A Conspiracy of Silence is the fifth book in the Legat’s DI Gillian Marsh series. Discovering a character several books into a series can place the reader at a disadvantage, in my opinion, however I felt the story worked very well as a standalone novel. If anything, it’s a positive as reading it made me wonder at some aspects of DI Marsh’s character so I’d like to read the books in order to find out more about her.
I found DI Marsh quite caustic at times, lacking empathy and I got the impression that’s part of her character’s nature. Her no-nonsense approach certainly seemed to help with getting to key information as she worked to uncover the secrets hidden in Whalehurst’s inner sanctum though.
There were quite a few potential suspects and characters which can be a bug bear of mine, however Legat portrayed them distinctly so that they never blurred together in my mind. Reading the book felt like playing a game of Cluedo (oh, how I loved that game as a child!) with a little snippet of information being revealed at a time by different characters. There were so many lies, half truths and blind alleys that I wasn’t able to guess the outcome. And even then, there were a couple of final surprises in store which I didn’t see coming.
The old boys’ network and elitism portrayed by the obsequious headmaster towards some of his favourite pupils and their rich parents made me love to loathe him and I enjoyed learning more about his background.
I would recommend this book for lovers of Midsomer Murders who enjoy trying to solve a mystery before the big reveal – I failed miserably but enjoyed the challenge!