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The Orphan Choir (Hammer) [Paperback]

Sophie Hannah
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (72 customer reviews)
RRP: 6.99
Price: 5.24 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

10 Oct 2013 Hammer

Louise's seven year old son has been sent away to boarding school against her wishes, and she misses him desperately.

And her neighbour from hell is keeping her awake at night by playing loud, intrusive music.

So when the chance comes to move to the country, she jumps at it as a way of saving her sanity. Only it doesn't.

Because the music has followed her. Except this time, it's choral music sung by a choir of children only she can see and hear ...

Frequently Bought Together

The Orphan Choir (Hammer) + The Carrier (Culver Valley Crime)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Hammer (10 Oct 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099580020
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099580027
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.8 x 2.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (72 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 37,763 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Sophie Hannah is an internationally bestselling writer of psychological crime fiction, published in 27 countries. In 2013, her novel The Carrier won the Crime Thriller of the Year Award at the Specsavers National Book Awards. Sophie has also published five collections of poetry. Her fifth, Pessimism for Beginners, was shortlisted for the 2007 T S Eliot Award. Her poetry is studied at GCSE, A-level and degree level across the UK. Sophie lives with her husband and children in Cambridge, where she is a Fellow Commoner at Lucy Cavendish College. She has recently written a new novel starring Hercule Poirot, approved by the Agatha Christie estate and due to be published in September 2014. This new Poirot novel has already sold to more than 30 countries. Sophie's website is, and you can follow her on Twitter at @sophiehannahcb1.

Product Description


"Warning: This book is scary. If ghost stories are your thing, you will absolutely love it." (Viv Groskop Red Magazine)

"a truly chilling read" (Stylist)

"a tense mental journey ... Deft and compelling, The Orphan Choir delivers a chilling gut punch" (SFX Magazine)

"an old-fashioned horror story, given a modern spin by the likeable narrator. It has a creepy cinematic feel and races along to its frightening ending" (Sunday Mirror)

"a very modern sort of ghost story" (i, Independent)

Book Description

Published by Hammer, a terrifying ghost story from Sophie Hannah, the Sunday Times bestselling author of Kind of Cruel, A Room Swept White and Little Face. If you were chilled by The Woman in Black, you will be haunted by this.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The neighbour sounds more fun! 19 Jun 2013
What a strange book. Odd start, unsatisfying middle, questionable ending (but I won't spoil it here).

Are we sure this was meant to be a ghost story? I've had more frights receiving a restaurant bill.

It's a pity because the premise seemed quite good (I've not read Sophie Hannah before, this was actually recommended to me): A woman, missing her young son, finds her life increasingly intolerable because of the neighbour from hell.

She thinks he's playing choir music to antagonise her and escapes to the country, only to find the music follows her.

All very ghostly - except for me, it was anything but.

For starters, the protagonist was so dreary that my immediate sympathies lay with the far more colourful sounding fellow next door. I couldn't reconcile the idea of a mother sending her seven year old son to boarding school in any circumstances (it completely alienates non-Enid Blyton-bred readers, but maybe that's the working class in me) and when she eventually moved out I was ready to ring her neighbour's doorbell and suggest throwing a party to celebrate...

Perhaps I ought to try another Sophie Hannah book as The Orphan Choir didn't do it for me. This was like the aftermath of Chinese meal: I needed more and the taste in my mouth remained - but I simply couldn't face it.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dire 31 July 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
Such a disappointment. How can a respected, published author churn out such utter drivel? Pointless storylines, basic vocabulary, two dimensional characters, ridiculous 'twists'... I could go on but cannot be bothered to waste any more of my life thinking about this book. I love fiction, I love reading, I loathed this book. Just don't waste your money or your time.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Poor show 26 Oct 2013
By Cat
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I've loved all Sophie Hannah's books but absolutely hated this. The main character, Lou, was immensely unlikeable, and her drippy husband was just about as bad. It started with promise, then became pretty farcical pretty quickly. A huge disappointment, and in no way spooky, just slightly confusing.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Mediocre at best... 2 Jun 2013
By Ewan
I was pretty disappointed with this book for a number of reasons. Firstly, there was no scare factor in there for me. As a person who hasn't read any other books by Sophie Hannah, I didn't know what style the book would be written in or how the scare element would be implemented. I liked the colloquial style that the book was written in; first-person,and almost like elegant notation at some points. However, there was no "scary moments" for me. Perhaps this is because I knew what sort of direction the book was going to take.

