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Safe House [Kindle Edition]

Chris Ewan
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3,328 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £7.99
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Book Description

Sometimes hiding isn't your only option

When Rob Hale wakes up in hospital after a motorcycle crash he is told that Lena, the woman he claims was travelling with him, doesn't exist. The woman he describes bears a striking resemblance to his recently deceased sister, Laura, but has he really only imagined her?

Rob sets out to find the answers to who Lena is and where she has gone. He is aided by Rebecca Lewis, a London-based PI, who has come to the Isle of Man at the behest of his parents to investigate his sister's suicide. But who is Rebecca really and how did she know his sister?

Together Rob and Rebecca follow the clues to discover who took Lena. In doing so they discover that even on an island where most people know each other, everyone hides a secret, and that sometimes your best option isn't to hide but to stay and fight.

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Product Description


'Chris Ewan soars to a new level with this dark, absorbing thriller. It combines a tense emotional switchback with an expertly controlled narrative and characters you care about. Chris Ewan is an author to watch and enjoy.' --Andrew Taylor

'Ewan has added a sprinkling of edible gold dust and elevated the everyman thriller into a compelling, contemporary read . . . SAFE HOUSE is an exciting, well crafted thriller, with flashes of real humour and insight. Ewan writes exceptionally well, especially in the first person.' --S. J. Bolton

'SAFE HOUSE is a highly original, deftly written thriller it's where you never want to find yourself, a near-surreal descent into brutal mayhem as an ordinary life unravels. And Rebecca Lewis is a new heroine for our times she's armed and dangerous, full of chutzpah and with the guts of a marine.' --Anne Zouroudi

'A modern twist on the classic old-fashioned British thriller with a compelling narrative as pacy as the TT itself.' --Caro Ramsay

'A high-octane thriller . . . Proceeding at warp speed with plenty of twists and excellent use of its setting, SAFE HOUSE is a terrific holiday read.' --Laura Wilson, GUARDIAN

'Clever nail-biter that reveals the Isle of Man to be a Heart of Darkness.' --DAILY TELEGRAPH

'[An] excellent thriller by [a] rising star. SAFE HOUSE by Chris Ewan is set on an Isle of Man as you never imagined it and has one of the best new heroines for a long time ... Popular fiction at its best.' --Susan Hill, The Spectator Books of the Year

'Ewan keeps the twists coming . . . Rob and Rebecca are engaging company during this ride-by-the-seat-of-your-pants novel.' --Independent on Sunday

'A high-octane thriller . . . Proceeding at warp speed with plenty of twists and excellent use of its setting, SAFE HOUSE is a terrific holiday read.' --Laura Wilson, GUARDIAN

'Clever nail-biter that reveals the Isle of Man to be a Heart of Darkness.' DAILY TELEGRAPH

'Ewan keeps the twists coming . . . Rob and Rebecca are engaging company during this ride-by-the-seat-of-your-pants novel.' --Independent on Sunday

Book Description

Safe House by Chris Ewan, shortlisted for the 2013 Theakston's Old Peculiar Crime Novel of the Year Award.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 665 KB
  • Print Length: 448 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1250012562
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber Crime; Main edition (17 July 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0086KPYWK
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3,328 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #3,165 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Chris Ewan is an award-winning British author of eight novels as well as the Kindle Single short story, SCARLETT POINT. His popular series of mysteries about globetrotting thief-for-hire, Charlie Howard, include THE GOOD THIEF'S GUIDE TO AMSTERDAM, THE GOOD THIEF'S GUIDE TO PARIS, THE GOOD THIEF'S GUIDE TO VEGAS, THE GOOD THIEF'S GUIDE TO VENICE and THE GOOD THIEF'S GUIDE TO BERLIN. Chris has also written the standalone thrillers, SAFE HOUSE and DEAD LINE. Chris's latest standalone thriller, DARK TIDES, will be published in the UK by Faber & Faber in October 2014.

THE GOOD THIEF'S GUIDE TO AMSTERDAM won the Long Barn Books First Novel Award and went on to be published in 13 countries. SAFE HOUSE has been a major bestseller in the UK and was shortlisted for the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award. In 2011, Chris was voted one of America's favourite British authors by a Huffington Post poll.

Born in Taunton in 1976, Chris graduated from the University of Nottingham with 1st Class Honours in American Studies with a minor in Canadian Literature, and later trained as a lawyer. He now lives on the Isle of Man with his wife, daughter and labrador, where he writes full time.

Find out more at You can also get in touch with Chris on Twitter @chrisewan or email him at

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
198 of 209 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fast paced, thrill ride of a novel! 2 Aug. 2012
Best known for his 'Good Thief's Guide To...' series of comedy/crime novels, Chris Ewan turns his hand to the more serious end of crime fiction with his newest novel, 'Safe House'.

Rob Hale is a plumber on the Isle of Man, called out to repair a boiler in a remote cottage by two mysterious looking men, and a more talkative young woman named Lena. The next day, he takes Lena on a motorcycle ride, which ends in a crash. Waking up in hospital, Rob asks about the woman travelling with him, only to be told she doesn't exist. Rob is discharged from hospital, intent on finding out who the woman was, and how she disappeared. He is aided by Rebecca, a private investigator hired by Rob's parents to look into the suicide of his sister, just weeks previous. However, as they follow the clues and begin to uncover the mystery, Rob starts to wonder who Rebecca is really, and how she knew his sister.

