SPEAK NO EVIL
Joe Donovan Book 4
Anne Marie Smeaton is back in the hometown she hasn't seen for forty years, trying to live a normal life with her partner and teenage son. But that's impossible for Anne Marie. Because forty years ago, when she was eleven years old, she did something unspeakable. Something so horrifying that society has shunned her ever since.
She's trying to make peace with her past by telling her story to journalist Joe Donovan. But it's not that simple. By dredging up memories she usually keeps repressed, Anne Marie is unleashing old nightmares from the past. Suffering from horrifying visions, she sometimes does bad things. Things she has no memory of afterwards.
So when a teenager on her housing estate is murdered and she wakes up with blood on her hands, Anne Marie naturally fears the worst. Desperate, she turns to Donovan for help. But Joe Donovan might have his own reasons for getting involved. Reasons which have to do with the disappearance of his son. . .
If you do something bad as a child does it define your life? Should it? Or should there be a chance of redemption, of forgiveness? And what about the things that were done to you in the first place? Can you ever escape them?
I was thinking about child murderers when I came to write this book. Mary Bell, Thompson and Venables . . . and I began to wonder what would happen to them in later life. How they would cope. How they would live. Then I remembered the furore surrounding the release of Gitta Sereny's brilliant biography of Mary Bell and the subsequent witch hunt. Then I thought of the child killer I had created for my earlier novel The White Room. And this book began to take shape . . .
And Donovan, of course, is still looking for his son. But he also has a daughter. What's she been up to recently? Can Donovan and her still have some kind of relationship? Let's find out . . .
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'Crime novels are divided between those who strive to recreate the realities of crime and those whose only purpose is to entertain. Martyn Waites is one of the realists . . . this could have been depressing but it is lightened by Waites' compassion. He understands how the damage is done and what it makes its victims do.'
—Natasha Cooper, Times Literary Supplement
'Martyn Waites excels at sympathetic portrayals of people on the very edges of society. His writing, forceful and unsentimental, ensures Speak No Evil, which could have been an arid shocker, is a story with heart, guts and, above all, humanity.'
—Laura Wilson, The Guardian
Pocket Books, UK paperback, February 2009, ISBN: 9781847390592
Pegasus, US hardcover, June 2010, ISBN: 9781605980966
Pegasus, US paperback, November 2011, ISBN: 9781605982625