My main blemish that I had with this book was my growing hatred of the main character, Louise. As you progress throughout the book, you start to see that she suffers more and more from psychological problems and other mental problems. The thing that I found annoying was her changing mind and obvious mis-treatment and unfair reasoning for her decisions. One example is when she suggests a deal to Dr. Freeman about the boarding aspect of the school, and then when she is offered the dead, she thinks that it is stupid and there is no way that she would ever agree to it. This issue bugged me more and more throughout the book, and really made me (almost) despise reading what she thought.

In conclusion, I think that there was a lot of potential in the book, but it was not executed properly. The colloquial style works well, but it only really comes alive in the last 2 or possibly 3 chapters. Also, it just wasn't scary enough!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Dissappointing 22 Aug 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I don't like to leave bad reviews but this is the third of the new novels published under the Hammer imprint I've read and I'm none the wiser as to why these books are trading on the name of a famous horror brand. The Orphan Choir is the third and most disappointing of the range. There is no horror or subtlety in the book. It might as well have UNRELIABLE NARRATOR watermarked on each page. The main character is a tedious nag who drags the reader through 250 pages of bickering, arguments and paranoia before remembering this is supposed to be a ghost story and lobbing a bit of spookiness in at the end. The twist comes out of no where is wholly unsatisfying. The book ends with an authors note in which she tells us how much she loves chilling ghost stories. She why didn't you write one?

This would have been unsatisfying as a short story, but as 300 page novel its torture.

I've read these books out of loyalty and nostalgia for the Hammer name but can't see me continuing after the haunted coat, the meandering Pendal witch history and now this ghost story without any ghosts. These books are bland and frustrating. This is nothing against any of the authors who are all massively successful in their own field. But please stop marketing these tame, chillless books to horror readers.

If it's real horror you're looking for try Clive Barker's Books of Blood, or any of Kealan Patrick Burke's excellent ebooks.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not really a scary story 30 May 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I ordered this book before it was released as I had read a book club review in a glossy mag that I buy and was expecting a really good ghost story. Unfortunately I didn't find it scary at all. If you like a good ghost story or even a thriller, I think you will be a bit disappointed.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Average book with a couple of good bits
It's possible to read this book in a day. It's very small. It's 300ish pages long and for the first 298 pages, you will be wondering why you picked it up in the first place. Read more
Published 3 days ago by Robert Higgins
1.0 out of 5 stars Waste of money
The story in this book concerns a mother who moves with her husband and son to a community where her son becomes part of a choir in the local private school. Read more
Published 8 days ago by MrsH
5.0 out of 5 stars Must read!
Recommended by a lecturer, this book is great! Having a strong interest in supernatural books like the Women In Black and The Greatcoat, this book was just as intriguing! Read more
Published 2 months ago by L.R
5.0 out of 5 stars Chilling
So far off her her other novels. This is short yet chilling. Incredibly well constructed. This has been passed throughout family and yet to have a bad review......
Published 2 months ago by JEREMY Hobbs
3.0 out of 5 stars Not my favourite
I usually love Sophie Hannah but was not mad about this one. Was just glad when it was over, ghost stories just not my thing.
Published 3 months ago by tori
1.0 out of 5 stars Banal and irritating
I don't know that I've ever given a book a one-star rating before - largely because if they're that bad I don't waste my time reading to the end. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Joss
4.0 out of 5 stars Book
The person to whom I gave this book seems to have enjoyed it, so I expect it is a really good read
Published 4 months ago by J. Rossdale
4.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing
I always find Sophie Hannah's books unusual and intriguing and this was no exception. I found the ending totally unexpected.
Published 4 months ago by Mr John C Perry
1.0 out of 5 stars Let down
I usually like Sophie Hannah novels but this was weird. Almost as if two stories had been tacked together. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Linda S. Bryant
1.0 out of 5 stars awful
I used to like this author, but the more she writes, the less I like her work. This latest offering is abysmal - large print which means not very much on each page. Read more
Published 5 months ago by musiclover
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