As a huge fan of his earlier work, this change in direction and genre from Chris Ewan immediately piqued my interest. Would a writer more well known for his humorous comedy crime capers, be able to tackle a serious thriller?

Of course he would!

What Ewan accomplishes with his first foray into the world of thriller writing, is nothing short of remarkable. Safe House begins with a great hook...what would you do if you woke up in hospital after an accident, and everyone around you denied the existence of the person you were travelling with?

From there, Safe House travels at high speed throughout. It's a breathless, exciting read, which had me turning the page well into the late nights. That initial hook takes you on a journey into action thriller territory, which is up there with the best writing in the genre.
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83 of 89 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow! 10 Jan. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Fast paced thoroughly engrossing thriller with lots of twists and turns. Compulsive reading could not put this down but did not want it to end. First book by this author I have read and will definitely be looking for more by him.
Anyone who enjoys a good entertaining thriller should this book, more please and soon.
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93 of 100 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read 17 Dec. 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
I only purchased this book, because it was in the 20p section and didn't really know what to expect. It has only taken me 3 sittings to read it. As although in places it seems really far fetched, it all becomes clear at the end. Easy to read!! Anyone who is interested in crime or detective novels this is a book for you. I would have gladly paid more--
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Safe house 21 Dec. 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Gripping novel and believable characters ,was hard to put down, beware work will suffer reading this. Well worth the price
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Is that it? 25 Feb. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I bought this book on the basis of the multitude of good reviews and it started off well, setting up the characters and relationships up well. Unfortunately the climax never arrived and the ensuing drama didn't seem related to the build-up.

Reasonable for the price paid but didn't live up to the early promise.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant read! 25 Jan. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I was looking for something new to read when I came across this one! I am so pleased I did. I LOVED the characters and the plot, which had some good twists and surprises. I didn't find the ending to be predictable. I will be purchasing more by Chris Ewan. I really enjoyed this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good story, but spoilt by a few minor niggles 16 April 2015
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I have just finished this book, and I have been reading some of the other reviews, of which there are plenty!

I am not going to write a synopsis, there are plenty of those in other reviews.

The book really seems to polarise opinions, but my view is that whilst the 5 star reviews are probably too generous, the 1 star ones are even more unfair (I find it quite amusing that some of the 1 star reviews criticise the spelling and grammar, but are full of grammatical and spelling mistakes themselves)

I actually really enjoyed the plot, yes it is quite involved, and sometimes it was a bit tricky remembering which character is which, but there were some nice twists and turns which kept me guessing about a number of things right to the end, it is definitely worth sticking with. The descriptions of the Manx geography, and the tie-in to the TT races were also very welcome.

I do agree to a degree with the reviews which criticise the characterisations, apart from the lead (Rob) I did think that they were a bit underdeveloped, which made it rather difficult to really feel any sympathy for them.

Some of the violence is a bit graphic, but there isn't a lot of it, and where it does occur it is not gratuitous, but rather included to give an insight in to the characters.

It wouldn't take a lot for this book to reach 4 or even 5 stars: making some of the characters more real; cutting out a few of the longer, more convoluted sentences; and removing a few 'Americanisms' (A Manxman calling a wallet a 'billfold' for example).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A steal of a gem at 20p 31 Jan. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
I've been looking at Safe House for a while now, wondering whether or not to buy it, but the sheer numbers of great reviews and the really stupid price made it a no-brainer.

At first I found the change from first person to third person a bit of a facer, but it does get easier and the pace of the plot ensures that the reader just wants to know what the hell is going on. As the owner of a golden retriever, Rocky made me laugh out loud, even though he doesn't play a huge role in the book. So let's deal with plot, setting and characters. The setting is the Isle of Man, a place I have always wanted to visit, though not at TT time, even though I used to be a 'biker's moll'. Ewan draws the landscape with a deft hand, pulling out enough to enable the reader to visualise but not so much that it gets in the way of the narrative. The plot has the kind of convolutions I love in a crime novel. It isn't often I get to the last two pages and I am still not sure who the bad guys are! Likewise there was enough detail about bike racing and bikes to authenticate the setting.

I especially enjoyed the way Menser was written. Calm, thoughtful, amoral, but with the beginnings of a conscience about past deeds. I loved Grandpa, too. I know a few Grandpas! The characters are complete, with the normal contradictions we all possess and that made them all the more believable. There were a couple of what I would call 'speed bumps', the most annoying being when Menser is following Rob into the Sports Centre. The reader 'stands' behind Menser, experiencing his thoughts and reactions. Then comes the sentence 'He didn't see xxx behind him'. Well, he wouldn't, would he? This abrupt shift from Menser's point of view to authorial overview was a jolt. The writing raised enough tension without that and we already knew Menser was being followed, so, sorry, I categorised that as 'lazy' writing and the book didn't benefit from it.

All in all, though, a good read and I will read more.
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