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The Red Room Kindle Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 51 customer reviews

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Length: 448 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Amazon.co.uk Review

Many are the writers who tackle the field of the psychological thriller, but few create such a dark and compelling world as Nicci French. The Red Room inhabits the same sinister universe as such previous thrillers as The Memory Game and the book that many consider to be her finest to date, Killing Me Softly. French is concerned with the unstable surface of reality and the malign undercurrents of human behaviour forever threatening to disrupt the tenuous happiness of her characters. In The Red Room, her particular priority is the queasy attraction of the forbidden and the terrifying.

Kit Quinn has a job that many would find too disturbing to tackle. Her beat is the world of crime scenes, hospitals for the criminally insane, the grimmer prisons. In her latest assignment, colleagues in the police ask for her help in what initially appears to be a straightforward murder inquiry, in which a youthful runaway has been killed near a London canal. At first, the evidence points to the killer being a man who wounded the murdered young woman, but Kit has learned that the appearance of things in a deceptive world may not be trusted. As she descends deeper and deeper into a brutal underworld of lost and exploited youngsters, she finds herself as at risk as the young victims she is dealing with.

What makes this more than a conventional thriller is the author's fastidious examination of her heroine's tortured psyche. Kate has suffered terrible wounds in a savage attack, and there is something unhealthy about her immersion in the kind of life that left her with terrible scars. French is particularly sharp on her efforts to push her life back into some kind of conventional order. The Red Room has the customary dangerous voyage to the centre of a mystery that is par for the course for the genre, but this is also a study of the troubled psyche of a damaged heroine, and her dark world view:

Beware of beautiful days. Bad things happen on beautiful days. It may be that when you get happy, you get careless. Beware of having a plan. Your gaze is focused on the plan, and that's the moment when things start happening just outside your range of vision ...

--Barry Forshaw

Amazon Review

Many are the writers who tackle the field of the psychological thriller, but few create such a dark and compelling world as Nicci French. The Red Room inhabits the same sinister universe as such previous thrillers as The Memory Game and the book that many consider to be her finest to date, Killing Me Softly. French is concerned with the unstable surface of reality and the malign undercurrents of human behaviour forever threatening to disrupt the tenuous happiness of her characters. In The Red Room, her particular priority is the queasy attraction of the forbidden and the terrifying.

Kit Quinn has a job that many would find too disturbing to tackle. Her beat is the world of crime scenes, hospitals for the criminally insane, the grimmer prisons. In her latest assignment, colleagues in the police ask for her help in what initially appears to be a straightforward murder inquiry, in which a youthful runaway has been killed near a London canal. At first, the evidence points to the killer being a man who wounded the murdered young woman, but Kit has learned that the appearance of things in a deceptive world may not be trusted. As she descends deeper and deeper into a brutal underworld of lost and exploited youngsters, she finds herself as at risk as the young victims she is dealing with.

What makes this more than a conventional thriller is the author's fastidious examination of her heroine's tortured psyche. Kate has suffered terrible wounds in a savage attack, and there is something unhealthy about her immersion in the kind of life that left her with terrible scars. French is particularly sharp on her efforts to push her life back into some kind of conventional order. The Red Room has the customary dangerous voyage to the centre of a mystery that is par for the course for the genre, but this is also a study of the troubled psyche of a damaged heroine, and her dark world view:

Beware of beautiful days. Bad things happen on beautiful days. It may be that when you get happy, you get careless. Beware of having a plan. Your gaze is focused on the plan, and that's the moment when things start happening just outside your range of vision ...

