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85 of 86 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fast-paced, shocking, amazing!
I read a pre-publication copy of this book that a friend passed on to me because I read and loved 'Little Face' - and I was worried this book would suffer from 'second-novel-syndrome'. No chance of that - it's brilliant, and definitely one of the most exciting thrillers I've read. The writing is beautifully poised and clear, the plot is multi-layered and extremely...
Published on 28 Mar 2007 by Sandy D

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars not brilliant
I have to disagree with most of the other reviewers and say I felt it started well, interesting scenario, interesting main character, but as the book went on it descended into a less and less believable crime thriller and the last section was pretty ridiculous.
Published on 19 Oct 2007 by Aberdour Humby


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85 of 86 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fast-paced, shocking, amazing!, 28 Mar 2007
By 
Sandy D (Addingham, West Yorkshire) - See all my reviews
I read a pre-publication copy of this book that a friend passed on to me because I read and loved 'Little Face' - and I was worried this book would suffer from 'second-novel-syndrome'. No chance of that - it's brilliant, and definitely one of the most exciting thrillers I've read. The writing is beautifully poised and clear, the plot is multi-layered and extremely cleverly structured, Naomi is a great obsessive heroine (or perhaps anti-heroine's more accurate) - Sophie Hannah is getting more and more adept at exploring the dark side of the human psyche. Parts of this book are seriously chilling and disturbing, and there's a cleverly created sense of paranoia throughout - has Naomi's lover, Robert, been murdered? If so, by whom? Why won't his wife, Juliet, talk to anybody about what happened? I'm usually quite good at guessing the ends of thrillers, but I defy anyone to guess what's going on here. This novel also contains one of the most chilling, understated 'baddies' I've ever met in fiction. I would recommend this book to anyone (with a strong stomach!)
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53 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific, 10 Jun 2007
I had read Little Face and enjoyed it, but I think Hurting Distance is even better. The plot is complex and layered, dependent on coincidence but not implausibly so and the characters are interesting and far outstrip the customary clichés of the genre. This is a beautifully constructed and crafted book, and I am only sorry that I will have to wait another year for the next book. This one really deserves to take off and hit the big time. The central premise of the plot is really creepy and very cleverly revealed. Highly recommended.
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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Even better than her first novel!!, 20 Sep 2007
By 
John Davis (Belfast Northern Ireland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Hurting Distance: Culver Valley Crime Book 2 (Paperback)
I have just returned from holiday where I saved this book for the plane home. I devoured it in under 4 hours! I loved "Little Face" and had bought both books together as part of a special offer and it was money well spent! In both books there are sections where you genuinely get the creeps reading but you cannot wait to read more! Sophie Hannah conveys how each character feels in such a way that you genuinely feel like you know them. I liked that the police characters of Charlie and Simon (as well as their colleagues) were carried over from the first novel and thought it was a nice touch that Simon was thinking about contacting the lead character from the previous novel. This only added to the familiarity with the characters for me. I would agree with the previous reviewers who thought this book may be disappointing or not quite as good given how excellent "Little Face" was but I was amazed at how much I preferred this story. And to top it all off there was a teaser for her third novel at the back of this one and I am now desperate to read it - but it's not out until next year! Sophie Hannah is a superb writer and these two first novels cannot be beat in my opinion.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My book of 2007!, 29 Dec 2007
This review is from: Hurting Distance: Culver Valley Crime Book 2 (Paperback)
I read Hurting Distance last night (30th Dec) and it has blown all the other competition out of the water for my book of 2007...

I really didn't much like Little Face by the same author and only picked this up as there was nothing else available and within 5 minutes I was engrossed. The novel looks at crime from a very different viewpoint to most books, giving a dimension to victim, police and perpetrator as the trinity of crime that creates a truly mesmerising aspect as the plot unfolds with the mixture of simple and sheer coincidence that only real life tends to offer.

The characters are a similiar mixture of incredibly real yet incredibly unreal that makes it feel like you really are following the Naomi's narration of her story as an invited observer which adds tension and heartbreak as the novel progresses.

I defy anyone to guess the ending of this novel...I was gasped out loud when it was finally revealed...and if I hadn't been in an airport lounge it would have made me cry...

This is a heartbreaking novel that will haunt you but thrill you with the quality of the writing and characters. Truly exceptional!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Clever and chilling exploration of rape, 23 Nov 2007
This review is from: Hurting Distance: Culver Valley Crime Book 2 (Paperback)
This book is much better than Little Face in that you simply cannot work it out until the end, and the conclusion leaves you much more satisfied. The plot is excellent, with every character linked in some way to something that happened to the main character - Naomi Jenkins - a long time ago.
What begins as an innocent white lie soon becomes something far worse, as it becomes evident that the lie is far more real than anyone ever imagined. How the lie slowly becomes reality will keep you hooked and unable to put this down.
The best part of this book, however, is it's exploration and treatment of the issue of rape. It is never cliched and provides a different perspective on a theme that has been covered so many times before. Ultimately the question it asks is: what is the difference between being raped by a complete stranger and being raped by someone you know and care for? The answer is Hurting Distance, and this book cleverly explores which is worse.
A very rare complete book, from the title down to the last page. You will be thinking about it long after you've finished reading.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars not brilliant, 19 Oct 2007
This review is from: Hurting Distance: Culver Valley Crime Book 2 (Paperback)
I have to disagree with most of the other reviewers and say I felt it started well, interesting scenario, interesting main character, but as the book went on it descended into a less and less believable crime thriller and the last section was pretty ridiculous.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Creepy, chilling and convincing, 7 Nov 2007
By 
SJSmith (UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Hurting Distance: Culver Valley Crime Book 2 (Paperback)
I wish there were more stars availabe as this book has left me chilled. I was captivated! I read the second half of the book alone last night and I wish I hadn't; my heart was racing. Although there are a few bits I'd like to discuss with someone to clear up; this has got to be the best thriller I've read this year and possibly one of my top ten books of the year.

