The Waterford author, Ellen McCarthy, came to notice when she won a competition on a RTE1 television programme and since then has written three mystery thrillers and the third of them – Silent Crossing – just published by Poolbeg Fiction, has already entered the best-seller charts. Her work steadily builds to a page-turning tension as she uses modern time-shifts, like on television, mixed with an Irish flavour and location to achieve an edgy Gothic style where her heroines seem trapped or troubled in scary maze of planned confusion and expert storytelling.
Silent Crossing takes the reader on a journey from Boston to Ireland, to Belize via Atlanta, as you follow the unfolding horror of the dilemma facing Melanie Yeats, who may or may not be a victim or a killer.
I don’t want to give away any clues but in just under four hundred pages, there are twists, turns, shocks and more mystery and fear than you would expect. And even up to the last pages, there are unexpected surprises.
The first five chapters ae brilliant and they weave you into the mystery and you want to, you need to find out where is the story going. The only familiar things are the few Irish locations.
Ellen McCarthy manages to keep the reader engrossed and often puzzled right through this edgy story. You will like the cinematic imagery that plunges you into the story and then exits you into another aspect. Perhaps the style is a little too dense to translate easily into film but McCarthy has a great visual style. She excels in narrative development and plot and also manages to give the reader internal and psychological aspects to link you into the emotional mystery.
You will stay and have great sympathy for the central characters. Melanie Yeats and you will want to know what is going to happen next and next and next.
If McCarthy needs a plot for her next book, perhaps she might consider developing the female Irish Detective, Emer Doyle.