Based in a richly imagined Belgium, Silent Saturday is sophisticated, atmospheric and brooding. Veerle is constrained by the oppressive relationship she shares with her deeply over-protective mother. Seeking an escape from this, she goes climbing and, whilst so doing, becomes reacquainted with an old friend Kris and encounters the Koekoeken, a group of urban explorers who enter empty buildings.
Alongside the rekindling of the friendship, comes the gradual remembrance of a shared experience that both Veerle and Kris had hoped to forget. There is a clever interplay between the internalised fears that Veerle’s mother is subject to and that she wishes to protect her daughter from and the very real external horrors being systemically perpetrated. This creates an excruciatingly tense atmosphere of uncertainty and of palpable psychological fear. Characters, their emotions and motivations all feel real in this carefully crafted novel which is the first in a proposed trilogy, Forbidden Spaces.