--Barry Forshaw


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1324 KB
  • Print Length: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (6 Mar. 2008)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002RI90RC
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars 51 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #30,015 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Nicci French is the pseudonym for the writing partnership of journalists Nicci Gerrard and Sean French. The couple are married and live in Suffolk. There are eleven other bestselling novels by Nicci French: The Memory Game, The Safe House, Killing Me Softly, Beneath the Skin, The Red Room, Land of the Living, Secret Smile, Catch Me When I Fall, Losing You, Until It's Over and What To Do When Someone Dies, all published by Penguin.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on 8 Aug. 2001
Format: Paperback
Killing Me Softly was a fantastic book and got me hooked on Nicci French. Beneath the Skin, The Safe House and particularly the Memory Game were all brilliant too, so I had no doubts about rushing out to buy The Red Room. Unfortunately, The protaganist, Kit, has the depth of a puddle and there is no drama or real intreague until the last few pages. The previous books had me sneaking to the toilet at work just to read a bit more, but with the Red Room I was tempted to give up, when after three quarters of the book, absolutely nothing had happened. Trust me, Killing Me Softly or The Memory Game are the great books Nicci French should be remembered for. This one should be buried....
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Format: Paperback
By far the most terrifying of her novels, The Red Room is about the way the search for the truth and sympathy for the vulnerable can put you in danger. The narrator, Kit, is a psychological profiler who is horribly wounded by Michael Doll, a suspected criminal. When she is asked by the police to advise them on a murder enquiry which they suspect her attacker to have committed, it might seem the opportunity for justice. However, Kit refuses to accept appearances and links the first murder of a young homeless girl to a second, middle-class wife and mother whose circumstances are very different.
What is good about The Red Room is that the air of fairytale menace which French does so well is counterpointed by normality and even humour. Kit's friend Julie who camps with her, borrows her clothes and helps her loosen up a bit is an excellent foil. The compassion for people who are poor and on the edge is genuine and unforced, and the twist in the plot is as unexpected as it is excellent. I also liked the fact that for once all the men weren't bastards.
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Format: Paperback
This book revolves around Dr Kit Quinn, a psychiatrist working with the criminally insane. At the start she's called in to assess a man the police have arrested, this leads to her being savagely attacked and badly scarred. Her following nightmares of a 'red room' lead to the title of the book. The police are inept all the way through this book and, seeing as that was also the case in Beneath The Skin, it makes you wonder whether the author has a low opinion of them in real life?
In this story even Kit Quinn bumbles around hopelessly discovering clues without really knowing what she's doing, mind you it's that kind of case....no real evidence. Not a lot of suspense either for most of the book, unfortunately, while this is a good read it's not exactly difficult to put down at times either.
The police call in Kit again, after a homeless girl is murdered by the canal and they suspect a sad individual called Michael Doll, the man who had previously attacked her. We then get a bit straight from the Rachel Nickel case as the police use an undercover policewoman to try and get a confession from Doll. After meeting Doll Kit convinces them that their case is too flimsy and, even though they are convinced of his guilt, they are forced to delay charging him. Kit is determined to find a clue despite, on the face of it, the lack of evidence. Trawling through records of unsolved murders she is drawn to the case of fairly well off woman who was murdered in totally different circumstances to the first victim and, despite their reluctance, convinces the police to run a check revealing a forensic link between the two cases. Another woman is attacked by the canal but this time Michael Doll is, apparently, a hero as he comes to her rescue.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is the first Nicci French book I've read and I was thoroughly hooked. While many such thriller novels are written to a recipe and seem to have a sameness about them, this one had a quirky, modern feel which made me think of the latest styles in cinematography.
The book has an uncomfortable feel to it that is compelling. The world of French is not a happy place to live and yet it is not as macabre and full of evil as some authors. The pace feels disturbingly slow and yet for that is all the more realistic while being interspersed with unexpected and somehow incongruous details of the more personal life of her heroine, snapshots of a confused and lonely individual who does not seem to solve the mystery so much as stumble upon the answers.
Intersting, different, quirky, modern and throughly enjoyable.
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By Emma on 28 Mar. 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I am a new reader to nicci french's books and have to say I'm very pleased by this book.I did not expect much from it as i had never heard about the authour before.
I found that once i starded the book i was unable to put it down and read it in two nights. I was able to get inside the head of Kit Quinn and understand her charecter in depth.This book kept me on the edge of my seat as there was plenty of twists but i did find it to grusome in one particular scene.
The creepy charecter of Michael Doll was intriging because i couldn't make up my mind about him as his charecter twists throughout the novel and made me unsure whether i should feel sorry for him or not.
This is a brillant novel and i recommend this book to first time readers of Nicci French's novel.I'm now hooked to her books and I've got The Safe house and The Land of the living waiting for me at home and i cant wait to start reading them.
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