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The Silent Speak

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“There’s a lunatic out there who butchered five innocent people and nobody is looking for him.” 

Aoife Walsh has plenty keeping her busy—finalising her divorce from her manipulative husband, settling into her still-new relationship with Detective Conor Moloney, and trying to win the trust of his teenage son. So for the moment, her fledgeling career as a freelance journalist has been put on hold.  

Then comes the horrific news that an entire family has been slaughtered in their own home. Aoife is shocked to discover two of the victims were members of her on-again-off-again book club. Even more disturbing is the revelation that the police believe it was a murder-suicide. 

That’s when Aoife receives a tantalising offer. Lisa, the main suspect’s sister, will grant Aoife access to the victims’ extended family for an exclusive news story—if Aoife will help find the real killer. Moved by Lisa’s unwavering belief in her brother’s innocence, Aoife agrees to help.  

As she digs into the secrets of her fellow book club members, Aoife discovers potential suspects everywhere: people having affairs, a jealous husband, and a power-hungry business partner who’s clearly hiding something. 

Aoife keeps pulling at the threads of the story, untangling more and more deception. Is the killer really dead and buried? Is it someone Aoife already knows? Could the lunatic be closer than Aoife ever imagined? 

You won’t be able to put down this twisty thriller from international bestselling author Val Collins.


214 pages, Kindle Edition

First published February 23, 2021

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About the author

Val Collins

5 books105 followers
Val Collins is the author of the award-winning psychological thriller GIRL TARGETED and the No. 1 international bestsellers ONLY LIES REMAIN, THE SILENT SPEAK and WHERE LOYALTIES LIE. All four books are stand-alone thrillers and they can be read in any order.

Val has lived in Ireland her entire life, and graduated from University College Dublin. She enjoys chocolate, going for long walks in the countryside, seeing as much of the world as possible, meeting friends, writing, and reading. In fact, she devours books at the rate of one per week, and her favourite authors range from Philippa Gregory and Sophie Kinsella to Lee Child and Linwood Barclay.

Join Val online at valcollinsbooks.com, and on social media @valcollinsbooks.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 119 reviews
Profile Image for Pat.
2,310 reviews384 followers
February 11, 2021
Set in Ireland, the country is still reeling from the murder-suicide of a young family. The husband, Shane Grogan, killed his wife and three children and then himself. Or did he? Everyone who knew him said what a loving family man he was. Aoife Walsh is a part time office worker and part time freelance journalist. She has a boyfriend, Inspector Connor Maloney from the police, and a three year old daughter from a previous marriage. She gets caught up with looking into the murder-suicide when the dead man’s sister, Lisa Grogan (whom I actually found quite annoying as she was so pushy) badgered her incessantly about it.

While Connor is having a break from work his sergeant, Derek, is in charge of the case and Aoife pushes and pushes him until they agree to share some info. Straight away Aiofe finds a couple of other viable suspects and the case is suddenly wide open again because, if Shane Grogan didn’t kill his family, then who did? Aoife works the case with both Jenny, Derek’s wife, and her best friend, Orla. Aoife is such a confident, brash young woman I couldn’t help liking her. Things take a dark turn however when another woman is murdered in the same way. She is known to the earlier victims and the link could be a book club they were all members of.

Things get darker again when Aoife begins to feel the flutter of fear about how the investigation is going, strange things have been happening to her and she is sure someone has been in her house. It feels like someone has been working against her and she doesn’t know who to trust. Naturally, the ending is very suspenseful.

I really enjoyed the book.The pace was good, there were no flat spots and the main characters were interesting and mostly likeable. The story was good and interesting. The ending, hmm a little implausible but not impossible. This book will appeal to any mystery and thriller lover. There was enough intrigue and secrets and unreliable narrators to satisfy. Thanks to BookSirens and Val Collins for my ARC. My opinions are my own.
February 23, 2021
I have been trying to read a book from Val Collins for awhile now but, due to other bookish commitments, the timing was never right. Then as fate would have it, the stars finally aligned and here I am now with my review for The Silent Speak on its publication day. Was it worth the wait? Read on to find out…

With a fair amount already on her to do list, how is Aoife Walsh going to juggle the story of her life with finalising her divorce, whilst continuing to build her new relationship, both with her new partner and his son. Especially when that story is shaping up to be not just a story but also an opportunity for her to solve a grisly multiple murder.

The Silent Speak is a very well plotted and put together tale that had me hooked right from the get go. I appreciate a good thriller and Val Collins has delivered one here in spades. It is fast paced and action packed with so much tension and suspense as well as twists and turns aplenty to keep you gripped and on the edge of your seat.

