A striking and stylish literary page-turner that breathes life into the past, illuminating a fascinating corner of history by revealing its lost voices and contemporary resonance. Smith's evocative storytelling and willingness to probe the murkier reaches of the human psyche make her a talent to watch!
A fascinating exploration of deafness and human value amid the sights, sounds and smells of urban Scotland in 1817.
I loved Hear No Evil, beautifully written and a real page turner with characters whose company I enjoyed greatly. It evoked the Edinburgh of that time brilliantly and vividly and gave such a wonderful insight into the early quest to understand and give a voice to people who cannot hear. The historical evocation of Edinburgh and the dramatic murder story were both so well done and so rewarding.
A compelling and thoughtful exploration of a deaf woman's struggle for justice in Regency-era Scotland
'Fascinating... gripped me from start to finish'
A richly evocative telling. You can almost smell the reek of the old Edinburgh streets. Feel the brutality and inhumanity of it all... A gentle read that belies its power. A stylish murder mystery illuminating a fascinating corner of history.
In Sarah Smith's debut, Hear No Evil, Robert Kinniburgh, a teacher at Edinburgh's Deaf and Dumb Institution, is summoned to one of the city's jails, where an unusual prisoner awaits interrogation. Jean Campbell, a deaf woman, is accused of drowning her child, but communication with her has been impossible. Kinniburgh, who employs a form of sign language, becomes the means by which she can tell her story, and slowly the complex reality of what happened emerges. Based on a case from Scottish legal history, Smith's novel skilfully combines crime fiction with a woman's struggle to speak the truth.
Dramatic and evocative . . . a stunning debut