Trying to put an abusive relationship behind her, Amy Robinson joins her cousin on a kayaking trip into the wilderness of British Columbia. Together, she and her fellow kayakers bond as they face the thrill of rapids, unpredictable weather, and hungry bears.
But Amy faces a greater danger, and it has nothing to do with nature. Her ex-fiancé Tyler has followed her from Vancouver, on the run from drug gangs and desperate for cash- cash Amy has painstakingly saved for her expanding beauty-salon business.
Luckily for Amy, one of her new friends is a cop. And although she’s wary of his affection at first, Amy is gradually drawn to police detective Ben Malik.
But Tyler lures Amy away from the safety of her companions and into an ugly underworld. If the ruthless thugs chasing him catch Amy instead, she’ll face torture and almost certain death. Will her wits and bravery be enough to keep her safe while Ben struggles to pin down not only Tyler, but the gang chasing them both?
Bradly Alan –
I haven’t read a book in 24 hours since I was much younger and much more avidly reading. I don’t think I’ve ever read one that quickly, which is a testament to the book itself. Great work Ulla Hakanson!
John Robert Marlow, Author, and Academy-honored screenwriter –
A gripping and suspenseful tale about a woman who thought she’d left her abusive ex behind—then finds herself fighting to stay alive when he crashes back into her life. Author Ulla Hakanson takes the reader from majestic wilderness to seedy city streets, using the best and worst of British Columbia as her canvas for this well-drawn, emotionally-charged thriller.
Bertin Drizller for The Book Commentary –
Ulla Hakanson’s The Price of Silence features a stunningly imagined and skillfully executed developed, and readers will instantly love Amy, a character whose love for Tyler has thus far blinded her from fully taking care of herself and her personal interests. The novel features strong themes, following an adventure that offers unpredictable moments and delightful plot twists. Amy’s silence about her abduction might cost her a lot and the author uses this aspect of her personality to build suspense in the narrative. Ben’s interest in Amy is a plot element that grabbed my attention and I kept turning the pages to know what happens next. Hakanson writes in prose that is gorgeous and knows how to weave fascinating details that enrich both the setting and the characters. The author evocatively captures the underbelly of Vancouver’s crime world with captivating imagery. Readers will look forward to reading the next creation from this talented author.
Chris P –
Excellent and exciting thriller
What a superb introduction to Hakanson’s work! I can only echo the comments left by other reviewers: this is an exciting and intriguing thriller that had me hooked from the very first page.
There is something truly atmospheric about Hakanson’s writing, in which the believable characters are enveloped and the reader quickly becomes lost. As thrillers go, this book is chilling and tense in equal measure, but doesn’t cross the line into absurdity or novelty plot points. The author also transports the reader to the beautiful setting of British Columbia – which she describes vividly, and which, in turn, is a sure sign that the pacing is also well-judged. All in all, a very good read. I would definitely read more from this author
Margaret Ann Loveday –
The Price of Silence is aptly named as it sums up the story well, and a perfect example of, ‘wouldn’t it be great to know the outcome of our choices, so we could all make wiser decisions.’
This book has the type of plot that keeps your interest throughout; it has action, suspense, corruption and romance. To be honest I wasn’t sure whether I was going to enjoy the book, because I don’t like reading about drug rings, killers and violence, especially when innocent people are involved. I was able to enjoy this story, because it was written in such a way to keep the level of violence down to its minimum and yet masterfully the author is able to keep the intensity of the plot very well, action and all; action, evil intent and violence without the gory details, well not too much.
All the characters were well developed; I could see them all in my mind’s eye, and the main character, Amy, as a strong female lead player, is always a favourite. Amy is the unsuspecting heroine, strong, intelligent, with superpowers of memory and recognition which saves the day. The two male characters in Amy’s life are like two ends of the spectrum in personality.
The book was also a beautiful peek into the wilderness of British Columbia, a place I have never been, it is a very well written, thrilling novel which I would like to recommend to everyone who likes an action-packed book.
Doree Kustra –
Excellent debut suspense novel. The fast paced thriller, The Price of Silence, takes you on quite a journey filled with twists and turns. At the same time, its contemporary theme connects you to the characters as it explores the complexities of interpersonal relationships.
