"A chilling thriller"
The plane heading for Boston crashed in the New Hampshire
White Mountains. Rescuers save five survivors including
Kylie O'Rourke and her spouse Jack trapped inside the
doomed flight. Kylie relates a strange story that just
before crashing, she noticed a raven perched on the plane's
wing. Kylie also insists that she and the other four
survivors were restlessly hiking the mountain though they
were found inside the fuselage when they were rescued. No
one else who lived to talk about his or her harrowing
experience substantiates Kylie's claim.
Kylie's psychologist insists what she says she saw and
believes happened was caused by post-traumatic stress
combined with drug stimulated hallucinations. However,
Kylie continues to see a raven with human eyes and turning
paranoid insists that the malevolent beings she saw on the
mountain are after her while people in good health that she
knows start dying.
QUIETUS is a strong suspense that has readers
questioning whether it is a psychological/medical thriller
in which Kylie is losing her mind, a horror tale where the
spirit domain has entered the living realm, or a
combination of both. The story line is exciting but the
wide use of psychological, medicinal, and spiritual
elements enhances the audience's perceptual guesses yet
slows down the pace of the plot. Still, Kylie is a
wonderful lead protagonist walking a thin line between
insanity and real danger, which is what makes Vivian
Shilling's haunting novel work.
Reviewed by PNR Group Member
Posted June 21, 2002
On a stormy winter's evening a chartered flight bound for
Boston goes down in the treacherous White Mountains of New
Hampshire. An extensive search results in the rescue of
five survivors -- noted interior designer, Kylie O'Rourke,
and her husband Jack among them. But it is just the
beginning of the nightmare for Kylie. Through the haze of
morphine she awakens in the hospital to confused and
harrowing memories of the crash -- memories not to be
trusted. Though trapped within the wreckage, she recalls
wandering the icy mountainside and speaking with one of the
other victims... yet he had died upon impact. As the
freakish aftermath becomes sharper in her mind it grows
darker, with frightening visions of specters and the
horrific feeling that she and the others had somehow
Reassured by her doctor that her memories are the product
of her sedation, Kylie returns to her life in Boston, but
the aftermath of the tragedy proves unbearable. The visions
continue to haunt her, while her husband slips away from
her into his own world of survivor guilt and deceit.
Increasingly paranoid, she soon believes that she is being
followed through the streets of Boston. In her nightmares,
the predator is a specter crossing over from the
mountaintop to reclaim her. An old man eyes her in the
subway, while a dark figure stalks her through Beacon Hill.
Then a sudden and freakish tragedy sends Kylie's world
toppling. While those around her fear she is losing her
mind, Kylie finds herself caught up in a chain of events
she cannot escape.
In this superbly chilling novel, Schilling masters the
complex and macabre. She delivers an unnerving
psychological thriller that leads us on a collision course
where every breath, every step can carry the gravest of
consequences. She paints bold and unforgettable characters,
while resurrecting disturbing and powerful apocrypha that
had been all but buried under contemporary religious
With spellbinding intrigue, Quietus takes us to the
brink of reason, to the edge where spiritual and physical
meet . . . a world unto its own that breathes within the
shadows, the flutter of a bird, the scamper of a spider.
This chillingly hypnotic tale builds with frenetic momentum
to its shocking and haunting climax.