‘The Silent Room’ is the first novel in Mari Hannah’s series featuring DS Matthew Ryan and DI Eloise O’Neil.
DS Ryan and his boss DI Jack Fenwick were more than colleagues in Special Branch, they were also close friends. So Ryan was shocked when Jack was found in possession of illegal firearms. Then as Jack was being transferred to Durham prison after an unsuccessful bail application, the van was hijacked. The Internal Affairs investigation, led by DI Eloise O’Neil, assumes that Jack Fenwick is on the run and that Ryan assisted him in his escape.
Suspended and without a warrant card, Ryan sets out to prove that Jack is innocent, not only of escaping, but also of possessing stolen firearms. He believes that the firearms were planted before an Internal Affairs tip-off and that Jack has been kidnapped and is now in danger. His task is made more difficult by O’Neil’s offsider DS John Maguire who delights in bringing down colleagues – guilty or not and has especially targeted Ryan.
Together with retired detective Grace Ellis and ex MI5 officer Frank Newman, Ryan sets up a full investigation room – The Silent Room to pull together enough information to find Jack and clear his name.
There are some unusual alliances and the uncovering of a private investigation that Jack was involved in before Ryan finally comes close to achieving his aims.
This was a brilliant novel with some excellent characters. Ryan’s blind twin sister Caroline and Jack’s wife Hilary both played significant parts in the story. Eloise O’Neil was also excellent and worked well alongside Ryan. Maguire was the character I loved to hate.
I can see an excellent future for Ryan and O’Neil and I’m looking forward to reading the next novel in the series – ‘The Death Messenger’. I’m also looking forward to continuing my catch up of Mari Hannah’s DI Kate Daniels series.