Book review: Elite group of men rule the roost in a post-apocalyptic hellhole Dublin

Silent City continues Sarah Davis-Goff’s nightmarish tale of dystopian Ireland

Sarah Davis-Goff: Her second novel takes up where Last Ones Left Alive left off

Sarah Davis-Goff’s debut novel Last Ones Left Alive came screaming out of the darkness in March 2019, almost exactly a year before Covid-19 brought the world to its knees. Had its publication date been 12 months later, the marketing campaign would have written itself.

The book’s theme dovetailed scarily with the fears that Covid-19 sent spiralling, recounting a nightmarish tale about the last survivors of a deadly virus in a post-apocalyptic Ireland.

Set six years after the events of that debut, Silent City follows our teenage heroine Orpen in Phoenix City which is the last bastion of humanity on the island. The rest of the country has been abandoned to the “skrake”, humans infected by the terrifying virus. It kills them horribly before taking over their bodies, essentially turning them into the living dead. They are “decaying but never dying” creatures, desperate for more living souls to feed upon.