You keep wishing and hoping everything is going to work out for the book’s sympathetic main character, Amy Robinson, but you can’t ever be sure. This page turner keeps you intrigued right to the end.
MJ Fine –
Forget chick lit with a Swedish twist, “The Price of Silence” is a psychological thriller that’s frighteningly real. The refined details on every page authenticate this nail-biting saga; and in the process I found myself fully vested in Amy’s plight and felt great loathing for the vindictive psychopath bent on destroying her.
But “The Price of Silence” is also a balanced tale, refraining from immature rants and gratuitous recriminations. It tells of the foibles of human nature: How a wonderful person can make a single bad decision (in this instance, the choice of the wrong man as a fiancé) and pay dearly for it. How the kindness of strangers may well be life’s greatest gift. How bigotry has no place, ever. How there is always the right time to forgive. How nothing is more satisfying than the self-destructive nature of evil. By no measure is this “a message book,” but author Ulla Hakanson had the writer’s craft to take me to a deeper level at the same time I burned speedily through the pages of her thrilling novel. The author’s Swedish heritage is gently introduced during the narrative, which adds further richness for the reader.
By the way, I found the great outdoors of British Columbia invigorating, as it was so descriptively told, that I am tempted to add a kayak excursion to my bucket list.
“The Price of Silence” is definitely a terrific book to be enjoyed by both men and women.
Sheila Brogren –
I just finished reading “The Price of Silence” and absolutely loved it.
The picture that the author portrays gives a clear insight into the minds of the characters and makes you wonder what pushes some people down the road towards criminality, while innocent bystanders get roped in through association.
Lots of suspense set within the beautiful British Columbia’s landscape.
I hope Ulla Hakanson is busy working on her next adventure
Margareta Sjölund –
I found the book interesting, and the subject matter is very relevant. I hope we will see more books from Ulla Hakanson.
Anita Kovacevic –
This is one of those thrillers you pick up and swallow as fast as possible. No mushiness, no sentimentality, no illogical romance scenes in the midst of abusive horrors of bad relationships. Clear, intelligent, intense writing!
You can smell the fear, the reek of disgusting evil and hear the pace of a scared but determined heart of a young woman fighting for her life. Action is swift, intelligent and clear, the villains are obsessed, driven and relentless, and the heroine has learned the hard way not to give in to weakness. Courage comes out in its true form when it matters most – cliffhanger life-threatening moments.
The author’s style only begins to excel in the battle of wits between the abusive drug-addict ex-boyfriend Tyler and the matured, accomplished, self-reliant Amy. The real intensity and thrill grow rapidly as you rush through the story. I enjoyed routing for Amy, thrilled at every single idea she had for escape, and hoped with her. Ben, on the other hand, is not your common, garden-variety tall, dark and handsome guy. He tells it like it is, with total respect for Amy’s struggle, all protective but never dominating. I must say I have kind of a book crush on Ben, although (spoiler alert) Amy definitely deserves a man like that. One of my favourite thriller couples!
Another special quality of this book is that characters are depicted through actions, not descriptions, which is not only rare, but really difficult to achieve, and for Ulla Hakanson it seems to come naturally. The storyline has an excellent pace and the plot is well-rounded. My favourite action scene is the safe house struggle – started breathing heavily just reading it, as if I were in it myself! The court scenes are really engaging, and after all the action which took place up until then, the author manages to keep the suspense and keeps you rooting for Amy and Ben with righteousness and outrage at the bad guys. The side characters are written really well, and just as everything else with this book, they grow on you fast.
A definite page-turner with a sense of justice gratified! Still, can’t help but wonder what is in store for Amy and Ben in the next book;)? My wishful thinking for a sequel? Author do keep writing – you’ve got a great set of characters here!
I have lived in Vancouver, Kamloops and Kelowna and have seen a lot of BC. This was an excellent thriller and I had the bonus of recognizing the settings. Can’t wait for the next book.
Jacqui Townsend –
Hakanson has created a believable female protagonist/heroine, Amy, who is faced with almost too many challenges to her stability. Starting from a beautiful location on the interior lakes in British Columbia, she is hit with nightmarish realities. There is criminal outrage, legal drama and loving possibilities ahead – for Amy and the reader. A taut, well plotted read to the last page!
