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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An impressive and gripping addition to her list
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...
Published on 2 July 2001

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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Really disappointing
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...
Published on 8 Aug. 2001


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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Really disappointing, 8 Aug. 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: The Red Room (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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An impressive and gripping addition to her list, 2 July 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: The Red Room (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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but not her best, 5 July 2001
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This review is from: The Red Room (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. Unfortunately there is still nothing linking the three women to each other. Kit returns to the home of the second victim and discovers a notepad with the names of all three victims plus that of another girl, friend of the first victim, who had previously commited suicide. The plot thickens. There is also the mysterious and dark Will Pavic the manager of a kind of YMCA place, nearby to the first murder scene, who Kit develops a relationship with against the odds. Kit is both attracted and frightened by Pavic, he is linked to at least two of the girls and also knows Michael Doll.
The pace picks up towards the end, as Kit puts all the clues together and closes in on the killer, but I found this quite frustrating in that nothing much happens for long periods and there aren't too many clues as to whats going on. Not as good as Beneath The Skin, by the same author, but is OK as long as you don't expect a thrill a minute.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Quirky writing, gripping read, 8 Dec. 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: The Red Room (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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars pleased, 28 Mar. 2003
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This review is from: The Red Room (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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing....., 29 Aug. 2001
By 
Softtouch (Reading, Berkshire. UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Red Room (Paperback)
As a great fan of the previous French books I saved this new one for my 'by the pool' reading on holiday. I couldn't get the sun cream on quick enough! But quite frankly if there hadn't been hours to spare I'd have given up on this half way through. Nothing was happening. Was I supposed to see more to the discriptions of the contents of Kit's fridge? Loyality, due to past enjoyment of 'Beneath the Skin' and especially 'Killing me Softly' made me read on, convinced that soon I'd be transfixed. This didn't really ever happen. I nearly didn't bother to bring it back home, dispite knowing that my friends at work (who I have converted into being Nicki French fans) would be looking forward to my return just to borrow this book. The other three books I read by the pool are the ones I'll be lending out with enthusiasm.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Compelling Creep Show, 17 Sept. 2001
This review is from: The Red Room (Paperback)
"The Red Room" is a fine keep-you-up-all-night psychological thriller. The Frenches don't let us down in this character-driven novel of suspense. A homeless teen-aged girl, only known as Lianne, is murdered near a canal in a seedy part of London. The police are certain they have their perpetrator, Michael Doll, who freely admits he was at the scene. Michael is a disturbed young man who has been convicted of minor sexual offenses. Have you ever met someone who you found disgusting and repulsive, but yet you found yourself pitying him or her? Meet Michael, a perfect example of the breed. The authors play the reader like a violin to elicit these contradictory emotions. This is one revolting guy, and yet---
Enter Kit Quinn, a psychologist who has an unpleasant background with Michael. The police want her to "sign off" on his ability to stand trial. Dr. Quinn thinks there is much wrong with Michael, but doubts very much if he is a murderer. And so our story begins.
Kit, an efficient appearing lady, who has a soaring imagination, captivated me. She is one of those people who have an aura of beauty and civility in everything they do. She gathers flowers, but does not garden. She is a fine appreciator of the smells, colors, and satisfactions of the freshest, simplest food-yet she claims she never has food in the house. I particularly liked that Kit is nobody's fool; her awareness is very keen for both the faults and virtues of her friends and lovers.
The novel overflows with wonderful characters. Julie who descends uninvited on Kit and stays for the entirety of the book, is a free spirit and borrows food, clothes, and space shamelessly. Yet we forgive her because of her innate generosity, her charm and her humor. The middle-aged Detective Chief Inspector is convinced that Julie and Kit are romantic partners, and fumbles manfully to be sophisticated about his misapprehension.
The suspense builds and builds, the tension all the greater because we care about these people. We want the best for each of them and know it will not work out that way. The authors do not let us down and keep the intensity high through the last page. I liked this book and believe it ranks with my favorite French novel "Killing Me Softly." Read it and enjoy.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nicci French at her best, 5 Aug. 2004
By A Customer
Having read killing me softly and beneath the skin I took this on holiday and couldn't put it down. The plot has many twists and leaves you guessing until the last few pages. I would love to see Dr Kitt Quinn in other stories as I loved her wit and personality. A must for any avid thriller reader.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars RED HOT READ, 6 July 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: The Red Room (Paperback)
Although this is not my favourite Nicci French, I have to say that the dynamic duo of Nicci Gerrard and Sean French have done themselves proud again. Kit Quinn, a criminal psychiatrist, has to battle against police hostility when her nemesis, the creepily-named Michael Doll, the man who facially scarred her, becomes prime suspect for the murder of a runaway girl by a London canal. I agree with the previous reviewer in that what diminishes the book is the author's treatment of the police, which displays them largely as brain-dead morons. The truth is that in fiction - as in life - police incompetence/corruption should be more disturbing and sinister than that. In this respect the novel pales in comparison with another psychological thriller I've recently read, POWER OF ATTORNEY by DEXTER DIAS, which treats police malpractice seriously, and thus makes for a more visceral, nerve-tingling read. If Nicci French wishes to use a police investigation as integral to the plot again, the author would do well to read POWER OF ATTORNEY to see how it's done.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THEY HAVE DONE IT AGAIN, 15 Mar. 2010
By 
Alexander Bryce (Scotland) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: The Red Room (Mass Market Paperback)
This husband and wife team have produced another intriguing page turner.
Three deaths all linked , but how. Only our young psychologist heroine is determined to find out and in spite of doubts and at times ridicule from more experienced colleagues and police she keeps at it until she does. A good murder mystery , but also a story of a young woman's up and down private life. Sometimes sad ; sometimes tragic and at times very amusing resulting in a good read on both levels.
Nicci and French have a male / female balanced approach to their writing making their work equally involving for readers of both sexes. This is a must read for thinking fans of the murder mystery genre.
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The Red Room
The Red Room by Nicci French (Mass Market Paperback - 24 Nov. 2005)
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