Book Review #50: The Silent Companions by Laura Purcell

silent companions


Title: The Silent Companions

Author: Laura Purcell

Genre: Gothic Thriller, Historical Fiction, Horror

Format: Paperback

Date of Publication: October 5th 2017

Publisher: Raven Books

ISBN13: 9781408888100

Inspired by the work of Shirley Jackson and Susan Hill and set in a crumbling country mansion, The Silent Companions is an unsettling gothic ghost story to send a shiver down the spine…

Newly married, newly widowed Elsie is sent to see out her pregnancy at her late husband’s crumbling country estate, The Bridge.

With her new servants resentful and the local villagers actively hostile, Elsie only has her husband’s awkward cousin for company. Or so she thinks. But inside her new home lies a locked room, and beyond that door lies a two-hundred-year-old diary and a deeply unsettling painted wooden figure – a Silent Companion – that bears a striking resemblance to Elsie herself.

My  first Gothic read and what an amazing introduction to the genre! The Silent Companions is a tantalizing read that will have have you hooked from the get-go. I felt chills run up my spinal cord. The gloomy and dreadful atmosphere in the book kept me on the edge, all the time. There was a constant fear of something looming behind the shadows and behind closed doors. All the characters, even our protagonist, were giving me goosebumps because I couldn’t understand whom to believe. I found the pace a bit slow in the first half, but that’s not the fault of the book. The genre is such that it’s not action packed all the time, like thrillers and crime fictions. But once I reached the mid point and beyond, it was one hell of a scary ride. The book had such an effect on me that one night I dreamt a horror scene. I loved how the story alternately took place in two timelines and kept things interested in both places. All the last sentences of each chapter made me start reading the next one. Even the last line of the book had me silent screaming like Edvard Munch’s The Scream painting. There were so many places that had me re-reading them immediately because it caught me off guard and I had to check if I was hallucinating. It was an actual joy reading this book!

Final Verdict:
The Silent Companions by Laura Purcell gets 5 out of 5 stars from me.

About the author:

06_laura-headshot-1024x683Laura Purcell is a former bookseller and lives in Colchester with her husband and pet guinea pigs.

Her first novel for Raven Books THE SILENT COMPANIONS won the WHSmith Thumping Good Read Award 2018 and featured in both the Zoe Ball and Radio 2 Book Clubs. It will be followed by THE CORSET in September 2018, and BONE CHINA and THE SHAPE OF DARKNESS in later years.

Laura’s historical fiction novels about the Hanoverian monarchs, QUEEN OF BEDLAM (2014) and MISTRESS OF THE COURT (2015), were published by Myrmidon and are available from all book retailers.


Website: Laura Purcell

Twitter : Laura Purcell

2 thoughts on “Book Review #50: The Silent Companions by Laura Purcell

  1. Hetta was one such creepy character! Though as much as I enjoyed reading about her, she definitely gave me chills.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.