The Quiet Child by John Burley – #TLCBookTours Review #TheQuietChild

Posted 11 August, 2017 by Heather in Blog, Blog Tour, Book Review, Heather, Heather Book Review / 1 Comment

I received this book for free from the TLC Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The Quiet Child by John Burley – #TLCBookTours Review #TheQuietChildThe Quiet Child by John Burley
Published by William Morrow Paperbacks on August 8, 2017
Genres: Adult, Historical, Kidnapping, Mystery, Suspense, Thrillers
Pages: 304
Format: ARC
Source: TLC Book Tours
Buy on Amazon
4.5 Stars

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.


Continuing my streak of reading new-to-me authors this summer, I read John Burley’s third novel for the TLC Book Tour stop for the psychological thriller The Quiet Child. Set in 1954 in small town Cottonwood, California, six-year-old Danny and ten-year-old Sean McCray are abducted by a stranger while their father science teacher Michael is in the grocery store. Rumors have swirled for years throughout town that the mute younger child Danny is poisonous to those around him–especially since their mother Kate has continued to grow sicker by the day with a mystery illness that the doctors can’t control and even father Michael has tremors in one arm. Big brother Sean is very protective of Danny and their bond is unbreakable. This overprotectiveness leads to not just Danny being abducted, but Sean too.  Their father Michael promises Kate that he’ll do whatever it takes to bring the boys home, but he underestimates the will of a volunteer Sheriff and his deputies to see those boys back home safe and sound. When Michael is contacted by the kidnapper with a request for ransom, the Sheriff isn’t far behind and the real manhunt begins–for both Michael and the kidnapper.

Told in different third person points of view, we get inside Michael’s head, as well as Sheriff Jim Kent’s thoughts as he trails Michael to find the boys. There are also peeks inside the kidnapper’s mind as well as both of the boys and their mothers among a few others. While this seems like a lot of head hopping, John Burley pulls these POV chapters together smoothly and effortlessly, keeping them on the short side and sparse when they need to be. You see what it’s like for everyone involved, to know what it’s like to be the town outsiders and have every little illness that the townspeople have blamed on one small, nice, little boy who’s never uttered a word.

I really enjoyed the time period appropriate details sprinkled throughout.  We’re so used to the conveniences of modern technology, but to do something as simple as tracing a phone call in the 1950s was a labor intensive process of going to the switchboard building and sifting through long distance call logs. I enjoyed visiting this simpler time, even though it really complicated everyone’s lives in terms of medical services and modern conveniences. We far too often forget what it was like to not have a cell phone at hand or to sit in the same room with your doctor smoking a cigarette as he explains a medical condition (I thankfully was not alive when that was common practice).



I give The Quiet Child a 4.5 out of 5. I loved the pacing and escalating tension, and overall, the tone of this psychological thriller was on point. I had trouble putting this book down. The twists and turns that the plot took were unexpected, and I really didn’t expect a few of them. While the book didn’t really have a happy ending, it was fitting for the book. It definitely explored the bonds of family and how far someone would go to protect their family from harm–even if that decision hurts the people around them.


Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads | Harper Collins

About John Burley

John Burley attended medical school in Chicago and completed his residency in emergency medicine at the University of Maryland Medical Center’s Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore. He currently serves as an emergency medicine physician in Northern California, where he lives with his wife and daughter, and their Great Dane and English bulldog.

Find out more about John at his website, and connect with him on Facebook and Twitter.

Connect with John Burley

Website | FacebookTwitterGoodreads

John Burley’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS for THE QUIET CHILD:


Tuesday, August 8th: The Ludic Reader

Wednesday, August 9th: The Book Bag

Thursday, August 10th: No More Grumpy Bookseller

Friday, August 11th: Bewitched Bookworms

Monday, August 14th: From the TBR Pile

Tuesday, August 15th: Kahakai Kitchen

Tuesday, August 15th: SJ2B House Of Books

Wednesday, August 16th: Readaholic Zone

Thursday, August 17th: Tina Says…

Monday, August 21st: Jenn’s Bookshelves

Tuesday, August 22nd: StephTheBookworm

Wednesday, August 23rd: Hopelessly Devoted Bibliophile

Wednesday, August 23rd: Art Books Coffee

Thursday, August 24th: A Bookworm’s World


The following two tabs change content below.
I'm a PhD chemist who loves sarcasm, music, and books-paranormal, mystery, thriller, suspense, horror, and romance. Most of my free time is spent at the martial arts studio these days--whether practicing Combat Hapkido or reading books while watching my son's Taekwondo classes, or even working up a sweat with Kickboxing for fun. Goodreads

Latest posts by Heather (see all)

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,


One Response to “The Quiet Child by John Burley – #TLCBookTours Review #TheQuietChild”

  1. Books like this make me wonder what I would do in similar situations … how would I react? Would my decisions bring my child home faster, or make things worse? It is certainly interesting (and scary!) to think about.
    Thanks for being a part of the tour!

    Reply »

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge