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Without a Word

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  391 ratings  ·  45 reviews
I was there when it happened. I watched her disappear.

An emotional psychological drama from the author of the critically acclaimed novel What She Never Told Me.

Lillian had phoned telling her to get Skype up and running. 'I have so much to tell you'. Lillian was wearing a white bathrobe and she was in for the evening. Then, suddenly, the knock on the door. 'Sorry Orla, I'd
Kindle Edition, 368 pages
Published October 19th 2017 by Quercus
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Average rating 3.80  · 
Rating details
 ·  391 ratings  ·  45 reviews

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Dale Harcombe
Friends Lillian and Orla, are on a Skype call when Lillian says there is a knock at the door. Orla waits for Lillian to return as seconds become minutes. And then a fire erupts. Orla can see it happening and is that a person in the flames? Is it Lillian? What is happening? Ten years later the case regarding Lillian and what exactly happened that night is still unsolved. Until Ned Moynihan, the detective who led the original investigation, receives anonymous notes accusing him of failing to inves ...more
Nov 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Without a Word has a genuine chill. Lillian requests her friend from London for a Skype chat. Happy Lillian shows off her fabulous cottage extension to Orla. When the door goes, Lillian tells Orla, stay on Skype I will be right back. A bad mistake opening the door. Lillian doesn't return when Orla sees a rapid fire takes hold through Lillian's cottage she fears for her friends life. Here is a very good mix of action making it the most chilling book that Kate McQuaile has written so far. ...more
Aug 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
WOW. This was the second time I've read this book (I couldn't remember from the first time) - every twist still shocked me and I loved how the story played out.

Orla was an easy character to like, as was Ned. I loved how the story still gave different elements of surprise even at the end. How the story didn't leave questions at the end, every question the author has answered throughout the story. We find out not only what happened to Lillian, but also what happened to Ned's mother, which doesn't
A series of terrible events both in the present day and the past.
How do you come to grips when as you and your BFF are Skyping each other (you arelocated in different countries) and your friend hears a knock at the door, goes away to answer it and does not come back. And to top that while you are waiting and watching the screen, a log falls from the fire and the house starts to burn down?
Stephen Donovan
Jun 04, 2018 rated it it was ok
2.5 stars.

This book is built around an excellent premise. The plot summary is very intriguing and is what drew me to the book, and the ideas are definitely there. However, I felt the execution of those ideas and the way the story unravelled left something to be desired.

The novel begins at a very fast pace, and acts as a very good set up for what is to come. It presents you with a genuine mystery, and the whole idea of Orla witnessing Lillian's disappearance on Skype (The opening is set in 2006;
A good enough read which had an interesting start with Orla Skyping her friend Lillian who disappears mid-conversation – how can you not be intrigued by that? Lillian appears to have vanished in to thin air. Has she left to seek a new life? Is she dead? No answers are forthcoming & ten years later the receipt of some anonymous notes has the original Detective Ned Moynihan revaluating the episode.
While the opening sequence hooked me from the off, I was surprised to find that it didn’t really gri
Chanel Lindsay
Mar 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Thank you Netgalley for allowing me to read this book in exchange for an honest review..... I rather enjoyed this one. The author sets up a very intriguing storyline that kept me constantly guessing the whole way through. I really enjoyed that the book was told from two points of view - from Orla's and the detective's. And although the ending didn't completely satisfy me, I still enjoyed this book and would recommend it. ...more
Feb 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really good read. Thanks for sending it to me Plum-crazy.
I thought this was a solid read and think it was probably 3.5 stars. The hook was brilliant - friends skyping and then one is called away to the door and never comes back - that really caught my attention. The writing in the first part was pacey and kept my interest. Then part two came along, ten years after Lillian had disappeared, and we got a whole load of backstory about everyone and the focus on finding out what happened to Lillian was lost. I felt the book lost its way a little in the midd ...more
Oct 08, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017-reads
It started off really well and I enjoyed it. However, I soon become a little bored and tired of the characters. The dialogue was wooden and the characters were poorly developed plus I didn't really like any of them. The book was longer than it should have been and by the end I really didn't care about how the mystery would be resolved. ...more
Oct 29, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
After absolutely loving this author's previous book, I had high expectations for this one. Sadly despite a strong start and an intriguing storyline, this as a very disappointing read, which struggle to hold my attention after just a few chapters. The plot was way too 'messy' and the ending came as absolutely no surprise so left me fairly flat and emotionless about the whole experience. ...more
Gordon Johnston
Apr 20, 2018 rated it did not like it
The blurb sounds good - Orla's best friend disappears in the middle of a Skype call. Ten years later there has still been no trace. She is contacted by the detective who led the investigation and told that he has received anonymous notes accusing him of failing to investigate properly.

Sounds good so far - but the first 120 pages of the novel then cover all of this and little more, leaving the reader wondering when they will learn something new. It takes a long, long time. All of the main charact
Aug 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
I received a copy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This book was about two friends Lilian and Orla who were Skyping each other. Lillian goes to answer the door and is never seen again. Ten years later Orla moves back to the village she grew up and where Orla went missing. The case comes back to the surface after she receives some anonymous letters. There is also a sub-plot involving the inspector.