I thoroughly enjoyed the character of Aoife Walsh who also features in the two other books from the author. They are standalone and in no way did I feel that I was disadvantaged by not reading the other ones, but I hope to be able to go back and read them at a later date. The other characters were very well developed and perfect in the roles they have been given to play.

Val Collins really knows how to get a readers attention and keep it that’s for sure. Even if I wanted to, I was unable to put this book down for even a second as I just had to know how it was going to unfold. What I loved was that I thought I had it all figured out and was quite pleased with myself, but then Val Collins ripped out the rug from underneath me for a reveal that I did not see coming at all! Well played!

The Silent Speak has been the best introduction to Val Collins work for me. I absolutely loved this book and I am sure that you will to, so do yourself a favour and add this to your reading immediately for 2021. It was a pleasure to read and review The Silent Speak, which I highly recommend.

Thank you to Val Collins and BookSirens for allowing me to read an advanced copy of The Silent Speak, which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily.
Profile Image for Aisling.
Author 3 books93 followers
March 13, 2021
Excellent thriller!

The plot unfolds beautifully. A terrifically tense thriller I could not put down. Aoife and her home life make a great background for an unsolved mystery until Aoife's investigation stirs up trouble! Loved it!
Profile Image for Natalie  all_books_great_and_small .
1,976 reviews69 followers
February 11, 2021
I received an advance reader copy of this book to read in exchange for an honest review via netgalley and the publishers.

The Silent Speak is a gripping, fast paced and full of action psychological thriller.
Aoife is a journalist looking to hit the big time to help her Journalling career take off and who is also divorcing her ex husband Jason who's possessive and controlling.
Aoife is in a new relationship with Conor, a detective who is involved in a murder suicide case of someone in a book club her friend is a member of.
Aoife starts her own investigation into this case after being approached by the sister of the man who supposedly murdered his family.
This book kept twisting towards the end keeping you guessing. Just when you think you have it figured out, another twist occurs.
I really enjoyed this book and highly recommend it.
Profile Image for Jean .
538 reviews12 followers
February 3, 2021
Val Collins’ The Silent Speak is a great read! I read a chapter or two, then life intervened. The next time I picked it up, I couldn’t put it down. I raced through it, so there was a time or two I couldn’t keep some of the characters straight. The next time I read it, I will go slower and savor. Obviously, I recommend this book.

I want to add that I appreciated that at the beginning of the book Collins shared the pronunciation of a few of the Irish names. A few weeks ago I read a book that didn’t do that and was frustrated by one of the character’s name through the entire book.

I received this book as an advanced review copy for free. This review was written voluntarily.
11 reviews
February 2, 2021
I hadn’t read such a suspense book for a long long time... I just couldn’t stop myself going page after page... You think you’ve figured out the murderer but... what an unexpected surprise!!! It’s a must read!!!
Profile Image for Linda Strong.
3,882 reviews1,626 followers
July 1, 2021
Aoife is shocked to the core when she hears about an entire family who were viciously murdered in their own home. Two members of the family were members of her book club.Law enforcement have made it known that they feel this was a case of murder-suicide.

Aoife is astonished at an invitation to interview extended family members for an exclusive story .... the freelance journalist she is cannot say no.

As she digs into the secrets of her fellow book club members, Aoife discovers potential suspects everywhere: people having affairs, a jealous husband, and a power-hungry business partner who’s clearly hiding something.

The more she investigates, the more questions she has. And the more she asks those questions .. the closer to danger she becomes.

The plot is well-crafted, action-packed, and fast paced. I enjoyed the blend of professional with the personal, as Aoife is preparing for the final dissolution of her marriage to an abusive man and start a new union with a police detective. His teenage son has reservations, so she has been working on building some kind of bond with him. Although is 3rd in the series, it is easily read as a stand alone. However, I do recommend reading in order as Aoife's back story is most interesting.

Many thanks to the author / Netgalley for the digital copy of this crime fiction. Read and reviewed voluntarily, opinions expressed here are unbiased and entirely my own.
159 reviews9 followers
February 9, 2021
I really enjoyed this murder mystery. The main character, Aoife, is a strong woman who can't help but get involved in solving a murder/suicide after she is approached by the sister of the victim that is accused of the murder. While the police believe they know who committed the crime, the victim's brother seeks out Aoife to prove her dead brother's innocence. The book did not focus too much on the gory details of the horrendous crime, but rather on the smarts that it takes to solve it. Aoife is a journalist and wonders why she should get involved in solving the murder, but she does and once she does, she herself begins to question the official findings. Another murder takes place cementing Aoife's belief in the innocence of her client's brother. She also begins to fear that she will soon be a target of the murderer. The author weaves a great mystery leaving me guessing until the end just "who done it!" I had guessed incorrectly! I received an advance review copy for free from book sirens, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.
Profile Image for  Bookoholiccafe.
570 reviews99 followers
February 22, 2021

Set in Ireland , Aiofe is in the process of divorcing her ex-husband, Jason. As a journalist, she is looking for an opportunity to grow and take off in her career. She is now dating an investigator involved in a family murder case. Will this be the chance for Aiofe? Will she be the one solving this mystery?

