As J. Sydney Jones has said, "Six degrees of separation find its crossroads in Vienna." The Silence is more than a mystery set in the past. It is a glimpse into a lost world. A world undergoing massive cultural shifts. As such, it is a rather painless history lesson. Historical characters and places are introduced in a fashion that seems reasonable to the story. They are not just slapped in, not just another "famous person" added. Jones thoroughly knows this world and he takes great enjoyment in sharing it with the reader.
Kirkus Reviews listed The Silence as one of its "10 Thrillers to Watch for This Fall" and said that "[Jones uses] mystery fiction to resurrect beautiful, historic Vienna." (August 30, 2011)
Publishers Weekly in a starred review says "Jones vividly evokes 1900 Vienna under the leadership of its notorious anti-Semitic mayor, Karl Lueger, in his splendid third whodunit featuring attorney Karl Werthen and criminologist Hanns Gross . . . Jones poses a challenging puzzle for his savvy investigator while subtly portraying the growing threat to Europe’s Jews." (November 14, 2011)
The Library Journal (starred review): "Young lawyer Karl Werthen loves taking on private investigations, so he is eager to pursue the disappearance of a member of the illustrious Wittgenstein family. Concurrently, a Vienna councilman is found shot in his office, an apparent suicide. Working his missing-person case, Werthen interviews a gay freelance journalist who knows young Wittgenstein and, interestingly, has also been writing inflammatory articles about council activities. The missing man is soon found, but the journalist is murdered. Afraid that his interview triggered the man’s death, Werthen feels morally compelled to identify the killer. But what exactly is he looking at: a sex scandal or financial greed? It is a tangled web that now ensnares Werthen, and the next murder hits too close to home. Verdict Ultimately, this fin de siècle mystery is all very Sherlock Holmes. Populated with such real-life luminaries as artist Gustav Klimt, Jones’s third historical series title (after The Empty Mirror) is an intricately plotted, gracefully written, and totally immersive read. Recommended for Stefanie Pintoff, Laurie R. King, and Philip Gooden fans." (January, 2012)
Christine Zibas in Reviewing the Evidence: "Like the other Viennese Mysteries, author J Sydney Jones has brought together the elements that have worked so well in his first two mysteries: great historical information (including period details on features such as clothing, food, architecture, cultural events, and more); a charming domestic scene with likeable characters (expanded to include disagreeable in-laws, a new baby, and new office assistant); and a good mystery to tie it all together. (April, 2012)
The Historical Novel Society: Editor's Choice: "With artful writing, the author has brought this time and place to life. He has also created a vivid cast of characters and devised a plot that never lags. I was engrossed by this novel and highly recommend it."