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The Scream

The Scream is a novel written by Ruth Calder Murphy, with Mathew Taylor.

For more information about how The Scream was written, click here

The Scream

Sam Roden doesn't know who he is, where he's come from or where he's going. His landlady Elizabeth says that everyone is like that; it's just that most people don't realise it. Sam has no memory, only a strange and illogical vision of a room that isn't there and an eccentric friend who insists that Sam is the perfect assistant in his investigation of a murder. The Scream is a detective novel with a difference. The difference being that the person helping to investigate the crime is asking the most unexpected questions; questions that are relevant to anyone who is ever going to die.


"Sam Roden is an enigma. He has no memory of who he is, where he is going or where he's been. He wakes up on a train bound for who knows where. He ends up in a village on the English coast. There he meets Pierre, a French man investigating a murder. As they proceed with the case, Sam begins to ask questions about mortality. Will Sam remember who he is, and help solve a brutal murder?

I was intrigued with the premise of this book. If you didn't know who you were, where you are from or where you were going, how would you begin to go about solving a murder? This story is fantastic! It is a detective story that kept me enthralled! It is a short story of 144 pages, but as I followed Sam and Pierre as they tried to gather the facts of a murder, I got to see things through Sam's eyes as if for the first time; because he had no memory, everything was fresh and new. The story was woven so extremely well that I didn't see the twist near the end until I began to read it! It sent a slight chill up my back! It surprised me for a bit, but when I thought about it, it made sense. This book has a message about mortality and forgiveness, and has a spiritual/religious undertone. However, I would highly recommend this book to everyone, as it is a beautifully crafted piece of fiction. I applaud the authors of this book, and I hope there will be more books from them soon!"

"Just don't read the end before you have read the rest of the book (I am so glad I resisted my usual habit). Seeing the world through the eyes of someone who has lost his memory was fascinating and the metaphors Ruth uses are so vivid and unusual.

Once I got to the end, I had to re read the story to see the clues that I had missed and understand what was really happening. It is difficult to review this book without giving away what it is really about. I recommend you read it and find out what I mean. I look forward to reading future books written by this talented author."

"My 'little grey cells' were kept working overtime as the story unfolded, with the intriguing Poirotesque figure leading me by the nose through plot's maze, and into a fascinating denouement.

Setting the story in the middle of the last century works very well, providing an appropriate ambience.

Not a theological treatise, but a vehicle that raises theological issues that concern us all, whether under that label or not - ie, death and dying, and just how does a God outside time deal with creatures who can't escape the restraints of temporal existence.

A brilliantly absorbing read!"

"This is an extraordinarily accomplished piece of writing. Firstly an excellent murder-mystery yarn, satisfying and ultimately surprising, Calder Murphy takes a risk using a very English mid-20th Century narratorial voice. This could have been off-putting, instead I found myself wholly won over.

It is also a thought-provoking book, but mercifully lacking in stifling pretension. Perhaps the most remarkable 'philosophical' success of The Scream is its ability to imbue the mundane with a sense of cosmic importance, not least through the recurring theme of play as an expression of eternity.

It rather felt like tucking into freshly home-baked bread, which no doubt the narrator would heartily recommend."

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