The Silent Speak was a gripping psychological thriller. I plunged right into this story knowing how artistically Val pens thrillers. The plot was fast-paced and intriguing. I liked Aiofe being the one narrating the story. Her character developed well through the story, As a mystery, this book had the right amount of suspense and twists. It kept me engaged and turning pages not wanting to stop reading. It was very interesting to learn about the police and investigation process in Ireland.

Note to Author: I thought I guessed everything Val, the ending was unforeseen, unexpected, and surprising.

Thank you Val for this amazing book. Can't wait to read the next one.
Profile Image for meowskinsbookskins.
12 reviews2 followers
February 18, 2021
I was so incredibly lucky to receive an advanced copy of The Silent Speak by @valcollinsbooks available next week Feb 23rd! This was my first book I've read by the talented Val Collins and oh my goodness I am in love! This is the definition of a page turner! It was SO hard to put down. If you love a psychological thriller, you won't be disappointed. You'll follow a freelance journalist named Aoife Walsh as she tries to solve a murder while dealing with issues in her personal life. One of the greatest parts of this book is an ode to book lovers and book clubs and it's set in Ireland, a magical place I absolutely adore! I will definitely be picking up her two previous books featuring Aoife: Girl Targeted and Only Lies Remain.
Profile Image for Delphia  Von Heeder .
735 reviews13 followers
February 8, 2021
The Silent Speak if an outstanding thriller by Val Collins. This thriller has so many twists and turns that kept me guessing until the end. The characters have so many layers. A family is murdered and burned. The police think murder/suicide. Aoife Walsh is a freelance journalist and the suspect’s sister, Lisa, wants her to help clear her brother’s name. Aoife boyfriend, Detective Conor Moloney, thinks the case is solved. While the murder case is the main story, the dynamics of Aoife’s daughter and Conor’s son is masterfully woven into the story. The Silent Speak is a very good story. I received an arc for my honest review.
Profile Image for Billie.
5,448 reviews61 followers
February 1, 2021
This is a brilliant read.
Wonderful well written plot and story line that had me engaged from the start.
Love the well fleshed out characters and found them believable.
Great suspense and action with wonderful world building.
Can't wait to read what the author brings out next.
Recommend reading.

I read a complimentary advance copy of the book; this is my voluntary and honest review.
Profile Image for Linda.
58 reviews
February 11, 2021
The Silent Speak is a great mystery. It starts out with a multiple murder, but as the main character starts to investigate, this triggers more victims. I enjoyed this book because there were a lot of things that I didn’t see coming. I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.
677 reviews4 followers
January 29, 2021
A frightening "who dun it" and you won't know the answer until the exciting and surprising ending.
Memorable characters in an action-packed novel you won't soon forget. Highly Recommended.
53 reviews1 follower
February 6, 2021
I received a copy of this book from Book Sirens and enjoyed it very much.

Aoife Walsh is finalising her divorce from her controlling husband and is a freelance journalist and has a young daughter called Amy. She is in a new relationship with Detective Connor Maloney who has a resentful son called Blaine. Aoife is a member of the book club and is horrified to hear that the entire family from one of the book club members have been murdered but the Police think it is a murder/suicide. She is asked by Lisa, the suspected Murderer's sister, to use her investigative skills to prove that it was not her brother and that he in fact was murdered as well. Lisa offers her a no hold bars exclusive interview with her only if she will do this. During Aoife's investigation several people are killed prevent the truth coming out and Aoife is attacked by two different people. This book can be read on several different levels such as work aspects, relationships between Aoife and Blaine, Aoife and Conner, Amy and Blaine and the emotions of a controlling ex husband and the insecurities of a new relationship, whilst the story carries on. I read this book in one setting. the one thing I did find difficult is the Irish names as I have never heard of these names before and found I did not know how to pronounce them but I managed to skip over the names and it did not spoil the book.
Profile Image for Heidi.
105 reviews9 followers
February 10, 2021
I was so happy to see a new book from Val Collins about the freelance journalist Aoife. From the first paragraph I was back in the storyline, even though it was a year since I read the last book. I was not able to put the book down, and finished much faster than I would have liked.

