The Quiet Child: A Novel

The Quiet Child: A Novel

by John Burley


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From the award-winning author of The Absence of Mercy, comes a gripping and darkly psychological novel about family, suspicion, and the price we are willing to pay to protect those we love the most.

It’s the summer of 1954, and the residents of Cottonwood, California, are dying. At the center of it all is six-year-old Danny McCray, a strange and silent child the townspeople regard with fear and superstition, and who appears to bring illness and ruin to those around him. Even his own mother is plagued by a disease that is slowly consuming her.

Sheriff Jim Kent, increasingly aware of the whispers and rumors surrounding the boy, has watched the people of his town suffer—and he worries someone might take drastic action to protect their loved ones. Then a stranger arrives, and Danny and his ten-year-old brother, Sean, go missing. In the search that follows, everyone is a suspect, and the consequences of finding the two brothers may be worse than not finding them at all.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062431851
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 08/08/2017
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 354,824
Product dimensions: 5.31(w) x 8.00(h) x (d)

About the Author

John Burley is the award-winning author of The Absence of Mercy, which won the National Black Ribbon Award recognizing a new voice in suspense writing. He attended medical school in Chicago and completed his emergency medicine residency at University of Maryland Medical Center and R. Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore. He continues to serve as an emergency medicine physician in Northern California, where he lives with his wife, daughter, and Great Dane.

MacLeod Andrews is an actor, voice actor, and Earphones Award-winning audiobook narrator who earned the prestigious Audie Award for best narration in 2018. He has starred in a number of independent short and feature films and is a member of the Rising Phoenix Repertory Company in New York City.

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The Quiet Child: A Novel 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous 10 months ago
Scary, sad, and exciting.
3no7 More than 1 year ago
“The Quiet Child” by John Burley is a book filled with non-stop suspense, mystery, suspicion, and surprises. It is difficult to write a review without spoilers because every event is tied to another. In the summer of 1954, the residents of the small town of Cottonwood in California are shaken by the blatant daylight kidnapping of two children; the family car was stolen with Danny and Sean McCray inside. The search for the boys is complicated because the younger boy, Danny, is a “quiet child” and does not speak. A dark cloud hangs over the residents of Cottonwood as they struggle with a multitude of concerns, the kidnapping of course, but also the economy, the quality of life in the small town, and the health and well-being of friends and family. Things are much more complicated than they seem on the surface, and that ambiguity is the gripping part of the story. Burley has constructed a story so compelling and so full of twists, turns, and startling revelations that it is difficult to describe more of the plot without giving away critical details. Just be advised that each page contains a tiny kink, a compelling question, or an unanticipated turn. The plot is unpredictable and compelling, and every action has a dark side and an unexpected consequence. Burke drops the details slowly, bit by bit, throughout the narrative. Just when things seem to be coming together, here comes another complication. No one is truthful, and not everything is as it appears. “The Quiet Child” is as compelling as it is deceptive; nothing is as it seems. Tension, anticipation, and suspense drag readers into the story. I could not put it down; I was stunned on every page. And yes, it ends with a HUGE bombshell. I heard John Burley speak about “The Quiet Child” at The Book Carnival in Orange, Ca. He is an interesting speaker, and his book is unforgettable.