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A Stain on the Silence

by Andrew Taylor

From the lips of her dying mother, a petite dark haired 25-year-old discovers the name of her biological father. Within a week she is on his doorstep (to his dismay).
”How did you find me?” he says.
”Carlo told me your name. I found you on the web.”
Well! From a grainy old photograph she is at once
scanned into your subconscious at 600 DPI. Exactly
what you see doesn’t matter, because its only purpose
lies in furthering the author’s design, which is to
ensnare his reader.
Such is the magicky-moo of good storytelling: half
the time the reader is unknowingly seduced into
colouring and clothing the scenery and cast from his own
experience and memory: in order to release it a writer of
Andrew Taylor’s intelligence and subtlety knows
exactly where and when to press the tit. Lesser
novelists can, and do, write half a page describing
a character to far less effect.
The problem with reading a book by an author as
professional as Andrew Taylor is that when you
subsequently see the film you are amazed and
annoyed at how the director appears to have misunderstood
and miscast the whole thing. Sighs of patient
resignation can be heard from every corner of the cinema,
believe me.
The reader, however is too busy reading to notice
that he’s been seduced. Which is why A STAIN ON THE
SILENCE is so suitable a book to take with you on holiday.
If all goes well and your journey has been uneventful,
you are now relaxed beside the pool with a long, cool
drink. You open A STAIN ON THE SILENCE and are
irrevocably drawn into its web from page 1 to page
415.
If, on the other hand, you have had the usual
hassle, A STAIN ON THE SILENCE is an absolute boon. Your
flight is delayed? Never mind, you decide to open your new
book. The baggage handlers go on strike? You read
on. There is a bomb alert? You read on. You spend a day
and a night on the floor of the departure lounge in
the company of 5000 other people? You just read
on..and on...and on...
Review by Paula.

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