Sunday, 11 March 2018

Book Review - Walls of Silence Ruth Wade - twisty historical psychological thriller



My Review

Oh My Goodness!

This book packs a powerful punch that smacked me in the gut, there's a real shocker of a twist that I really didn't anticipate until just a chapter or two before it is to be revealed I began to have a nauseous sense that there was something coming that I hadn't been expecting .... then wham!

But I digress, it's hardly surprising that my thoughts are a little muddled having just spent several days locked in the mind of a woman incarcerated in a lunatic asylum.

This woman is Edith Potter, daughter of the renowned Dr Potter leader in the field of examining the psychological impact of shell shock following the first world war.

Spinster Edith lives alone, since her father was murdered by an unknown intruder, no wonder she is jumpy and nervous living in the very house where he was killed.

It's clear from the onset that Ediths mind is a little disturbed, she has secrets and has built a wall to keep them away, but this is to become her undoing and one day she flips completely and ends up an inmate in a cruel and uncaring mental asylum where she is catatonic and unresponsive.

In comes Dr Stephen Maynard, young and ambitious he hears of Edith and her plight and decides she will be the perfect subject for him to test his theories using the new-fangled psychoanalysis to try and help her. But is he about to unleash more than he can cope with? As he starts to break down the walls that surround Edith and she begins to respond we realize that she is harbouring a few terrible secrets which she needs to keep buried at all costs.

There is quite a lot of detail about psychoanalysis as we delve inside the mind of this deeply disturbed yet very intelligent woman and at several points throughout the book I really thought it was me that was going inasne, so deeply does the author make us feel the despair and confusion of a deeply damaged psyche.

The story is rather disjointed but this all adds to the feel of unease, uncertainty and a terrible sense of madness. When I discovered the final secret she is keeping hidden, it both shocked and saddened me. It's a real twist I wasn't expecting, though the clues and hints are there.

This is a thoroughly great historical look at mental health issues and a twisty psychological thriller combined. It is dark and scary and despite the despair I loved it. Highly recommended.

The Blurb:

The patient has a story that isn’t told and which no one knows of. It is the secret, the rock against which he is shattered. Carl Jung

The Great War is over but for Edith Potter an equally devastating conflict is about to begin. 

She is unhinged by a secret so terrible her conscious mind doesn’t acknowledge it.

It is 1927 and Dr Stephen Maynard is using the new science of psychoanalysis to restore her sanity.

From his first meeting with her in the lunatic asylum, Dr Stephen Maynard is determined to bring her back to reality. During the long challenge, her disturbed behaviour forces him to confront his limitations – already severely stretched by the presence of someone prepared to use whatever weapons they can to ensure she maintains her silence.

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