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A Place Of Strangers [Paperback]

Geoffrey Seed
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
RRP: £9.99
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Book Description

22 Oct 2009
A TV journalist is invited to his ageing stepfamily's beautiful but decaying country house for one last Christmas. Beyond the gates, terrorist bombs and industrial unrest threaten the government of Margaret Thatcher. This political chaos mirrors the unravelling lives of those within - a retired British diplomat and his once glamorous wife, each burdened by past sins, suppressed guilt and approaching death. Their step-son's idealised picture of them is revealed as a sham. He uncovers a tantalising Russian doll of a story, secrets locked in secrets in a conspiracy of murder and revenge across Europe and North America, all rooted in history's greatest crime - the Holocaust.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 198 pages
  • Publisher: Revel Barker (22 Oct 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0956368611
  • ISBN-13: 978-0956368614
  • Product Dimensions: 22.8 x 15.2 x 1.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 252,073 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Anything to declare? 20 Jan 2010
If you want a good read that embraces excitement and intrigue, poignancy and pathos, Geoffrey Seed's 'A Place of Strangers' is for you.

The story of a man's quest for his true identity, it moves through time and from country to country at a pace that keeps the pages turning. The short chapters add a sense of urgency.

Part thriller, part 'spy-spiel', Seed's book is not so much a whodunit as a who didn't do it. All the characters have something to hide. 'Anything to declare?' could be an alternative title.

McCall, the mixed-up and messed up man at the centre, has much appeal. Let's hope he finds a place in future novels.

Wherever the story roams it always returns to the mysterious house in the Shropshire countryside, the Place of Strangers. Beautifully written, in a concise style with lively dialogue, this is definitely one for the holiday box.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A stylish new novel, beautifully written 22 Oct 2009
By PaddyB
A Place of Strangers is a stylish and beautifully written upmarket thriller about a TV journalist who discovers his diplomat step-parents have lied about his early life - and have even darker secrets to hide.
The more he investigates, the more deceit he uncovers. It is a hard-edged but tender story of love and loss, betrayal and revenge, all rooted in history's greatest crime - the Holocaust.
Engrossing and interlinked narratives weave seamlessly across five decades as the damaged lives of vividly drawn and subtlety nuanced characters emerge in a Russian doll of a tale in which each mystery holds yet another.
The mood created is one of introspection and foreboding for the journalist knows the truth he seeks to unearth can only destroy those who've loved him most.
The plot drives between time and place, compellingly evoked in language that is both rich but spare and powerfully portrays the author's extraordinary depth of feeling towards the terrible history that is the real and harrowing backdrop to the novel.
It is told with an assured and seasoned researcher's eye for detail and human frailty, is thoughtful yet exciting and unputdownable while carrying genuine emotional punch.
If ever there was a calling card from a new writer of intelligent psychological thrillers, then A Place of Strangers is it.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Evocative New Novel 3 Dec 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A beautifully written and well researched novel in which we are effortlessly transported between the calm and beauty of present day Shropshire countryside and the ravages and concentration camps of war-torn Central Europe.

It tells the story of a man searching for his past in which he has to peel back layer after layer of duplicity, heartbreak and betrayal before he can find the truth.

A book written with intelligence, acute observation and all the more powerful for the author's instinct for understatement despite, from time to time, passages of almost lyrical intensity.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very different and essential read. 11 Jan 2010
A Place of Strangers proved to be a fascinating and beautifully crafted story.
Geoffrey Seed has drawn on his first rate talent as a journalist, and set down the unravellings of an intriguing discovery concerning an aspect of the holocaust, and its subsequent effect on the trail of characters whose lives became involved.
Astonishingly well written and a fascinating read which I highly recommend, a tale of those touched by the horror of the holocaust, the ones who did their best to settle into peaceful country retirement, and those who inherited the consequences.
This amazing story stands apart from all other documented aspects of war and is full of twists and turns, right to the very end.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great read !! 19 Oct 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A Place of Strangers
A Place Of Strangers is currently free for Kindle and undeniably a great read.
I guess its my era, and we always wonder what our parents and grandparents did in the war don't we? The main character McCall finding his birth parents and the people who raise him are not who they seem and mystery and deceit over his past force him to find out who he really is. Wonderful characterisation here and I felt a great deal of empathy for the characters, much of which could have been pat of my own life.
Geoffrey Seeds experience as a television producer is evident with the clear and concise use of the historical events. I would easily have given this five stars apart from the en of the book, maybe this is just a kindle error.
But there appears to be another book by different author tagged on to the end, weird.
I'll keep a look out for updates in case this is resolved.
But an excellent new author for me, so hope he writes more.
Highly Recommended.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Place of a Lot of Strangers, all weird 17 Jan 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Having read all of LeCarre's work, and finding some of those over characterised with simple plotlines interminably dragged out, I was looking forward to reading this book by Geoffery Seed after reading the cover reviews.

