Well, at least it has flying saucers. Oisín McGann’s new novel Strangled Silence is one of the most menacing looking books I’ve seen for a while. It’s all black, even around the edges, which makes you think you’re not looking at a book at all.
The flying saucers help lighten the atmosphere somewhat, which is good, as otherwise this would be a much scarier story. It happens here and now, in a normal London, post Iraq war, with a new war in fictional (I hope) Sinnostan. And it’s not the terrorists who are the most frightening. What is the Government up to?
This thriller is just that little bit too real and too likely. And that’s including the flying saucers. Conspiracy everywhere, a bit of brainwashing every now and then, subtle violence, and not so subtle violence. And who wants to travel on the tube from now on?
Amina is a work experience journalist and Ivor was wounded in Sinnostan. Chi is a computer nerd and Amina’s brother Tariq has problems at school. They all get caught up one way or another with the seemingly crazy and inexplicable things that are happening. As it’s fiction, the reader feels that surely they will be all right in the end? But will they? This feels very real, and very scary.