They’re watching.
They’ve wiretapped the apartment.
They’ve got their daughter.
They told them they’d hurt her if they spoke about it.
They told them, “Don’t say a word . . .”
Or else . . .[1]

I’m not afraid of loneliness.

I’m not afraid of the dark.

But I have to stop reading thrillers after sundown, when I’m alone in the house! Because the atmosphere, the suggestion and the pathos are fine, but risk a heart attack because the neighbor banged the window a little harder than usual, or shoot with the tennis racket in hand at every creak of a piece of gear a little older is not good for my health, neither physical nor mental.

By the way: what’s a tennis racket doing at home? no one has ever played tennis in my house… Bah.

Nathan Conrad is a psychiatrist who treats the seriously ill and desperate cases. One day he receives a phone call: “Good morning, Dr. Conrad. Listen to me. Do not say a word. I have your daughter ”.

The nightmare of every parent, but also as a daughter is not that I feel more at ease, because I identify myself first of all with the kidnapped child (even if at the time I was already 17 years old and I couldn’t really call myself a child ) and then in the girl who is hospitalized in the psychiatric hospital and who seems to be the resolution of the mystery.

In the middle of the book I unfortunately realize that I have seen the film of the same name: Don’t say a word[2]. Despite this, I leap like an idiot to every lively scene, every shocking request and every twist, because as always (or almost) the writing manages to give me a feline thrill that TV can only try to imitate[3].

“You want what they want, don’t you — I’ll never tell. I’ll never tell — Any of you.”[4]

In a world where the image is king, I can vaunt of being one of the few people who prefer the unseen, the imagination. And although in the second part I inevitably see the faces chosen by Gery Fleder rather than those described by Andrew Klavan, the narrative structure is so intricately stimulating that I cannot detach myself from it. And even if I would like to wait for my parents to return or get up and turn on all the lights in the house, I am glued to the last page without stopping.

The book didn’t exactly come out yesterday, but I’m sure you could still find it in the bookstore or order it, and it’s worth it, possibly before you see the movie so you don’t spoil the final twist! Prepare yourself a good glass of red wine, find a comfortable spot on the sofa, warm the room and leave only the essential lights for reading. Make sure you are alone, and please … Don’t say a word!


[1] From the movie.

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don%27t_Say_a_Word

57_ non dire una parola

[3] The title of this thriller actually has a double meaning: “Hush, little one, don’t say a word, run fast under the sheets and sleep will come” is the nursery rhyme that the protagonist, the psychiatrist Nathan Conrad, sings in the evening to his daughter, little Jessica. But silence is also what one of Conrad’s patients, Elizabeth Burrows, eighteen, is locked in. Elizabeth, as described by another psychiatrist, “she has been in and out of nursing homes since she was ten. Inside and out, she has been involved in violent incidents. The police arrested her twice for assault and beatings “. The girl accuses of the violence, often homicidal, another entity, the Secret Friend “Not a second personality, rather a voice, an audio-compulsive hallucination that orders her to do certain things, but which also has some kind of visual component. Whatever it is, it is sure to put her in great turmoil. She goes wild and has incredible strength. You are definitely capable of violent and brutal actions ».

[4] From the novel.