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by Patricia Carlon

Nine-year-old Ann and her Aunt Rachel are the only witnesses who can connect Mart to the girl he strangled at a nature reserve, so he begins to stalk them, sending a wave of terror through the inhabitants of a small Australian town. Reprint.
Download Unquiet Night epub
ISBN: 1569472130
ISBN13: 978-1569472132
Category: Mystery
Subcategory: Mystery
Author: Patricia Carlon
Language: English
Publisher: Soho Crime (July 1, 2003)
Pages: 192 pages
ePUB size: 1339 kb
FB2 size: 1784 kb
Rating: 4.2
Votes: 993
Other Formats: rtf mobi docx mobi

So says a wife to her husband in a normally quiet neighborhood, and she's quite right. A young man of unsound mind is lurking around various houses in the night, pestering people with weird phone calls, looking for the young woman who saw him earlier that day by the lake, where he did something terrible.

Something just as terrible is going to happen to Rachel, if and when he finds her.

All sorts of misunderstandings, missed appointments and near misses of comprehension stand in the way of Rachel getting help. I'm being vague so you'll have all the fun (or terror) of sweating through Rachel's terrible situation.

It's intriguing to imagine Patricia Carlon, reclusive and stone deaf, living alone in Sydney with her numerous cats and, in her soundless world, thinking up ways to create claustrophobic nightmares for her hapless characters. She wrote her thrillers between 1961 and 1970.

These days Carlon's thrillers are mainly available from used booksellers and some titles are unavailable, a sure sign that we should be buying them up before they all disappear.

My favorites so far are The Whispering Wall, Hush, It's a Game and The Unquiet Night.
An attempted murder goes wrong, and the culprit needs to track down and silence the witness. It takes quite a while before he can identify the right person, but eventually he finds and imprisons her. Nobody realizes she is missing, so the latter part of the story focuses on her wondering if she will be found before she dies. There is very little action in this novel of suspense, mostly the thoughts of the characters, and people talking about what has or hasn’t happened. The coincidence of circumstances makes the story feel more like a board game. Instead of tension, we get tedium.
When a man strangles a woman in a quiet, secluded reserve he reacts with disbelief and then fear. Disbelief that he has caused her death and fear that he may be caught. It is this fear plus a growing rage that drives him for the rest of the book. His first action is to calm himself and then he disposes of the body by rolling it into a lake. As he is walking from the water's edge, he receives the nasty shock that he's not alone, a woman and her 9 year old niece are also at the reserve. In a panic, he hurries off, but not before allowing the woman to get a good look at his face. Once again he agonises over the fact that he's been seen at the crime scene and can be identified. His solution is to eliminate the witnesses and so he sets off trying to track them down.
As night falls, the man begins his hunt and the tension slowly begins to build. Patricia Carlon effectively piles on the suspense and leaves us in no doubt that the hunter is verging on the edge of madness. As he gets closer and closer to his quarry, his rage increases with every minor setback, making him even more dangerous.
Patricia Carlon has captured the confused and panicked thought processes that may go through a person's mind after a violent act. She also gets us inside the man's head, causing us to realise that he will stop at nothing. Each scene is set up perfectly to achieve maximum suspense.
If you enjoy the mind numbing terror that comes with the fear of the unknown, strangers at the window on a dark and stormy night, this will help keep you awake. It was written and set in the 1960's and is a terrific example of an honest to goodness thriller that doesn't rely on the blood and gore scenes that are popular today.
An Australian whose psychological suspense novels are appearing in the US some thirty-plus years after their original publication, Patricia Carlon, like Ruth Rendell, is a master of tense, claustrophobic suspense. The sixth to be published here, "The Unquiet Night" focuses on a woman and child in the wrong place at the wrong time.
A young man, Mart, strangles a disrespectful pick-up date and dumps her body in the lake at a nature reserve. Leaving, he spies a woman with a playing child. Their eyes meet.
Putting the nervous fellow from her mind, Rachel Penghill takes her niece home, her mind on her unhappy love life and her new business, unaware she has panicked a killer who is now feverishly tracking her.
Point of view shifts primarily between Rachel and her stalker but also encompasses other players - the mother spooked by a strange man's phone call to her nine-year-old daughter, the radio newsman determined to protect Rachel from involvement in his uncertain prospects, the policeman jaded by human nature. Tension mounts as luck, weather and circumstance form a suspenseful counterpoint to the killer's cold-blooded deviousness, culminating in an agonizing, protracted climax.
This is classic Carlon - a compact, sparely written story with well-drawn characters. Rachel is appealing and resourceful while the killer is deeply chilling yet pitiful.
The Unquiet Night has bone-chilling thriller written all over it! I couldn't put it down -- the haunting scenes made me curious about what would happen next. What I first considered to a desperate attempt at reading something different and obscure turned into one of the best reading investments I've made in quite a long time.
Set in Australia, Carlon tells the story of Martin Deeford -- a lonely and deranged man who seeks the company of someone who can understand him. He sees Rose as his saving grace, but his disarming attempt at having a faithful listener ends in murder. Martin thinks that the murder will never be traced back to him -- but little does he know that the nightmare has just begun...

Patricia Calon writes with a penchant for mind-boggling suspense. Hers is a talent that shouldn't be taken lightly. Her writing is quite similar to Penelope Evans's (The Last Girl and Freezing). I shall spread the word about this wonderful yet underrated piece of work. Good thrillers are scarce these days, and we must embrace hidden treasures such as this one...