moon strives to be a layered, complicated mystery with the usual twists and turns, but it also seeks to shine some light on a lit
Jul 24, 2014 rated it did not like it
I was looking forward to reading this, but as I got through the beginning pages, had a gut feeling it was going to be tedious to finish it. First of all, way too many characters to keep track of, and even with a character guide in the beginning of the book, I still had trouble keeping each character and storyline straight. Also, the style of writing with including snippets of the police procedural really took away from the story (or what little there was.) It was choppy and disconnected, in my o ...more
Apr 22, 2014 rated it liked it
This was a good police procedural, but I was infuriated by the lead detective, Louisa Smith.There are so few good female lead detectives in crime fiction. Why did this female writer portray this character as immature, indecisive, and mostly concerned with her sexual relationships with some of the male detectives who work for her? Maddening!

I hope her next book has Loisa Smith grow up (or get fired). At times this book reads like a bad bodice-ripper romance novel. I don't mind romance and steamy
Apr 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime, new-to-me, 2014
A very 'procedural' police procedural...

A young woman is found brutally murdered in her cottage, and her female neighbour is later found dead at the bottom of the local quarry, having apparently driven her car over the edge. The coincidence of two deaths happening at the same time in a small village lead the police to think they may be linked, so newly promoted Louisa Smith finds her first case as DCI leading the Major Crime team head is to investigate both. She soon discovers that the murder vi
Nov 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you like detective fiction you have to read this book. From her first novel, Into The Darkest Corner to this her fourth book Ms Haynes has shown that she is a force to be reckoned with. Each book she has written has a unique story, is extremely well crafted and will leave you desperate to read her next book. Many people will compare this book and her others to Into The Darkest Corner and say that it lacks something, well I disagree. A pet peeve is when authors write a carbon copy of a previou ...more
Jun 20, 2014 rated it did not like it
This was too painful to read.

How is it possible to have characters (3-5 in multiples) mentioned in a single page over and over again, with some of them talking about other characters and expecting the reader to follow all those dialogue threads which really lead nowhere within a chapter and then in subsequent chapters?

You need a character guide (like those historical novels) to keep everyone on the straight.

It almost comes across as being autistic (the writing, people) and while Haynes enjoys w
A suspected murder in a farm outside a small English village, a young woman was found dead with blood all over the cottage. At the same time the police are called in to investigate what looks like a suicide by driving into a quarry. DCI Louisa Smith and her team are assigned this case, they discover a link between the two deaths, a link that sealed the fate of these two woman. It all happened one dreadful cold night under a silent moon.

Elizabeth Haynes’s novel Into the Darkest Corner was one of
Mar 19, 2014 rated it did not like it
I have read Haynes’ three previous mystery novels and though I enjoyed some more than others, I still had high hopes for this one, her fourth. Especially after how much I liked her third novel, Human Remains. This one, slated to be the first in a series, marks a drastic change from her earlier books. Rather than being a character-driven, this is purely a police procedural novel. Haynes uses her own intimacy with the legal system in the UK (she worked as a police analyst) to create primary source ...more
Nov 17, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
I really enjoyed this read which, unlike the author’s previous work, is a police procedural rather than a psychological thriller. It did not, therefore, have that sense of underlying menace which ran through Into The Darkest Corner and which made that book so special for me, but it is still a very good read indeed, much better than Revenge of the Tides, and possibly Human Remains. We follow DCI Louisa Smith leading her time to solve the murder of Polly Leuchars in a plot which twists and turns a ...more
May 27, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery-series
Boring. If I had to use a word to describe Under a Silent Moon, it's boring.

Boring characters, boring mystery, boring descriptions, boring, boring, blah blah blah.

I didn't like any of the characters. NOT ONE SINGLE ONE.

I didn't like any of the characters in Gone Girl either, but at least, I wasn't indifferent to the characters and story. I wanted to know what happened and I wasn't speed reading the last 100 pages, like I'm doing now.
Joanne Schofield
3.5 stars. A difficult book to review as it’s very different from the other Elizabeth Haynes books I’ve read and loved (three of them). The main difference with this one being that it’s a police procedural, which never ever blows me away. I usually find there are too many characters, often called by first names one minute and surnames the next which can be very confusing, so I did approach this with some trepidation. And another problem is that the author set the bar so high with Into the Darkes ...more
Lou Robinson
Mar 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic thriller, I do really enjoy Elizabeth Haynes’ books. Plenty of characters and an interesting underlying ‘love’ story.
Sep 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Under A Silent Moon is something of a new direction for Elizabeth Haynes and follows a murder investigation headed up by DCI Louisa Smith. Told over a six-day period and interspersed with source documents, readers are able to interpret the evidence alongside Lou and her team.

A suspected murder and a suspected suicide - both on the same night, both victims living within yards of each other, both victims linked to many of the same people. Lou Smith is the newly-appointed Detective Chief Inspector,
Katy Noyes
Nov 24, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4 stars.