It is great to discover a first-novel author who satisfies so many elements of a really good thriller. There are no words wasted in this lively, smart adventure into areas the average person never experiences.
Eric J. Gates –
Ulla Håkanson’s ‘The Price of Silence’ is an intimate thriller full of credible characters and nail-biting situations set against the backdrop of Vancouver and the British Columbian wilderness. I say ‘intimate’ because the author’s skill in constructing this tale lies in how believable it is. It is populated by people you feel you could meet on the street any day; people who have unwillingly been thrown into dire circumstances and reach into their very souls to find the means to survive. Håkanson takes the reader on that journey of transition, of personal strife, with an aplomb that belies this being her debut novel. Her descriptions of the rugged Canadian wild, of the small townships north of Vancouver, and of the city itself, immerse the reader not just in the places but in the tribulations her protagonist faces as her comfortable life is radically changed by forces far greater than she has ever faced. We experience her evolution as the trials she overcomes allow her to mature as a person. A great read and highly recommended!
Megan B –
I just finished reading The Price of Silence – Wow what a thrill that was! After reading an excerpt from the first chapter free on Ulla Hakanson’s website, I needed to find out what happened next. I thoroughly enjoyed all the twists and turns, the character development and I especially loved that it was set in Vancouver, B.C. I had never read a novel that was set in my own neighbourhood… I could recognize all the street names and areas that were mentioned, it made it that much easier to paint a beautiful, yet erie picture in my head. I cannot wait for the second book to come out… I got quite attached to the main characters and made me feel like I had just gone on a thrilling adventure. The way Ulla wrote dialog between characters flowed seamlessly and I often got so lost in the story that I couldn’t put it down.
Mamta Madhavan, Reviewer, Readers’ Favorite Book Reviews –
The Price of Silence by Ulla Hakanson is the story of Amy Robinson who joins her cousin on a kayaking trip in the wilderness of British Columbia. She tries to put an abusive relationship behind her and start life afresh. She makes new friends and together they enjoy the kayaking trip. But she finds herself trapped because her ex-fiance Tyler has been following her. He is on the run from drug gangs and he desperately requires money. He knows Amy has saved some cash for expanding her hair salon business.
One of Amy's new friends, Ben Malik, is a cop and she finds herself drawn towards him. But then Tyler pulls her away from her good friends and drags her along with him into his world of drugs and gangsters. The story is thrilling and exciting. It makes the reader want to know what is going to happen next. The plot is extremely intriguing and filled with suspense. The reader gets a peek into the filthy world of drugs and gangsters. The theme of the story is relevant. It is something that can happen to anyone, getting trapped with the muck of bad boyfriends.
The character of Amy trying to escape and find a good life for herself is understandable. British Columbia lends a good backdrop to the story. The destruction that drugs can cause in one's life is portrayed well here. Will Amy be able to get out of the mess? Will Ben Malik be able to save her from Tyler and his group?
James Weiskittel, Reviewer, Indie Reader –
A taut, suspenseful psychological thriller that’s frighteningly plausible. When it comes to psychological thrillers, there is nothing more terrifying than a plausible premise. After all, it’s one thing to read about someone befalling a dire set of circumstances, but it’s another level entirely when readers begin to see themselves on the page. Case in point: Ulla Håkanson’s THE PRICE OF SILENCE.
The story opens in British Columbia, where Amy Robinson has joined her cousin Willa for a kayaking trip. Determined to put her complicated past behind her, Amy fully embraces the change of scenery and soon finds herself surrounded by a new group of friends (including an officer named Ben). For once, everything seems to be going her way, that is until Amy’s ex-fiance (Tyler) suddenly shows up. Embittered by their recent breakup, Tyler is in all sorts of trouble and needs cash. Still, Amy has been down this road before and promptly refuses to help him. Undeterred, Tyler refuses to take no for an answer, and Amy soon finds herself slipping back into the life she desperately wants to leave behind. To make matters worse, she’s falling for Ben. Seemingly trapped in a ‘no-win’ situation, the last thing Amy wants is for someone else to get tangled up in Tyler’s web. Unfortunately, that ‘someone else’ just might be the only person who can save her.
