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55 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First class thriller from an author of rare ability
Lizzie is a translator, of Czech to English. Her relationship of seven years has ended and she is a few months into the single life and celibacy. At times, her large London terrace seems an empty place, animated only by the presence of her cat, Millie. But Millie has made the house vulnerable to the predations of a prowling tomcat which has learned to use the cat flap...
Published on 5 April 2005 by Budge Burgess

versus
2.0 out of 5 stars Transgression into saleable
As a fan of Sarah Durant`s historical novels, this book came across as a forced transition into contemporary writing. The beauty of her talent was there but it was tarnished by what seemed to be glassy eyed sex scenes throughout, off-key characterisation and an incredibly odd ending.

The whole thing made me wonder if her publishing company were pushing her in...
Published 4 months ago by Suzanne


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55 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First class thriller from an author of rare ability, 5 April 2005
By 
Budge Burgess (Troon, Scotland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Transgressions (Paperback)
Lizzie is a translator, of Czech to English. Her relationship of seven years has ended and she is a few months into the single life and celibacy. At times, her large London terrace seems an empty place, animated only by the presence of her cat, Millie. But Millie has made the house vulnerable to the predations of a prowling tomcat which has learned to use the cat flap to enter, rob the food bowl, and dole out a few wounds in the process.
Lizzie's friends worry about her. She reassures them, and herself, that everything is fine. She has a new contract, to translate a European bestseller for the English-speaking ... and Hollywood ... market. It's a tale of cops and robbers, a high body count, and explicit sex, and it will keep her too busy to fret about her own life, loneliness, and celibacy.
Is it her imagination? One of her albums is missing. When the second disappears, she suspects her ex is playing tricks. But the third incident with the CD's shakes Lizzie's confidence. Someone, or something other than the tomcat, is getting into the house.
Sarah Dunant writes a very sophisticated, very elegant thriller. Juxtaposing the violence of excerpts from Lizzie's translation with the psychological chill of her own fears and realisation of what is happening, this is a first class novel.
Dunant is a very fine writer. She dissects the sexual mores and sexual desires of her characters with a skill and sensitivity few other novelists manage. Lizzie is no passive victim. She is a literate, intelligent young woman who opts to fight whatever it is that has determined to invade her world. In places disturbing, even shocking, certainly explicit, Dunant delivers some fascinating insights into her characters.
This is a tense, well-paced novel which obliges you to keep turning the pages. Exceptionally well written and beautifully structured, Dunant's writing style is dynamic and economical, each word, each phrase, each sentence delivered with poise and purpose.
This is the first Sarah Dunant novel I've read ... I'll certainly read more. First class writing, compulsive story-telling, and an author with class, style, and personality.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A brave and un-put-downable book, 21 Nov 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Transgressions (Paperback)
Dunant has real mastery of the suspense narrative -I certainly couldn't put the books down - her heroine is in one of those alienated, lonely moods in which the world seems hostile, reflecting her own coldness. The worst (nearly) does happen but she survives, and finds surprising strength in the psychic battle her intruder subjects her to. There's no flinching at examining the layers of sexual fantasy most of us won't look at but the shocking quality is softened by Dunant's refusal to resort to anti-male rhetoric and actually you finish the book feeling that you understand better the mind of the rapist, that there is hope for sexual relations between men and women inspite of all the traps. My only criticism is that the genre militates somewhat against real insight and the end seems a bit ot a cop-out.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ask for this for Christmas!, 7 Dec 2013
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This review is from: Transgressions (Kindle Edition)
The thinking woman's 50 shades! A book I could not put down, grabbing pages between cooking, washing and other places. a compelling seediness with a shocking but entirely understandable middle and end. A tremendous complement to the Renaissance genre.
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21 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gripping but strange, 26 Oct 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Transgressions (Paperback)
A very strange story. Elizabeth has recently split up from her long-time lover and is trying to adjust to life on her own terms. She begins to translate a novel from Czech to English for a job assignment, but then strange events occur and she becomes suspicious that her ex, or even her best friend, is responsible. Soon, to Elizabeth, the line between fact and fiction becomes rather blurred. The tension mounts as Elizabeth thinks she is losing her mind only, when confronted by the truth, to struggle with obsession and reality. I thought this book was very "edge-of-your-seat", but (although I'm not prudish) I did think that some of the sexual scenes were too vulgar. The author seemed to be fixated on female violation and some of the descriptions made me squirm as I felt they were gratuituous. "Transgressions" started out as a promise of enjoyment, but then became something that I wouldn't have necessarily read by choice.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Shockingly different to Sacred Hearts !, 27 Sep 2013
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This review is from: Transgressions (Kindle Edition)
Makes you want to explore even more of Sarah's books. Watch out guys, this gal's on a mission. You need to read Sacred Hearts to get the balance, breadth and depth of her talent.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More please, 18 Jun 2013
This review is from: Transgressions (Kindle Edition)
A very gripping thriller - Sarah Dunant ought to write more in this vein rather than the rather weak historical novels.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Transgression into saleable, 8 Aug 2014
By 
Suzanne (Farnborough, Hampshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Transgressions (Kindle Edition)
As a fan of Sarah Durant`s historical novels, this book came across as a forced transition into contemporary writing. The beauty of her talent was there but it was tarnished by what seemed to be glassy eyed sex scenes throughout, off-key characterisation and an incredibly odd ending.

The whole thing made me wonder if her publishing company were pushing her in this direction. Due to her spectacular writing ability, the book does well to hold your attention. But if you're familiar with her work and love the poetic spirit of her books, you may find yourself disappointed.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not a historical novel, 10 Jan 2010
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This review is from: Transgressions (Paperback)
This book was basically about a woman getting over a long term relationship and exploring her sexuality. She explores her feelings about rape and whether women can turn a rape situation into a consensual sexual encounter. Themes include power, control isolation and loneliness.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Unconvincing and offensive, 4 Jan 2010
This review is from: Transgressions (Paperback)
This is beautifully written nonsense. The idea that a woman would feel sexual desire for a man who has broken into her house to rape her is not just ridiculous but offensive.

I found the character of Lizzie completely self-obsessed and therefore unsympathetic, but her reaction to the intruder was a step too far for me.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Sarah Dunant at her best, 2 Dec 2012
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This review is from: Transgressions (Kindle Edition)
SDs stories have just the right amount of "different" to keep you wanting more! It was a bit slow to start but took off after the second chapter. What would any of us do in her character's situation? Thought provoking.
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Transgressions
Transgressions by Sarah Dunant (Paperback - 3 Mar 2005)
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