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Out of the Silence

4.73  ·  Rating details ·  88 ratings  ·  50 reviews
Star investigative reporter Ralph Buchanan’s glory days are behind him. His newspaper has banished him to Pakistan, not knowing the greatest moment of his long career is waiting for him there.

When Simone Jasnin asks him to help expose a grave injustice, he finds himself embroiled in a harrowng tale that began in a dusty settlement in rural Punjab, setting in motion a chain
Published January 28th 2019 by Bloodhound Books
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4.73  · 
Rating details
 ·  88 ratings  ·  50 reviews

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Kylie D
I'm not really sure how to review this book. It's not a story to be enjoyed, the poor plight of women in Pakistan being to the fore. However, it's not a story to be put down either. Owen Mullen tackles some serious issues in Out Of The Silence, and tackles them well.

We follow two stories, those of childhood sweethearts Afra and Jameel, growing up in a small village in the Punjab region of Pakistan. However, they are not allowed to marry, and fate takes them in entirely different directions. Jam
Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*
EXCERPT: 'The history of women in Pakistan is the history of oppression. All about power and inexcusable excesses.'

'Go on.'

'In this country, women are the property of men. Let me do something shocking for a female here. Let me buy you a drink and tell you the everyday circumstances of life that exists in this country, the world outside refuses to believe. And when I finish, if you don't see it as I do, I won't ask for your help. You're not in a hurry, I hope?'

I was a newspaperman and she was a l
Dec 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Review to follow as asked on publication day 28/1

This is a harrowing and very real book set in the Punjab region of Pakistan and starts with a woman who is the victim of an acid attack being found in the grounds of a hospital
The woman, Afra ( names are important, these are not just victims they are people ) loved Jameel, Jameel loved Afra but sadly Afra was ( to all intents and purposes ) sold to a family and the abuse started, she is treated worse than an animal and it really is a shocking insi
Chandra Claypool (wherethereadergrows)
Jan 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc
A difficult book to read but absolutely worth it. Part human interest in the plight of the Pakistani women, part revenge thriller with the subtle underlay of a heartbreaking love story. MY EYES ARE LEAKING.

I felt very strongly for both Jameel and Afra… especially Afra. The things she endured. How she has no choice in anything. My heart! This is when the revenge part had me cheering.. all while my heart was breaking. Guys..... GUYS. This is such a hard read. I don't why this particular read reall
Cultural heritage meets murder mystery in this enthralling new release from Owen Mullen.

In the Pakistani village of Mundhi, Jameel and Afra have grown up together and as teenagers they fall in love. They dream of a married life together in their small village, but fate sends them in different directions, albeit to the same location - the teeming city of Lahore. Jameel is searching for his great-uncle; a relative he has never met. Afra, on the other hand, has been sold into marriage with Quasim,
Philomena Callan Cheekypee
Jan 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I’ve read one previous book by this author and loved it so I wanted to read another by this author. I wasn’t disappointed.

Investigative reporter Ralph Buchanan has hit rock bottom. His newspaper has sent him to Pakistan. Is it a case of out of sight, out of mind for them.

When Doctor Simone Jasmin asks him to expose an injustice he gets more than he bargained for.

The plot thickens when members of a family start getting murdered.

Ralph starts putting the pieces together but is he on the wrong tr
Alfred Nobile
Feb 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I was at event where Owen said he written this book at the start at his writing career. He said publishers said it didn't fit into romance, crime or contemporary fiction. Well I have a niche for you, bloody great writing. It tells the story of a washed out alcoholic journalist , Afra a young Muslim girl and Jameel, who love each other. And also the dark side of Pakistani life. How these parts are all brought together in one piece of great fiction is a joy.
Well done Mr Mullen. This was brilliant.
Books n All  Jill Burkinshaw
Dec 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: crime-books

My review will be posted on publication day
Cathy Ryan
Jan 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: crime, thriller
Out Of The Silence is an intensely powerful, moving and shocking story of terror, misogyny and abuse of the worst kind, set in the Punjab region of Pakistan in the late 1990s.

