The Other Side of Silence by Natasha Mostert (2001, Hodder and Stoughton)
Natasha Mostert's books are wonderfully-woven tales of mixed psychological and supernatural suspense, and her second novel is no exception. The Other Side of Silence is the story of Tia Theron, a university professor in Johannesburg, and how she becomes embroilled in a plot to change the face of music, and possibly the face of humanity, forever. It's a little like Darwin's Radio meets Wuthering Heights with a techno soundtrack.
Like Mostert's other works, this book is filled with tension, obsession, and an almost cloying gothic atmosphere. The subject matter in this novel is a bit esoteric for the average reader, as the storyline centers around sound and scale theory as well as the idea of decentralized information processing, and is set in South Africa. Mostert, however, does a commendable job in giving enough background information that most readers won't feel completely lost. Her portrayal of Johannesburg, in particular, is on par with any of Gibson's gritty near-future cities.
While there are a couple of small and inconsequential inconsistancies, The Other Side of Silence is a gripping read.
Rating: 3 1/2 Stars