I've not read `Little Face' therefore I have no preconceptions of this writer's style. If it's as good as this I'll wait until I have company thank you very much! I did partially struggle with the how Sophie Hannah had Naomi addressing Robert as `you' as this made the reading somewhat challenging. However, when the plot runs away from about Chapter 9, I was able to switch off from this.

We are introduced to quite a few characters over the space of the novel but the main one is Naomi Jenkins. Having suffered a traumatic experience (and I mean traumatic, it is quite horrific) three years ago, she hasn't really got over it in my opinion. Having never told anyone she decides to describe it in detail when her married lover, Robert Haworth goes missing. She figures that by saying Robert committed the crime in question against her the police will take her concerns seriously, as opposed to presenting herself as a jealous mistress.

I've not carried out any research into this book so I don't know how Sophie Hannah has been able to write with such clarity but my goodness it is disturbing and gripping. You will like Naomi one minute and despise her next; then there comes along her flat mate, the detective and other characters. Be prepared for one huge rollercoaster. Cancel your plans and turn on the fire; this is a read you need to be ready for.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliantly written, scary, gripping..., 19 Feb 2008
By 
Love Books "Jessie" (Durham, England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Hurting Distance: Culver Valley Crime Book 2 (Paperback)
I needed something to read on Eurostar and picked this one up as it promised to be a gripping read and oh my goodness it was! I was hooked immediately by the quality of Sophie Hannah's writing. Like Naomi's best friend, you know from the start that there's something very wrong in her relationship with her married lover Robert, there are little hints that her feelings for him are obsessive and that he's controlling her but only as the story unravels does the extent of this 'wrongness' become clear. I actually thought it would have worked as a study of an abusive relationship without the rape storyline the writing and characterisation were so good. There's a compelling aspect to the story that makes you keep reading although I guessed pretty quickly why Robert's wife Juliet was behaving as she did.
THe only reason I didn't give it five stars is that there were just too many coincidences and everything tidied itself up too neatly at the end. The story has stayed with me though and I agree with the reviewer who said that Hurting Distance has given the world a new, charismatic and thoroughly evil new baddie!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved It!, 6 Jan 2008
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This review is from: Hurting Distance: Culver Valley Crime Book 2 (Paperback)
I read this book in 4 hours straight, because couldn't put it down!

I like other reviewers enjoyed Sophie Hannah's first book 'Little Face', but was concerned that this was a 'one-off' and that her later books would not be so good. I was wrong! Hurting Distance surpassed my expectations - a truly original and very believable novel ,which had so many unseen twists and turns that I defy anyone to guess the ending. From the end of the first chapter I was hooked.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Engaging story, till it got bonkers, 12 Aug 2012
This is an interesting novel and my first by Sophie Hannah, which was given to me by a friend.

The female characters are well drawn and believable but she doesn't quite pull off the male characters. My biggest gripe is the central relationship between Naomi and Robert. We're told Naomi is a successful, intelligent, independent businesswoman, but are then expected to believe she'd be head over heels with Robert, a dull, predictable lorry driver, who admits he's too spineless to leave his wife and only sees Naomi for three hours a week in a grotty motorway hotel. He even folds his clothes before they have sex. It doesn't convince.

It's a brave move to make the main female character so disagreeable. I didn't like Naomi and found the opening chapter, narrated by her, to be stilted. Had I read it in a bookshop, I'd have put it back without buying. It warmed up as it went on and as the story progressed I found Naomi interesting, if a little annoying but I didn't really care about any of the characters.

The central mystery kept me going but once the secrets began getting revealed and the motives became clearer, it got more and more far-fetched. Particularly Zailer's wildly unprofessional behaviour, her cavalier and unethical treatment of a rape victim and the reasoning for the crimes. Conveniently, there was never a solicitor present during their Life on Mars style interrogations of the victims/suspects and anyway, the suspects would never spill the beans so comprehensively while barely being prompted. They might as well have said 'It's a fair cop, guv' and held out their wrists for the handcuffs.

It didn't ring true on many levels, especially the way the victims were targeted - from a criminal's viewpoint, it just didn't add up. Zailer said there were no coincidences but there were, particularly with her personal involvement with the case, which I won't spell out as it would spoil the story. To quote Naomi, `There are too many connections, too many links that are wrong.' I couldn't agree more. The story collapsed because it wan't believable and it was as if the main character was being put in perilous situations for the sake of making it a thriller, which is a shame when the writing is good.

I don't usually read police detective novels so maybe I'm not your standard reader of this sort of novel, but I found the will-they-won't-they storyline about Zailer and her male colleague decidedly clichéd and unoriginal. I assume the other novels in the series follow the same style and spin out the non-existent romance, but I was already tired of it after one book in the series.

I admire Sophie Hannah's writing, this book had a page turning quality and the psychology is interesting but the plot is ludicrous. I'll check reviews of her other novels and see if she's written anything more grounded in reality.
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Hurting Distance: Culver Valley Crime Book 2
Hurting Distance: Culver Valley Crime Book 2 by Sophie Hannah (Paperback - 23 Aug 2007)
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