Book Review: Silent Is The Forest by Gisa Klonne

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Title - Silent Is The Forest
Author - Gisa Klonne
Publication Date - September 22nd 2016
Publisher - Bonnier Zaffre
Format - Kindle Edition (Provided by publisher via NetGalley)
Pages - September 22nd 2016

The silent forest hides many secrets...

When a badly decomposed body is discovered in a forest, Judith Krieger, a police detective from Cologne, is assigned to the case.

For years burdened by a terrible memory, Judith knows that this is her last chance to recover her famed abilities. Chain smoking and suffering from chronic fatigue, she gets started with the investigation. But Judith makes mistakes, and is forced to blur the boundaries between work and her own past.

With everything at stake - her job and even her identity - she has no choice but to solve this case, but is she still the cop she once was?

First of all, I'd like to say a massive thank you to publishers Bonnier Zaffre for providing me with a review copy of Gisa Klonne's Silent Is The Forest. I knew as soon as I set eyes on this title that I wanted to discover this author for myself. With such a creepy and unsettling cover, and a blurb that promised a riveting case and complex, haunted heroine, how could I possibly resist?

Klonne takes readers straight to the action as Silent Is The Forest Begins. First with a teaser of the recurring dreams Judith is plagued by, sealing the plot with a certain sense of foreboding, followed by the grim and gruesome discovery of a body that has been left exposed to the elements and is barely able to be recognised. Following on from this discovery, Judith is pulled into the case and begins to slowly but meticulously gather the information needed to figure out how their victim came to die in such a way and in such a place. Tricky, deceptive, and with a manically-spinning roundabout of witnesses and possible leads, this was a case just waiting to be cracked open, ready for all of its dark and nasty secrets to begin spilling out.

From the get-go, the overwhelming sense of place in this novel wrapped me up completely. It was impossible not to be pulled into the dark and secretive surroundings of the valleys and thick, never-ending woodland that seemed to coat the area. It was atmospheric to say the least, and the setting ensured I remained on high-alert right the way through the novel, as it lent so much to the essence of the place and the darkness it kept hidden within. It felt incredibly claustrophobic at times, only lending to the positively strangling sense of foreboding that seemed to hide behind the copious amounts of trees the surrounding the area on all sides. A forest full of secrets was what it felt like to me, and I loved it all the more for it. Eerie yet incredibly captivating. Sort of like a setting for a dark fairy-tale.

As the investigation progressed, I was hooked as the truth behind the discovery of the dead body began to surface. Every clue and detail, every suspect and new area to be investigated, touched upon by the author made this all the more real and shocking. I absolutely loved the journey I was taken on throughout the telling of this story, and found Detective Judith Krieger to be a fantastically-built character who I took to immediately. She was fierce and unafraid, but also troubled in her own ways too, which made her all the more interesting to me. Rather than revealing Judith's history all at once, Klonne peeled back her layers bit by tantalising bit. Besides Judith Krieger, there were a number of brilliantly-crafted characters who really added a sense of realness to this novel, each of whom I loved getting to know more about. There was a real mix of personalities for me to get my teeth into, and the more I knew of them, the more I liked them. The different levels of tension between Judith and her colleagues was another aspect I enjoyed within this novel, and the dynamics between each of them were compelling to say the least.

All in all, Silent Is The Forest by Gisa Klonne was a darkly captivating and unsettling novel, capturing the essence of place perfectly, and using that to the advantage of such an unnerving case. Chilling and gripping, I couldn't put this one down and refused to rest until I reached the very last page, feeling completely and utterly satisfied. A crime thriller at the top of its class. I absolutely LOVED it. Becca's Books is awarding Silent Is The Forest by Gisa Klonne with five of my bookish stars. I certainly won't be hesitating to read more by this author in the future.

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