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2.8 out of 5 stars224
2.8 out of 5 stars
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on 27 September 2013
I started my Sophie Hannah exploration with Point of Rescue (and loved it!) which inspired me to move on to the others (room swept white and little face). I gave it a bit of a rest after Little Face (which I didn't enjoy as much as the other two) but chose The Carrier before a recent holiday and thought I'd give it a go.

I started it twice and put it back down before sticking with it to the bitter end. My husband and I like to chat about how we're getting on with our current reads and I said The Carrier was giving me a bit of a headache (literally). I explained the storyline (which is basically about an annoying bloke called Tim with a dead wife) and that the theme was mainly 'Tim did it, no he didn't, yes Tim did it, did he, it was Tim, I don't think Tim did it, did he, he did, Tim did it, but it wasn't Tim, but Tim did it, did he, oh no he didn't, oh yes he did ...' and so on and so forth. That coupled with the Ministry-of-Silly-Names-Murder-Squad that Sophie favours was all a bit much for my brain to cope with.

I don't think the characters come across as the author intended either because I ended up feeling sorry for the wife! My word that poor woman had a lucky escape! The three main characters go on and on and on and on about how evil she is but it just left me feeling more and more sorry for her.

Tim and his 'I'll utter no more words than necessary' attitude got on my wick. I didn't find him attractive or appealing (unlike the women in this book who find him irresistible). He had no substance. He was just downright odd.

And, despite being told in the book about the 'significance' of The Carrier - I still have absolutely no idea what all that drivel meant. Nope. None. Nada. I consider myself of average intelligence (!) but that went straight over my head.
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on 26 July 2014
Have read several of Sophie Hannah's books now - although I'm not sure why, as they seem to get worse. After 'Kind of Cruel' I decided that this ludicrous premise could never be topped but.... well done, Ms Hannah, you managed it! I found the book extremely hard going at the beginning; the character of Gaby patronising, condescending and intensely dislikeable and the narrative boring. It is not intriguing, merely confusing. I have to confess to skipping the middle 300 or so pages (life is too short!) and just reading the conclusion. So glad I did this - I know now 'whodunnit' without wasting several more hours on this rubbish. Hannah's 'twists' are not clever, merely incredibly unbelievable. I will not be reading any more of her work - even if it is free as this one was for me.
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on 21 October 2013
As in most of Sophie Hannah's books, characters don't really behave as the might in real life. But it's a story and not meant to be real life, so putting that aside it is a 'good read'. I like the humour, especially in Charlie, who could be my best friend! One or two of the characters are a little annoying though, I'm not sure if they're meant to be. But the plot keeps you guessing almost to the end, I wanted to keep reading, and get there as soon as possible. I definitely would recommend it but think the earlier books need to be read first, otherwise, with no understanding of Charlie and Simon's relationship, the dynamics in the story could be a little confusing.
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The plot winds its way around three central characters. Tim, his dead wife Francine and the 'real love of his life' Gaby who Tim hasn't seen for a long time. The wife died in mysterious circumstances, perhaps as a result of a mercy killing, and was ill for a long time before her death. Whodunnit?. When Gaby finds out Tim has admitted to murdering his wife she decides to return home and prove his innocence. I was never quite sure why. There was a lot of 'not sure why' in the book because things happen without any real explanation.

The basis for the novel is simple and there's nothing wrong with simplicity but; if you make something simple you have nowhere to hide and you also have to make it perfect. 'The Carrier' isn't perfect. The plot is reasonable enough but creaks and crumbles under the weight of the awful characters it's being forced to support.

We soon learn that the recently departed Francine was a nasty piece of work, that everyone loves Tim, especially Gaby, and they'd all do 'anything' for him. The problem is that Francine had every right to be nasty, she'd had a stroke, and anyone on the wrong side of her had the option of leaving the room!. More of an option at times than she had. Francine wasn't actually that bad. Would have made a lot more sense if she had murdered the lukewarm Tim.

If you haven't read all of these books in the proper series you really won't get to know the history of the characters and you'll feel as confused as me. There is no attempt at any explanation as to back history or motivation but there's an awful lot of cliche and far reaches. As for the ending; you'll probably guess way before you reach it and even if you don't there are no real surprises.