Found by a nurse in the hospital compound, the horribly injured woman was being examined by Doctor Simone Jasnin. She had seen the results of brutality and acid attacks on women before, but never as bad as this one. She knew all too well, living and working there as well as being half Pakistani, how women were treated as se
Susan Hampson
Jan 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Owen Mullen has brought to life some amazing characters in his previous books but this story took me in a totally new direction that made me feel so very humble. In a modern world it seems that technology has developed at a much faster rate than the humans that made it have. The story is set in the Punjab region of Pakistan where men are holding on to their cultural ways of being the superior beings to the female population. This is not an easy read, not a coffee break filler, this is a deep, vi ...more
Lindsey Gandhi
This is a crazy powerful book. This is a difficult book to review due to the subject matter and my personal experience visiting Pakistan. Is there love in this country? Yes, not everyone agrees with marriage equaling slavery for women. And Jameel and Afra have a beautiful, inspiring love between them. They have a connection that gives you hope of change in the way men treat women in that country. Because the current situation, in this book, showcases abuse of the worst kind. And I believe this i ...more
Linda Mckellar
Feb 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow just wow

I just loved this book and consider it one of Owen's best. The facts were so well researched and written and I good not put it down. I always like to savour a book for night time when I'm in bed but couldn't wait til then. I loved being transported to Lahore and getting an insight into such different lives between rich and poor. Not giving away any of the plot but the saying "revenge is a dish best served cold" I am so glad that revenge was served hot. Loved all the characters in thi
Mairead Hearne (
My Rating 3.5*

Out of the Silence reveals in it’s opening chapters the scene of a horrifically injured young woman discovered on the grounds of a hospital in the Punjab region of Pakistan. When she is carried into the hospital, she is seen to by a young doctor, Simone Jasnin, who is absolutely horrified by what she witnesses.

Simone is of mixed culture, with a French mother and a Pakistani father. After years growing up in France, Simone decided to return to her father’s homeland as a medical pr
Feb 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely loved this book, heart rending, exciting, full of suspense, it has it all. Lahore is a long way from Glasgow, the setting for the author’s usual crime thrillers, but the twists and turns of the plot won’t disappoint anyone who enjoys his work. He keeps the reader on the edge of their seat, it is very difficult to put this book down! I highly recommend it.
Jan 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019, m

A powerful new thriller from a critically-acclaimed and bestselling author.

Star investigative reporter Ralph Buchanan’s glory days are behind him. His newspaper has banished him to Pakistan, not knowing the greatest moment of his long career is waiting for him there.

When Simone Jasnin asks him to help expose a grave injustice, he finds himself embroiled in a harrowing tale that began in a dusty settlement in rural Punjab, setting in motion a chain of events that will change t
David Baird
Jan 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Owen Mullen fast became a favourite author of mine over the last couple of years..his crime thrillers always have me hooked so of course I’d want to read his latest work.. so much so I didn’t even read the blurb.. I knew I’d love it.. I just didn’t know how much ..or that it would move me as much as it did.

Under an amazingly written story we truly get a heart wrenching tale of abuse and much so I really felt for all of those was impossible not to get invested in this s
Lel Budge
Jan 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: blog

This story is set in Pakistan and starts with a young woman being admitted to a hospital after being the subject of an acid attack. While she can, she tells her story to Doctor Simone Jasnin and so the tale begins.

It tells of Afra, a young girl in love with Jameel, a village boy, but her mother arranges her marriage to another man for the dowry.

Jameel leaves the village alone to make a life with his Great Uncle in Lahore, Afra’s life is one of brutality and slavery as is the case for m
Joanne Robertson
Feb 06, 2019 rated it really liked it

Wow! This is a bit of a departure for Scottish crime author Owen Mullen but what an incredibly moving and well researched book he has delivered here. Once you start reading, it’s just so easy to become completely caught up in the story of Afra and Jameel, one that is expressively brought to life with a passion and authenticity from the start. It’s a gripping thriller that develops into a murder/mystery and probably doesn’t take you on the path that you are expecting but will definitely give you
Put the word "revenge" in a title of a book and that is enough to drag me in hook, line and sinker. Plus make it a female that is out for revenge and you usually have a great plot. Oh yes, I believe the female bent on revenge will really roll out the nastiest! OK, the word revenge doesn't appear on the cover but it should have as it was a big part of the plot. I've just discovered Owen Mullen with one of his well-written and intelligent crime/mystery books. This was an unusual departure for him, ...more
Maureen Moyes
As  followers of my blog ( will be aware I highly recommend every book written by the very talented Scottish author, Owen Mullen. I my opinon, Owen Mullen writes with true belief and passion, no matter the subject, that I repeatedly find myself captivated from start to finish.  
Out of the Silence is very different from his previous books. Here we have a story with heartbreaking human interest - the role of many women in Pakistan and the unspoken treatment they are subjec
caroline coward
Feb 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great book