The book is easy to read and keep track with. There are enough surprises in the book to keep you on your toes, but not so many that you feel the surprises being taken out of thin air. I feel with the characters when I read the book, and I can understand the feelings of doubt Aoife have in the midle because of the stories in the two previous books.

I was sort of expecting the ending to have a big surprise because the two last books had it, so I was not as surprised this time around. I almost had the correct guess in the second half of the book. Even though I was not surprised by the end, I could not put the book down from the last 20 % of it! I would definitely recommend the books about Aoife.

** Thank you to the author for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review **
Profile Image for Tilly Suffield.
53 reviews
February 15, 2021
Aoife is a part time journalist in a relationship with detective Conor. The narrative begins with the supposed murder suicide of Shane, his wife and kids. Yet Shane's sister Lisa is convinced Conor has come to the wrong conclusion and someone had murdered her brother and his family. She enlists Aoifes help to investigate especially as she was in the same book club as the deceased family. The plot follows Aoife interviewing book club members and potential suspects uncovering many motives from affairs to money issues to jealousy. The author certainly keeps you guessing until the very end of the book and the reason behind the murders is shocking. I really enjoyed the book and couldn't put it down.
Profile Image for Jena Massey.
242 reviews5 followers
February 10, 2021
This book was amazing! I really love this author and this book will keep you up late at night wanting to read one more page!
Profile Image for Roxx Tarantini.
503 reviews4 followers
March 3, 2021
An investigative journalist in a relationship with a Detective Inspector - what could possibly go wrong?

Aoife Walsh has been hesitant to "seal the deal" in her relationship with Conor Moloney. She has baggage from her previous abusive husband. He has a teenage son who seems to despise Aoife. Add to this tumultuous existence a demand by the sister of a man who stands accused of having killed his family in cold blood; Aoife finds herself enmeshed in the investigation. Which doesn't make Conor happy at all.

The Silent Speak is the first time I've encountered Val Collins' work. She weaves her tale well and peppers enough nuggets of previous books in the series that though I started at number three, I felt the characters were clear and engaging. A great story and skillfully written, I happily recommend this book!

[I was fortunate to receive a copy of the book from the author via BookSirens, with no obligation to review. The opinions herein are given freely and are entirely my own.]
Profile Image for Mirza Baig.
61 reviews
February 11, 2021
I received a copy of this book from Book Sirens and I am very thankful to them for this opportunity!

Honestly I had never read anything from Val Collins and didn't know what to expect, but seeing that the premise was intriguing I plunged right into this one. And oh my was this one a blast!! Excellently placed, the short chapters just kept the suspense building up and the really likable characters just kept hooked me throughout. Usually while reading mystery thrillers I do get a sense of who the culprit might me, however here the last act twist was so unexpected and well sought out, making even the most improbable situation believable. I enjoyed this one so much that I already started reading up on Aoife previous adventure, Girl Targeted, and have already picked up, Only Lies Remain. Will keenly await whatever author Val Collins comes up with next!
Profile Image for Barbara Behring.
243 reviews98 followers
February 26, 2021
This was a very satisfying mystery nevel. I can't wait to go back and read her other two books featuring Aofie.
Profile Image for Mackenzie RM.
816 reviews16 followers
February 8, 2021
Collins sure knows how to write a page-turner!

This is the second novel I’ve read by Collins and I’ve been thoroughly satisfied by what I’ve found.

The plot is intriguing and fast-paced, with just the right amount of mystery and suspense to keep you biting your nails and your mind racing to put all the pieces together.

I would have liked to give this one 5 stars, but it wrapped up a little too quickly for my liking. I was definitely surprised at the big reveal, don’t get me wrong... but I felt like Collins just swept everything together and wrapped it with a bow to make for a smooth ending.

Though the novels Collins has written to date are stand-alones, I enjoy that the characters are the same. I haven’t read her first book, but I don’t feel as though I missed anything because of it. Aoife is a good narrator for these novels, with her work as a journalist helping to unravel the murder investigations that she gets involved with. The progression of Aoife’s character is well done, as well as her overall story’s progression, in terms of relationships.

I am interested to see what Collins will write next!

