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The High Flyer: Number 2 in series (St. Benet's) [Paperback]

Susan Howatch
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
RRP: 10.99
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Book Description

15 Jan 2004 St. Benet's (Book 2)
WHEN YOU LIVE THE DREAM, YOU LIVE THE CONSEQUENCES... Cool, blonde Carter Graham is a successful lawyer who believes she is well on the way to reaching all the goals listed in her glamorous life plan: first-class job, a stylish flat in London, and marriage to the man of her dreams, Kim Betz. But Carter forgot that sometimes the best laid dreams turn into nightmares. Kim's ex-wife Sophie starts to stalk her and Kim turns from being the self-contained, controlled husband into a man who lies not only about his past but about his present. Carter finds herself drawn into an expanding web of deceit, corruption and evil which eventually threatens not only her sanity but her life. What is it that Sophie is trying so hard to tell her? Who is the sinister Mrs Mayfield, who has such an influence on Kim? And what is the significance of the other new man in Carter's life, her secretary Eric Tucker? Carter seeks help from the healers of St. Benets, the enigmatic Nicholas Darrow, the eccentric Lewis Hall, and kind, thoughtful Alice but even they cannot save her from a searing ordeal as she struggles to uncover the truth about the tormented man she has married.

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The High Flyer: Number 2 in series (St. Benet's) + The Heartbreaker: Number 3 in series (St. Benet's)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 592 pages
  • Publisher: Sphere; New Ed edition (15 Jan 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0751535850
  • ISBN-13: 978-0751535853
  • Product Dimensions: 12.6 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 101,222 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Amazon Review

"When I first saw my temporary secretary it never occurred to me to flirt with him". The bemused confidence and upended assumption of this first sentence from The High Flyer, by Susan Howatch, reveal a great deal about the character who speaks it and the shape of this novel as a whole. The narrator, Carter Graham, is a successful London lawyer--a "high flyer"--whose thoroughly secular plan for a perfect life (clothes, car, kids, etc.) is proceeding quite punctually, thanks to her strong sense of entitlement and her talent for social manipulation. The story that follows, however, undermines Carter's confident assumptions regarding the inner lives of the people around her. Carter meets and marries another high flyer, a charming business titan named Kim. Slowly, Carter learns of Kim's involvement in the occult, his Nazi past and the suspicious circumstances surrounding the death of his former wife. As the mysteries of Kim's past are revealed to Carter, Kim's personality undergoes a deep and demonic transformation. Carter, terrified, seeks shelter at a Christian healing centre, where a cast of clerics and lay people help Carter reconstruct a life for herself, and a theological and psychological framework that makes some sense of the blindness and betrayal that destroyed her life with Kim. "[C]reation's not about efficiency", explains one character, "it's about love. It's about shedding blood, sweat and tears to make the thing you care about come right. It's about enduring the shadow side of creation and using it so that in the end everything can be brought into the light". The novel's greatest strength is its suspenseful plotting, which calls to mind (thanks in part to the narrator's frequent allusions to) the films of Alfred Hitchcock.. --Michael Joseph Gross --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

I picked up her latest, THE HIGH FLYER, and put it down only to start the preceding one...The woman's brilliant! (YOU MAGAZINE )

Unputdownable...hugely ambitious (DAILY EXPRESS )

Howatch's skills as a novelist are consummate: her characters and her contexts live...One of the bravest books I've read (CHURCH TIMES )

A satisfying mix of psychological thriller and spiritual drama. (GOOD HOUSEKEEPING )