Really good read. Couldn't wait for next page... Transported me to Lahore with ease.. Just unthinkable that this goes on
Caroline Vincent - Bits about Books
“For Afra and the millions of Afras, I hope things have improved – now and then, something allows us to believe the forces for good are still out there, fighting against the darkness threatening to engulf us.”
– Owen Mullen

A mutilated, broken, dying woman is found near a hospital in Punjab. Her name is Afra. What she must have suffered makes you cold. Spine-chillingly cold. Beatings. Strangulation. Acid attack. Not to mention what came before, the years of abuse and rape.

To Doctor Si
Jan 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Human interest plus a great murder mystery

A badly hurt woman is found outside a hospital in Pakistan. This is the her story, and also (though a novel) the story of many other women. Also, this is a fast moving, suspense filled, murder mystery!

Afra is being brought up in a small village in Southern Punjab in Pakistan. Her love for Jameel, who lives in the same village, is thwarted and she marries a wealthy stranger. Afra and Jameel's lives then proceed very differently, one finding success and pu
Mary Snaddon
Feb 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019
What a humdinger of a who dunnit! This time Owen Mullen takes us to Pakistan and gives a terrifying insight into the treatment of women in their society. Right from the preface I was hooked because you feel you are being let into a great big secret. I was hungry for the story that Ralph, the journalist, "didn't write".

This book has fantastic character development, and some of them not very nice! It's part love story but primarily a thriller. Afra's mother sends her away to marry into the rich Di
Nadishka Aloysius
I have to confess - it was really hard to read this book. Now, I live in a South Asian country myself, and I am no stranger to the culture and religion that is depicted in this book. But it was so..... hard to read about Afra's torment, knowing that there was no happy ending. It was actually a relief to get to part 3 after the acid attack, and read about the murder mystery part of the story. There were times that I found myself wondering why on earth I had bought this book in the first place! Pa ...more
Lynn Mccarthy
Feb 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I really dont know what to say about this book except that i really enjoyed it.....
This book touched me deeply with the way women are treated in Pakistan You will become caught up in the cultural struggles facing these young women.
It's part love story but primarily a thriller.
Its also a story of disgraced Investigative Reporter Ralph Buchanan and how he discovers the story of Afra.
You must read this book it is so good well written and you feel you are immersed within the pages.
Lady Delacour
Owen Mullen says in
his acknowledgments
Out Of The Silence
is unlike anything else
I’ve written. The story
came to me almost whole.
What I'm saying is
this story was
Educational and
well Executed.
4 Stars.
Listened with TTS.
Foul Language.
Donnah Brown
Feb 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jackie Jackson
Jan 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Really enjoyed this story. Can't wait for the next book from this author
Margaret Mary Lynch
Feb 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone who likes a good story well told.
Recommended to Margaret Mary by: Liz Condon Campbell
Shelves: favorites
I have read all of Owen Mullen published books and I can honestly say he is one of my favourite authors. He is a wonderful storyteller, drawing the reader into the events from the start and keeping the interest throughout. Out of the Silence starts with the innocent attraction of youth, followed by disillusionment when the harsh reality of arranged marriages in Pakistan forbids a young man with "nothing in the world" from marrying his true love. The young couple arrive in the same city but neith ...more
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Owen Mullen is a McIlvanney Crime Book Of The Year
long-listed novelist.
And So It Began earned a coveted Sunday Times Crime Club ⭐Star Pick.

Owen Mullen graduated from Strathclyde University, moved to London and worked as a rock musician, session singer and songwriter, and had a hit record in Japan with a band he refuses to name; Owen still loves to perform on occasion. His great love for travel ha