Silent on the Moor by Deanna Raybourn
13 February, 2010
So I’m back from my travels and have several reviews plus a post on the Galle Literary Festival 2010 in the pipeline waiting to be tweaked and refined before I present them to you!
I managed to read several books during my two and a half week holiday, some planned and many unplanned. My only grump was Georgette Heyer’s Footsteps in the Dark which I just couldn’t finish and so left behind at my parent’s home. Maybe I’ll dust off the cobwebs in my brain and try to finish it next year. And I didn’t manage to even open George R.R. Martin’s A Clash of Kings which I hope to do so very soon.
I took this book with me on my short trip to Bangkok, but didn’t manage to open the first page until my plane journey back to Sri Lanka. I went to Bangkok with my mother who morphed into a turbo-charged shopping and eating maniac as soon as we stepped off the plane, so the only relaxation I got was a daily one hour foot reflexology massage at Lek’s which was divine.
It was only a 3.5 hour plane ride back to Colombo but I managed to finish most of the book, and the remainder I devoured once I reached home and was safely tucked away in my air-con’d room. It was that good. I had forgotten what an amazing writer Deanna Raybourn is. She knows how to keep you hooked, and her characters are so endearing you really want them to sort out their problems. And find the potential killer amongst them, of course.
In Silent on the Moor, we are re-united with Lady Julia Grey, her sister Portia, her brother Valerius, her maid Morag (a reformed lady of the night) and the enigmatic, thunderous and half-Gypsy Nicholas Brisbane, the man who has captured Julia’s heart.
In this, the third installment in the series, Julia has attached herself to Portia who has agreed to oversee the refurbishment of Grimsgrave Manor, Brisbane’s new home in Yorkshire. Theirs is a complex relationship where their entanglement defies society’s sensibilities regarding birth and class, and although Brisbane tries to fight the inevitable, Julia doesn’t make it easy for him. She’s finally come alive after the death of her husband and wants to clarify their relationship once and for all.
To complicate matters, Brisbane has purchased an ancient house once belonging to the Allenby family who can trace their lineage back to Alfred the Great. A mother and two daughters are all that is left of this once great but troubled family and Brisbane has agreed to let them stay until their cottage is ready. When Julia arrives, she is greeted by the sight of Ailith Allenby, a great Saxon beauty who has known Nicholas since his childhood. Julia is left with the feeling that something is not quite right at this ancient manor house.
In this terrifyingly bleak countryside reminiscent of Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights, with change comes the unearthing of old secrets that should have remained buried. Julia and Brisbane are thrust into a world of lies and revenge and they must try to keep their lives as well as their love intact.
All in all, I give Silent on the Moor full marks. It’s atmospheric, filled with historical detail and written exceedingly well with a fantastic plot. Originally this series was supposed to be a trilogy, but boy am I glad that Deanna Raybourn will be continuing with her Lady Julia Grey series. Rumour has it the next book will be called Dark Road to Darjeeling. I cannot wait.