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First Sentence
He glanced up, decided I was just another dumb blonde hired to massage a keyboard and made the big mistake of adopting a patronising manner. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I've read this book 3 times since it was published, as I do all Howatch's books. This novel gives us yet another twist on Nicholas and his coterie that is compelling and thoughtful, but also fun to read. Her books on the church consistently speak to me in a way that nothing else about Christianity does. Because of her, I'm becoming a "closet" Christian! I wish the Christians I've encountered were more like her characters -- real people with problems but also with integrity and commitment to something greater than themselves. When they are portrayed as rigid or stiff necked, the plot usually involves a BIG dose of humility accompanied by a change in perspective. These novels inspired me to expand my reading to include Farrer, Underhill, Julian of Norwich, and The Cloud of Unknowing. I check every week to see if she's got a new book coming out -- hope it's soon!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Too dogmatic about religion (for my taste) 26 Oct 1999
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
I would like to say that Susan Howatch is my number 1 author and I have never so far been disappointed by any of her books.This one, however - and I am very sorry to say that - I did not like too much. It seems Ms Howatch is now starting to write religious books! At the beginning of her career she wrote about the darker side of human beings and families and in what way they can get split. In her Starbridge novels she combined Freudian psychology with Christian beliefs and gave us a deeper insight into the struggle of churchmen with their darker side and how they eventually can find redemption through the process of looking into their past (Freud again), through self-recognition, self-forgiveness and, in the end, healing through love (of God). Since writing "A Question of Integrity" ,however, she seems to have been focussing entirely on religious questions, esp. on the ministry of healing. I did like "A Question of Integrity",though! it was full of people one cared about, esp. Nicholas (just as there had been lovable people such as Charles Ashworth in "Glittering Images" or John Darrow in "Mystical Paths"). In "The Highflyer", however, you can`t care for anyone,especially not for Carter or Kim , and Nicholas is no more than a shade of himself, always preaching away on his beliefs of the love of God and the process of healing. Too much religion in here, too much dogma, the final chapters were like one big SERMON to me. All the same, I will still continue to buy ANY book by Susan Howatch, her books are unputdownable, even mesmerizing, psychological thrillers,intelligent and absolutely unique and original.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Excellent continuation of the Starbridge series 15 July 2001
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This book is a continuation of Howatch's Starbridge series. Although Carter Graham can at times be an irritating protagonist, this is a valid attempt at exploring the culture clash between the worlds of work and career, and the worlds of spiritual understanding and knowledge.
For those ( like me ) who have read Howatch's previous books, it is a pleasure to meet again her main characters of Nicholas Darrow and Alice, a few years on from "A Question of Integrity".
The most moving passage of this book is Carter's flight from her flat, through the streets of London, searching for sanctuary. Even if you don't enjoy the book's attempt at describing theology by using conversation - read this passage. It's worth it.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable and thought provoking 7 Mar 2001
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This is the first book by Susan Howatch that I have read, and now I am in the process of finding her other books to read. The two main characters, Carter Graham and Kim Betz, are difficult to like at the begining of the book but the author pulls you into the story so well that you have to find out what happens to them. After the first couple of chapters, I found it very hard to put the book down. What I enjoyed most about the novel is the ending. Normally with a thriller you have the climatic finish and are left wondering what happens to the characters after that - but with the High Flyer the last 100 pages tell you the aftermath of the story. I found this book to be unique and fresh - it was a wonderful read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
This was a typical Susan Howatch novel. Never the less, I thoroughly enjoyed it. Susan tends to write a book with many insights into personality issues. She did that with this book, but it was also much more exciting in the sense of a murder mystery also. While reading this book, I got a sense of her early six gothic romances, her family sagas, and the religious feel of the Starbridge novels. But what I enjoyed most was Carter's atheism throughout the book. Which at one point made me realize that whether I believe in the "traditional" God or not, there is a God in my life.
Susan's books have effectively made an impact on my life. The "truths" she uses are amazing, and the insights into personality have not only been enlightening but also entertaining.
I will look forward to each new Howatch title, and buy them from where ever releases them first.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
This was a typical Susan Howatch novel. Never the less, I thoroughly enjoyed it. Susan tends to write a book with many insights into personality issues. She did that with this book, but it was also much more exciting in the sense of a murder mystery also. While reading this book, I got a sense of her early six gothic romances, her family sagas, and the religious feel of the Starbridge novels. But what I enjoyed most was Carson's atheism throughout the book. Which at one point made me realize that whether I believe in the "traditional" God or not, there is a God in my life.
Susan's books have effectively made an impact on my life. The "truths" she uses are amazing, and the insights into personality have not only been enlightening but also entertaining.
I will look forward to each new Howatch title, and buy them from where ever releases them first.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly enjoyed this fast-moving story
Suggest read the first book, the Wonder Worker, first. Thoroughly enjoyed this fast-moving story, with a lot of twists and surprises. Read more
Published 8 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars For some reason I read the last in the St ...
For some reason I read the last in the St,. Benet's series first and so now I am going back to the beginning and am just about to start this middle book. Read more
Published 24 days ago by Christine J Pierce
5.0 out of 5 stars The psychology of spirituality?
A very engrossing read as ever; an exploration of the connection between good and evil; the setting is central London in the nineteen nineties; the tale of a high flying female in... Read more
Published 1 month ago by W. Scott
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Susan Howatch gem.
The second in the St Benet's series of books by Susan Howatch, High Flyer did not disappoint me in anyway.
Published 10 months ago by Mrs Linda Macluskie
4.0 out of 5 stars Susan Howatch is always a favourite
This novel is set in the financial district of London. Carter Graham is a high achieving, high flying lawyer in her mid-thirties. Read more
Published 22 months ago by Scholastica
4.0 out of 5 stars Great read for us girls
I've read most of Susan Howatch's novels and always enjoy them, going back to re=read them. Great books for holidays all the usual ingredients love, sex, romance, power and... Read more
Published on 25 Feb 2012 by Renee Kennedy
5.0 out of 5 stars the high flyer
absolutely loved this book, read heartbreaker first as didnt realise it was a second book - couldnt wait to order high flyer. Read more
Published on 24 Feb 2012 by jules
1.0 out of 5 stars Boring
Did not enjoy the book at all. Tedious - really quite put downable. I won't be reading any of the author's other books.
Published on 8 Jan 2012 by C. Dougan
3.0 out of 5 stars Good crime story but not much else
I enjoyed this novel less than the other Starbridge and St Benet's novels, partly because there was too little room for Nicholas D. and the other well-known characters. Read more
Published on 17 Sep 2010 by Joanna
4.0 out of 5 stars Better than I expected
Having read some of the reviews for this book I wasn't sure what to expect but have to say I was overall pleasantly surprised. I enjoyed it much more than I thought I was going to. Read more
Published on 3 May 2010 by Pendleton Girl
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