However, Seed has fallen into the same trap: the book was overlong by 30%, and the storyline became fogged by the interminable concentration on irrelevant character histories: some were essential to the plot, but others not.

A disappointing book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars LIFE AS CIRCUMSTANCE 21 May 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A Place of Strangers. By Geoffrey Seed

Life as a result of circumstance: men and women of an older generation, one born to suffer two world wars, who suffered, killed and died in the horrendous conflicts of the first part of the twentieth century over which they had no control. "We weren't born killers, we were made to be", declares one of the main characters of Geoffrey Seed's first novel, `A place of Strangers', as he struggles, decades later, with the moral complexity of war, genocide and revenge, a dish that is not perhaps,`best eaten cold'.

On the surface, A Place of Strangers is an espionage thriller. The book contains all the usual elements of the genre: murder, treachery, ambition, love (in this case a triangle), undercover agents and their unethical and not particularly pleasant world of shifting sympathies, where `knowledge shared is an advantage lost'. But more than anything `A Place of Strangers' is a story about revenge, about the settling of scores. It is a novel that speaks to the ethical and moral dilemmas that retribution brings with it, above all in a world where formal justice is extremely unlikely or simply impossible, and in which entire peoples have been brought to the edge of oblivion.

The novel does not offer an unequivocal opinion about the nature of justice and revenge: any conclusions about what is right or wrong in circumstances such as those prevalent in the aftermath of the Second World War are bound to be fraught with inconsistencies. That is not to imply that the book is some sort of moral relativist tale, but rather that justice and revenge are closely linked, sometimes inseparable, and that an absolute standard against which justice and its associated punishments can be measured, is sometimes simply unavailable.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A jewel of a novel - every chapter a joy!
I loved this book - the characters are superbly drawn and the setting of the "ancestral" home of Garth wonderfully evocative. Read more
Published 3 days ago by SteveN
3.0 out of 5 stars A Place Of Strangers
This book is a page turner with lots of plots, sub plots and intrigue. I found the main character a bit weak and insipid and the story line, while believable a bit unlikely in the... Read more
Published 4 days ago by A. D. Myerthall
5.0 out of 5 stars A BRILLIANT READ
A brilliant novel This is my kind of book,richly detailed and well written,i did not want to put it down so i will read it again. Read more
Published 5 days ago by JOHN K JASPER
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read
A good read. I was hooked from the first few pages.
Published 6 days ago by sofi
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
found it a difficult book to get into
Published 1 month ago by B. Dewey
4.0 out of 5 stars A Place Of Strangers
Good read - but a bit slow going in places - will look at other books by this author. later.
Published 8 months ago by Hazel Budd
3.0 out of 5 stars Quite a slow start..
The novel was a bit slow to get going but did become more gripping after the first few chapters.

Overall a reasonable read.
Published 9 months ago by Peter Webster
5.0 out of 5 stars poignant and beautifully written
This book had me from page one with its haunting theme and evocative prose.
The subject matter of the Holocaust is a spectre at the feast of this mystery and love story... Read more
Published 10 months ago by James Symons
5.0 out of 5 stars A truly great book
A brilliant read. Intriguing tale of love, hate, betrayal, revenge, soul searching,with a political hint. The truth is out there yet remains hidden.a twist at the end. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Angela
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read
I really enjoyed this book and have recommended it to friends, who also enjoyed it.
A great storyline and a book I will take out of my collection to read again at some point.
Published 13 months ago by lesley cooke
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