I would like to thank BookSirens and the publisher of this advanced digital copy for the opportunity to read this novel in exchange for an honest review! All opinions expressed are my own. Upon publishing of this novel, I will also be posting my review to Amazon Canada.
Profile Image for Wulfwyn .
1,094 reviews99 followers
January 27, 2021
I love this series! I like Aoife a lot. She is smart and caring. We both like book clubs so she could be my friend. This book finds Aoife getting closer with Conor but having less luck with his son Blaine. Jason is still in the picture, as Amy’s father that is to be expected, causing problems. She has returned to work though and is getting on with her life.
Then a family is found dead, considered to be a murder-suicide. Both the husband and wife were members of Aoife’s book club. Aoife didn’t know them but is drawn into the investigation by the husband’s sister, who believes her brother was also murdered. As Aoife starts peeling off layers, it appears that others in the book club know more about the murders than they said. Then one of those members ends up dead! Strange things have been happening at Aoife’s house, too. She thinks it’s Blaine but could it be the killer coming for Aoife?
There is a lot going on in this book. It kept me turning pages until I fell asleep right before the reveal! I was laying there, saying, “just one more page,” when I dropped my Kindle with my eyes closed. Ugh. When I awoke, the Kindle was dead so double ugh. I put on coffee while charging and quickly got it turned on. Imagine my shocked surprise when a twist happened that I never saw coming! It was so worth the trouble! I wish I could tell you more but it is best to read it yourself.
This is the third book about Aoife. Each book can be read on their own but I think you will enjoy them much better starting with Girl Targeted and reading Only Lies Remain before reading this one. They are all excellent and you will get to know, and understand, Aoife much better reading them in order. Each book has its own mystery to solve.
This is a series I will continue to read. Being American, I didn’t know a lot about how police procedures may be similar or different from the States. Ms Collins does an excellent job describing how they are in Ireland. There are some differences but also enough similarities for me to have no problem following along. Some of the names are in Irish. The author gives you the pronunciation of these and you can also check YouTube to hear them if you like. They are much easier to pronounce than they look. The author sets the mysteries up with plenty of suspects so you have choices to make in deciding who did it. Not everything is as it appears to be, much like real life. Set aside some time for this one!
601 reviews2 followers
February 25, 2021
This is the first book I have read by this author and the ARC was provided by Hidden Gems in exchange for this review. This is the story of Aoife Walsh, who is a freelance investigative journalist that is asked by the sister of the presumed murderer to examine a family murder/suicide of members of her book club. At first, she hesitates because her boyfriend, Colin is a Detective Inspector, and it might cause a riff between them. As a couple they already have some issues, with Aoife’s soon to be ex husband still in the picture because of her young daughter. Her reluctance to actually be engaged to him. Colin also has his son for the summer and there is some tension between him and Aoife.
As Aoife starts looking at the crime and she begins by meeting with the members of her book club, because she has not been faithful in attendance. She begins to learn more about the family and other members secrets. As she uncovers the revelations of the members, it begins to look less likely that there was a suicide and more like a family massacre. The suspects continue to be uncovered and it keeps you guessing who could have done this. It is a great mystery thriller that will keep you guessing until the end. Plus, I enjoyed the fact that while investigating this crime, Aoife’s life keeps adding challenges to her life and adds to the story.
Profile Image for Barbara Powell.
669 reviews49 followers
February 13, 2021
Aofie is a journalist in Ireland who’s in the process of divorce from her controlling husband. She’s dating an investigator who’s involved in a murder case of an entire family in what looks like a murder suicide of a member of her book club. When the man who is accused of committing the crimes sister comes to ask Aofie to look into the case because she believes he is innocent and the police are convinced that he did it, Aofie finds all kinds of people that look guilty in their circle of friends. As another member of the group gets killed, Aofie has to figure out who it is before the killer strikes again.

There were lots of twists and some bits were fast paced and others kind of drug on but overall it’s worth the read.
Thanks to netgalley for this arc in exchange for my review.
Profile Image for Jennifer.
43 reviews
March 3, 2021
Wow, this is one of the best thrillers I’ve read in a while. Val keeps you guessing from page one. You think you are sure who the killer is, and so does Aoife, but you’d be wrong. Loved how she put that twist in. Also love how she showed how people view family and their values. Also love that this series of books is set in Ireland, nice change from most being set in England. This is Val’s third book with Aoife, but all are stand alone stories.

Thank you BookSirens and Val for the advanced copy of this book.
Profile Image for Linda.
1,117 reviews8 followers
February 23, 2021
I enjoyed this fast paced murder mystery. Set in Ireland, Aoife, a part-time journalist is asked to look into a suspicious death that the police are calling murder-suicide. As she digs up clues, the killer sets their sights on her. You won't believe who it is!!! I would highly recommend it. I received this book for free and I am voluntarily leaving my review.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 119 reviews

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