I've read all of Haynes' work to date, so enamoured was I with 'Into the Darkest Corner', her debut, that I've been interested to see the path her writing career takes. Which is unusual for me as crime is not my preferred genre.

But Haynes doesn't really 'do' typical crime novels (Revenge of the Tide being the most straightforward and unremarkable of her back catalogue). So far we've seen a victim's struggle before and after a violent crime with dual-diary narrative, and a police analyst
Shelleyrae at Book'd Out

Elizabeth Haynes draws on her experience as a police analyst in Under A Silent Moon, the first book in a new series to feature Detective Chief Inspector Louisa 'Lou' Smith.

Lou's first case as Detective Chief Inspector involves the brutal murder of Polly Leuchars, an attractive and popular horse groomer, beaten to death in her own home. As her team begins their investigation, they are alerted to a second death in which a woman known to their victim is suspected to have committed suicide by drivin
Lelia Taylor
Mar 04, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: full-reviews
Recently, and still today, I've been dealing with some personal issues that have made reading difficult so I had trouble connecting with Under a Silent Moon at first. I'm glad I kept on, though, because I ended up enjoying it for the most part, enough that I plan to re-read it when I'm in a more receptive state of mind.

Multiple points of view can be confusing sometimes and I do think there were too many characters, some quite unnecessary to the story, but the author gave us a cast of characters
Feb 14, 2015 rated it did not like it
I would not buy this book based on the cover alone. Reading outside my go-to genres has not been treating me well. I was not "gripped until the very last page", like the Goodreads summary suggests. This is supposed to be an exciting crime novel, but I found it to be very boring. I received this book for free in exchange for a review from TLC Book Tours. I thought this book was going to be very interesting because it has all of the police crime reports interspersed throughout the novel, however I ...more
Katherine P
Feb 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery-read, 2015
This was my first book by Elizabeth Haynes but it definitely won't be my last. From the first page I was pulled in and the pacing didn't let up. I loved DCI Louisa "Lou" Smith. She was tough but compassionate and capable but also very human. Plus, anyone who exists primarily on KitKat bars and coffee is pretty great! The mystery itself is intriguing and it was very easy to keep the large cast and all the different threads straight. Haynes mixes in transcripts of reports and witness statements in ...more
Alexandra Farrington
I never thought it was possible to be so tremendously bored with a Crime, Mystery Thriller but Elizabeth Haynes has proven me wrong again. How she managed to make a mystery involving a murder possibly linked to a suicide so incredibly dull baffles me. Plus, the protagonist’s romantic sub-plot was entirely superfluous as well as eye roll inducing. I actually began to skip over it eventually to keep myself from abandoning the book because I wanted to know who dunnit. The piece de resistance though ...more
Apr 09, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good story, interesting style as written as the police investigation unfolds, I.e through emails, witness statement, analysis as well as straight narrative. Personally I prefer Elizabeth Haynes' standalone thrillers, Into the Darkest Corner is amazing (that year's 'Gone Girl')but this is certainly worth a read, interests and a page turner. ...more
Siera McCullough
May 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
So engaging! I was constantly interested in each different side of the story that was told. There was never truly a point that I wanted to get back to another character. Normally I am not one who likes several different sides of the story being told, but this "jumping sides" story was very good at the way it was told.

DCI Smith is running an investigation about the "murder" of two people on the same night that happen to live across the road from each other. Polly and Barbra. The story really pick
Jan 02, 2018 rated it liked it
Under the Silent Moon is the first book in the DCI Louisa Smith series. Author Elizabeth Haynes is a former police analyst and we get samples of police reports and investigation updates throughout the book. This quite intrigued me.

In this story, we have a suicide, a murder victim and a host of suspects. Haynes does a good job of stringing the reader along. What was lacking for me was the suspenseful pace that should have accompanied the storyline, as well as characters that I could connect with
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Elizabeth Haynes grew up in Seaford, Sussex and studied English, German and Art History at Leicester University.

She previously worked as a police intelligence analyst and lives in Norfolk with her husband and son.

Other books in the series

DCI Louisa Smith (2 books)
  • Behind Closed Doors (DCI Louisa Smith #2)

News & Interviews

The prolific and beloved author John Grisham, known for his courtroom thrillers, is back this month with a new pageturner, A Time for Mercy,...
29 likes · 2 comments
“There were times Flora wanted to slap her mother, hard. She went to make toast for everyone, not least to soak up the brandy. The plainclothes police officer who’d been assigned to them was leaning against the breakfast bar, fiddling with her mobile phone. “Would you like me to do that?” she asked, when Flora came in.” 1 likes
“Yes.” She had moved in for a fortnight in the summer, when Chris and Taryn had gone to France on holiday, to water the plants, keep an eye on things. “Well, come round whenever you like. I’ll make the spare bed up later. And, Flora, it will be all right, okay? Everything will work out.” 0 likes
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