THE PRICE OF SILENCE works on so many levels, primarily due to Håkanson’s skilled writing. From the nuanced characters to her hyper-descriptive prose, every aspect of Håkanson’s novel aids in establishing and sustaining tension. Of course, at the center of it all is Amy Robinson. An ex-boyfriend-turned-stalker is hardly new ground, but despite her somewhat ‘tropey’ circumstances, Håkanson’s protagonist is anything but a dimwitted damsel-in-distress. Self- reliant to a fault, Amy was a successful business owner before Tyler came along. And while he initially operated on his best behavior, Amy wasted little time severing ties once his criminal past came to light.
Amy’s independence is a small but crucial point distinguishing THE PRICE OF SILENCE from other run-of-the-mill thrillers. As for the ‘crazy-ex,’ while Tyler initially feels paper-thin, he ultimately becomes a deceivingly complex character. From the shrouded motivations to his unwavering resolve, Tyler is a constant source of unease. The ominous tone and ever-present fear make the romantic subplot between Amy and Ben all the more impressive. Again, a new love interest (who just so happens to be a detective) would probably feel a bit ‘too’ convenient if the simmering romance weren’t so well written.
The same could be said for the surprisingly restrained manner in which Håkanson explores Tyler’s drug use. Rather than paint her antagonist as a ‘druggie’ caricature, Håkanson tethers Tyler’s violent extremes to his unchecked addiction. Håkanson even finds a way to weave her Swedish heritage into the narrative, further setting THE PRICE OF SILENCE from the fray. A taut, psychological thriller masquerading as a chick-lit page-turner, Ulla Håkanson’s THE PRICE OF SILENCE is an impressive debut that works on every level.
Robert Popple, author of “Cold War Warrior – Canadian MI-6 Agent Lawrence Fox –
I belong to a non-fiction book club and seldom read fiction, especially thrillers, but my wife Heather raved about a book that they had just reviewed at her book club and urged me to give it a try; she was certain I would enjoy it. Reluctantly I agreed to read the book and found it delightful. As an author and biographer, I know how difficult it is to achieve such a fine piece of writing. The Price of Silence is fast-paced, the characters are well developed, the language is vivid, the BC settings is described accurately in splendiferous terms and the plot is well-constructed. Ulla Hakanson does a fine job of this fast-developing story, a surprise in page after page. This is a thriller par excellence; highly recommended.
Bob Van Laerhoven, author of “Baudelaire’s Revenge” –
Lately, I noticed that I’m beginning to read more female thriller/mystery authors. They have something what many male authors lack. It’s very hard to put your finger on that “something”, but I would call it “atmosphere”, the “feel” of a novel. Ulla Hakanson’s debut “The Price of Silence” is an excellent example of this. Whether she describes the wild beauty of British Columbia, the tension of legal battles in a courtroom, the blossoming love between characters, family-relations, the unpredictable nature of a drug-addict, the ruthlessness of a gang-boss, the betrayal of a police-partner, or a gruesome fight to death, Mrs. Hakanson is always “in tune” with the situation. In a crisp, no-nonsense style, very suitable for this epic adventure, and often in short, fast-paced chapters, Hakanson leads the reader into a maze of situations that unexpectedly turn vicious. They could happen to anyone and that makes for some chilling reading, counter-balanced with warm emotions that have the flavor of sincerity. A convincing debut that proves that modern thriller-writing is a synonym for damn good writing.
Charlie Flowers, author of “Murder Most Rural” –
It’s a classic trope- psycho ex-boyfriend turns up to ruin woman’s life, but Ulla Hakanson writes well and puts new angles on the tale. Her main protagonist, Amy, is likeable and realistically written, and even her nasty bastard of an ex seems human. The lush descriptions of the vast Canadian wilderness also appeal. More please!
Alexander Rigby –
“This is a very suspenseful book that will keep you turning the pages time after time. Hakanson has created an engaging female protagonist in that of Amy Robinson, and readers are sure to be rooting for her as she faces multiple struggles throughout the course of the novel. Never having much luck with men, Amy has to try to stay out of the clutches of her terrible ex Tyler as he tries to catch her, all the while as she falls for a cop named Ben. Set against the backdrop of beautiful British Columbia, The Price of Silence is an engaging novel that is sure to entertain.”