From the award-winning author of The Absence of Mercy, comes a gripping and darkly psychological novel about family, suspicion, and the price we are willing to pay to protect those we love the most.
It’s the summer of 1954, and the residents of Cottonwood, California, are dying. At the center of it all is six-year-old Danny McCray, a strange and silent child the townspeople regard with fear and superstition, and who appears to bring illness and ruin to those around him. Even his own mother is plagued by a disease that is slowly consuming her.
Sheriff Jim Kent, increasingly aware of the whispers and rumors surrounding the boy, has watched the people of his town suffer—and he worries someone might take drastic action to protect their loved ones. Then a stranger arrives, and Danny and his ten-year-old brother, Sean, go missing. In the search that follows, everyone is a suspect, and the consequences of finding the two brothers may be worse than not finding them at all.
About the Author
John Burley is the award-winning author of The Absence of Mercy, which won the National Black Ribbon Award recognizing a new voice in suspense writing. He attended medical school in Chicago and completed his emergency medicine residency at University of Maryland Medical Center and R. Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore. He continues to serve as an emergency medicine physician in Northern California, where he lives with his wife, daughter, and Great Dane.
“Burley never lets the tension lag as he keeps the suspense high . . . with myriad jaw-dropping twists.” — Associated Press
“Packed with tension and unexpected twists, The Quiet Child is a powerful psychological thriller set in a time before the emergence of forensic science.” — Kathy Reichs, New York Times bestselling author of Speaking in Bones
“A beautifully realized thriller, full of striking imagery, and so haunting I thought about it for days afterward. It starts with a parent’s greatest nightmare—your children being abducted—and then asks: What might make you question whether you wanted them back? John Burley is a fearless talent.’ — Glen Erik Hamilton, award-winning author of Past Crimes and Hard Cold Winter
“A riveting novel that engages both heart and mind. John Burley has an eye for detail, a feel for story, and a deep sympathy for his characters.” — Lou Berney, award-winning author of The Long and Faraway Gone
“Eerie, troubling, and masterfully written, The Quiet Child is a captivating synthesis of classic suspense and the supernatural. Burley is a writer who understands the bonds of family and knows how to keep the reader in suspense until the last page.” — Christine Carbo, author of The Weight of Night