Book Review: After the Silence – Louise O’Neill

Book Review: After the Silence – Louise O’Neill

Release Date:
September 3rd 2020
Publisher: Riverrun Books
Pages: 439
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly sent me a copy of this book to review
Rating: 4.25/5 stars


Nessa Crowley’s murderer has been protected by silence for ten years.
Until a team of documentary makers decide to find out the truth.

On the day of Henry and Keelin Kinsella’s wild party at their big house a violent storm engulfed the island of Inisrun, cutting it off from the mainland. When morning broke Nessa Crowley’s lifeless body lay in the garden, her last breath silenced by the music and the thunder.

The killer couldn’t have escaped Inisrun, but no one was charged with the murder. The mystery that surrounded the death of Nessa remained hidden. But the islanders knew who to blame for the crime that changed them forever.

Ten years later a documentary crew arrives, there to lift the lid off the Kinsellas’ carefully constructed lives, determined to find evidence that will prove Henry’s guilt and Keelin’s complicity in the murder of beautiful Nessa.

In this bold, brilliant, disturbing new novel Louise O’Neill shows that deadly secrets are devastating to those who hold them close.


After the Silence is the dark and brilliantly told story of the small island of Inisrun which was devastated by the murder of Nessa Crowley at the Kinsella’s party ten years ago. The islanders believe they know who killed her, but it was never proven and the murderer walks free. Ten years later a film crew from Australia arrive to film a documentary about the murder that shook the islanders and perhaps also uncover the truth about what happened that night.

I’ve previously read Louise O’Neill’s The Surface Breaks and while this was a completely different kind of story it was just as compelling and unforgettable. O’Neill brings you right into the heart of Inisrun, getting to know the villagers and the events that led to the death of Nessa Crowley. I loved the way the story was written, flitting between the present day and the past with some parts told in an interview style. O’Neill has a really captivating writing style and it was so easy just to get lost in this story.

The story is a tense one and focuses particularly on domestic abuse. It was a chilling read and one that will stick with the reader long after they’ve finished reading. The story has a few twists and turns – ones I wasn’t particularly expecting. After the Silence feels like an incredibly well researched and executed tale, with really fascinating and complex characters. We mainly follow Keelin Kinsella, who on the surface has it all – she’s wealthy, has the perfect husband and two beautiful children. But there’s so much more going on behind the scenes and I think Louse O’Neill portrayed that perfectly.

After the Silence is much more than a typical psychological thriller. It’s a dark and fast paced story and one that fans of Louise O’Neill are sure to love.

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