Under a Silent Moon, Paperback
3 out of 5 (1 rating)


In the crisp, early morning hours, the police are called to a suspected murder at a farm outside a small English village.

A beautiful young woman has been found dead, blood all over the cottage she lives in.

At the same time, police respond to a reported female suicide, where a car has fallen into a local quarry.

As DCI Louisa Smith and her team gather the evidence, they discover a link between these two women, a link which has sealed their dreadful fate one cold night, under a silent moon. Told in a unique way, using source documents that allow readers to interpret the evidence alongside DCI Louisa Smith and her team, Under a Silent Moon is an unsettling and compulsively readable novel that will keep you gripped until the very last page.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Crime & mystery
  • ISBN: 9780751549591



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Elizabeth Haynes draws on her experience as a police analyst in Under A Silent Moon, the first book in a new series to feature Detective Chief Inspector Louisa ‘Lou’ Smith.Lou’s first case as Detective Chief Inspector involves the brutal murder of Polly Leuchars, an attractive and popular horse groomer, beaten to death in her own home. As her team begins their investigation, they are alerted to a second death in which a woman known to their victim is suspected to have committed suicide by driving into a quarry. It seems likely the two cases are connected but exactly how and why is for ‘Op Nettle’ to determine, and the answer is not as simple as it may first appear.To balance the professional aspects of the investigation Haynes allows us glimpses into the private lives of the investigating police officers. This includes the budding romance between Louisa and police intelligence analyst, Jason Mercer and DI Andy Hamilton’s careless womanising that compromise both the case and his life.The story is organised in chronological order, covering the six days of the investigation. The emphasis is on the investigative procedures of the police task force, named ‘Op Nettle’, as they interview witnesses, cross check facts, execute search warrants, and collate relevant evidence in their remit to solve the case. The novel also includes partial transcripts of text messages, witness statements, press releases and similar documents which add authentic detail to the story.I mostly found the details of the investigation interesting, though also, I have to admit, sometimes dry and repetitive. There is tension inherent in the plot, after all the police are chasing a killer, but it’s more subdued than I expected, and I thought the pace lagged at times.While I think there is still room for improvement as the series develops, particularly in terms of pacing and creating suspense, I do like the overall concept. I’ll be interested in seeing how Haynes builds on this introduction in the next installment.

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