I really enjoyed this story and I never once got bored and read it very
Miki Jacobs
Dec 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I won this is a giveaway from Goodreads. Thank you. The story sucked me in from the first page.
Orla is on Skype to her best friend Lillian who has moved back to Ireland to live with her boyfriend, someone knocks on her door and she goes to answer it. That is the last Orla ever sees of her. No one can find her and she has vanished without a trace. Fast forward 10 years and Orla is back in Ireland with her boyfriend of over 10 years. They are running a café and rubbing along together nicely. Then
Deb R
Dec 08, 2017 rated it liked it
More than 10 years ago, Lillian called Orla, saying, "I have so much to tell you." There was a knock on Lillian's door, and she told Orla she was going to the door to see who was there. Orla waited...and waited...and waited... But Lillian never returned. Now 10 years later, Lillian's disappearance remains a mystery. Anonymous notes begin appearing insinuating that Ned Moynihan, the lead detective, did not investigate the case appropriately. From that point, Ned begins looking into Lillian's disa ...more
Oct 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-read
Gripping from the start, I loved the inventive plot of this page-turner with its two completely unconnected mysteries cleverly running in tandem throughout and both coming to a conclusion at the end. The interaction of the characters is natural and believable and the happenings of the families and all their troubles well written. My only gripe was the repetition, almost like a resume, of the story in the beginning of the second part - did the author think I might have forgotten it already? … and ...more
Jun 22, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016-onwards
Oral is chatting to her friend Lillian on Skype when Lillian hears a knock at the door and goes to answer it.
That is the last time Orla ever speaks to her, because Lillian goes missing.
Ten years later, Lillian has still not been found and the detective who worked on her case has started getting anonymous notes, implying that the case wasn't investigated properly.
What happened to Lillian?

I liked this book and it was a good read.
I liked how it was told from both Orla and Ned's perspectives.
Ned wa
Feb 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Oh I enjoyed this book a lot! So basically Lillian is talking to her friend Orla on Skype and showing her around her new home, all excited about plans for the future etc. then the doorbell rings, Lillian goes to answer the door whilst Orla waits on skype; but Lillian doesn’t own back and something awful happens, she really shouldn’t have answered the door!!! Then the book goes forward 10years and the backstory comes into play along with a little sub plot :o)

I thoroughly enjoyed this book it had
Jan 23, 2018 rated it liked it
Oh I so wanted to like this book. In theory it was right up my alley being a psychological thriller etc but it just didn't click. I thought Orla was weak, James was predictable and Ned a little boring. I feel sooooo bad saying that though as the back stories were quite sad and struck a chord with me plus in fairness the book was really well written. Maybe I just expected more of a twist, more turns, more oomph perhaps? It's definitely a good book, just not a great one :(! ...more
Nerys Roberts
Feb 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Ten years ago Orla was in London Skyping her best friend Lilian in their hometown in Ireland - she ended up watching Lilian’s last known movements. Ten years later and Orla and her partner James have moved to Ireland and Lillian’s case has still not been solved. Now Ned Moynihan, the detective on the original case has been receiving anonymous letters about the case. Did someone see something that night and want the case reopened? Really great read from start to finish.
I Read, Therefore I Blog
Late McQuaile's psychological thriller has an interesting premise and unfurls at a fairly good pace but is burdened by a lot of heavy (and at times unnecessary) backstory, some obvious twists and an ending that's unfortunately too obvious from the start to be truly enjoyable.
Sue G
Nov 12, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: giveaways
An intriguing setting and quite a twisty plot for this compelling murder mystery
with a few surprises and some unanswered questions; on the whole a really good read.
Very happy to receive a copy of this in a Goodreads giveaway.
georgina mcdermott
Nov 30, 2017 rated it liked it
Was quite enjoying this book looking forward to a good twist near the end but it never came the ending was boring and very predictable. The beginning was really good and got me hooked maybe I've just read to many thrillers.
Susan Lanigan
Jan 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Surprised at some of the low ratings on this one - a thoughtful and intelligent thriller with relatable characters realistically depicted. Pages flew by for me. Will certainly seek out more from Kate McQuaile.
Jan 21, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: books-reviewed
I thought this book was well enough written and just about engaging enough to keep me going. The premise was promising. However, I did find it was under written over too many pages. The characters and plot were just too thin for my liking. One that I'm afraid will fade from memory pretty quickly. ...more
Sep 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
I’m not usually a huge fan of thrillers, but I quite enjoyed this one. The story moved along with some unexpected twists (obv vital to a successful thriller). I thought the characters seemed believable...even the unscrupulous ones, and there were a few of them. All in all, a good read.
Linda Harris
Dec 14, 2017 rated it it was ok
Loved "What she never told me " Wasn't as impressed by this one at all . Didn't finish it. ...more
Sarah Hamilton
Jan 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
Good story with a few twists, slightly predictable but still a good read.
Kay Graves
Mar 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great thriller. Very chilling kept me guessing. Once I got into it I couldn't put it down. ...more
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