This is the 8th novel in the Sophie Hanna 'Culver Valley' series and maybe it's a series that has gone on too long.
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on 26 December 2013
Oh for heaven's sake, who let this book be published in its current form? I don't know what page I'm up to, although my Kindle tells me that I'm 42% of the way through it, which is about 57% short of where I'd like to be: the other 1% is the bit where it's all finally explained, but I just don't have the interest or the stamina to continue to find out, so if someone would like to enlighten me (who'd have thought that good old Prof. Google would let me down in the search for a spoiler?), I'd be grateful.
What was Ms Hannah thinking? Or not? This is a convoluted mish mash, populated by unconvincing and/or unpleasant characters; there are so many carrots being dangled that even a starving donkey would turn away in disgust and the occasional flash of good writing is so swamped by endless longeurs of dullness that I've just given up. So, please, someone tell me: why did boring old Tim marry Francine, although even stroke-ridden, paralysed and then dead, she sounded a whole lot more interesting than he? Why are Dan and Kerry his helplessly devoted acolytes? And, of course, who killed Francine and why? Although if I'd been her I would have been grateful for what, in my judgement, was a mercy killing that relieved her of the necessity of having anything more to do with all those drippy deadheads. Lucky her, too, that, being dead, she didn't have to make the acquaintance of the plods who, almost to a person, are a gang of self conscious, posturing dullards. Were I to read much more of this, I think I'd end up administering the Tontine therapy to myself.
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VINE VOICEon 1 March 2013
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Have just finished The Carrier and am so relieved to have made it through to the end of what was for me, an overly complex, frustrating and tedious read. I haven't particularly enjoyed the author's last few books and after wading my way through this long and boring one, I don't think I will be looking to read any more Sophie Hannah books. Loved SH's earlier works, they were full of suspense and tension resulting in very absorbing, gripping read - sadly I can't say the same for the more recent novels, they are most disappointing and just not up to par.
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on 12 July 2014
Having read most of Sophie Hannah's books already and having enjoyed them, I felt very confident I was going to enjoy The Carrier. Sadly I was mistaken. I finished the book feeling like I'd just wasted my time. The characters and plot were not believeable and I just found 'Tim'- who most of the characters seemed to find irresistible, pathetic and frustrating. I may have just missed it but I can't remember ever finding what the relevance of the 'The Carrier' is.
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on 17 September 2014
I had read "Little Face" and "Point of Rescue" both of which I enjoyed - but this is disappointing - Tim is so weird that it is hard to imagine anyone wanting to love him, certainly not to the extent that Gaby does - she appears to be a high-flier with intelligence and personality whereas he is just weird...I did start the book three times and gave up, but left with nothing to read one hot Sunday I persevered - the ending is very disappointing indeed - as is the explanation for Tim's silly dream-
Obviously these books are a series, I haven't read them in sequence, I haven't read the one where Charlie gets married, perhaps it should be made plainer on the covers where each title lies in the chronology? I haven't give up on Sophie yet - but another written in this style may change my mind!
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on 23 October 2013
This was our book club choice for September and another new author for me. The blurb sounded promising so we were all keen to get reading.

Each chapter is dated and with that brings a different person's view, I'm usually a fan of books set out like this but I don't think it really added anything.

I didn't really get the relationship between Tim, Kerry and Dan and why they were so devoted to him, it was all a bit odd. Oh...and the letters to Francine which are interspersed are actually really cruel which doesn't help you like the Kerry and Dan any more (although some were quite amusing but I don't think I was supposed to be smirking as I was reading them).

Unfortunately I really struggled with this book, I don't like giving up on books so persevered but it was hard work. I didn't engage with any of the characters and found them to be totally unbelievable; so didn't really care enough to be interested in what happened to them and towards the end I really didn't care if Tim had killed his wife or not. In fact, I hoped he had to give the book more of a twist.

This book is billed as a psychological thriller but I didn't feel that at all, it actually feels quite ploddish.

I believe this novel is part of a series of books and therefore is probably better aimed at fans of this series rather than as a standalone. I really dislike giving a negative review but this really left me feeling cold and I'm afraid this book doesn't inspire to read any more of Sophie Hannah's books. Sorry!
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VINE VOICEon 9 January 2013
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I don't know if I'm just not clever enough to 'get' this book but it seemed to be an awful lot of writing about nothing much and nothing made much sense. I had the same problem with the previous Sophie Hannah book I read.

The premise is intriguing. Successful businesswoman Gaby meets a young woman seemingly coincidentally while on a trip to Germany and finds out that the man she's always loved, Tim, has confessed to murdering his paralysed wife Francine. The young woman, Lauren, claims he's innocent and Gaby is determined to get to the bottom of the mystery. The two police officers who feature in some of the author's previous books also doubt Tim and his friends versions of events.

While I too wanted to find out the truth about this, I can't say I enjoyed this book. We are supposed to have sympathy for characters who go on and on about their own intelligence while calling others 'thick' and referring to the paralysed woman 'a slab of meat'. Horrible cruelty seems to be ok if inflicted on a 'despicable' character, but not when reversed and applied to one of the clever ones. And it just didn't make sense. Why did Gaby live with the obnoxious Sean? Why did Tim marry Francine if he hated her so much? Why did supposedly sensitive people act so cruelly when it was so unnecessary?

I also didn't really 'get' the whole Carrier thing.

Sophie Hannah is a clever and excellent writer, but I can't recommend this book.
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