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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Up Close and Dangerous
I found this novel to be darker and more gripping than the tag/genre 'romantic suspense' suggests. I know Norfolk well from holidaying there - that fact, and the intriguing blurb prompted me to purchase the novel. And I wasn't disappointed. The author has depicted the stripped back beauty of the place and captured the eeriness of the marshes in winter to perfection. The...
Published 15 months ago by Lizzie Dripping

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Easy read
Up close is a nice easy read that kept me interested till the end. The characters were likable and as I was reading it I thought it was predictable but there was a twist I didn't see coming so that was good.
Published 16 months ago by laughingladywales


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unputdownable!, 29 May 2013
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I expected this to be fairly formulaic and fit the general ChocLit style, but this is a cut above and is far darker and much more gripping than I expected. Although there are clearly elements which are familiar, the novel does not run true to expectation and has a far better ending than I imagined. In addition to a great plot, there are well written characters - the kind of characters that you think about if you have to put the book down... the ones where you wonder what they're up to you when you are not reading! I also found myself wanting to revisit the wilds of Norfolk which is an area of England I haven't visited in a long time. Finally, you should read this novel for no other reason than getting to know Jack the 'bequeathed' Jack Russell who is a character all by himself! Definitely unputdownable!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Up Close - as much a thriller as a romance!, 4 May 2013
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This review is from: Up Close (Paperback)
Way out of the normal run of romance reads, this is an elegant and convincing read that kept me enthralled to the last page.

Henriette Gyland has given us a heroine for the 21st century - bright and feisty, and a book set in a spectacularly bleak and flat part of the world - with atmosphere by the bucket. I am looking forward to her next novel.

The down side is, of course, that romantic heroines can only be used once (normally) so we won't be meeting Lia again (at least not for a long while)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Avery good read, 26 Mar 2013
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This review is from: Up Close (Paperback)
I really enjoyed this book I have not read any of her books before but I will read again it was really good
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Easy read, 26 Feb 2013
Up close is a nice easy read that kept me interested till the end. The characters were likable and as I was reading it I thought it was predictable but there was a twist I didn't see coming so that was good.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Edge of the seat chiller!, 9 Dec 2012
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This is definitely not romantic fiction. It belongs far more to the crime genre - more suspense than romantic. An excellent debut novel that I read in almost one sitting, pausing only to watch The Killing III for a couple of hours! Beautifully constructed and a terrific opening, not to mention a wonderful, evocative cover.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Close to my heart, 22 Nov 2012
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Those clever people at Choc lit tapped into my psyche again and came up with a tempting and enthralling romantic psychological thriller that ticks all my boxes.

Lia Thomson has recently returned to the UK after having moved to the USA where she has a successful career as a doctor. Back in Norfolk, having recently inherited her grandmothers cottaage, where she was brought up, afterthe sudden and rather mysterious death of her Gran. Mysteries from both past and present begin to haunt her, memories of the death of her little brother Eddie return, even though she was only 4 when he died, disturbing nightmares of water and drowning recur and she begins to uncover sinister facets of her Grandmothers life and death.

Having lived here as a child its inevitable that she'll meet some of her former schoolfriends, she becomes reacquaintanced with her former friend Susannah and when she meets Aidan Morrell she finds him very changed from the companion of her youth, years in the army have left him battle scarred and bitter and he seeks solace in his interests of deep sea diving and painting. He's just the complication she doesn't need especially as he is engaged to the rich and successful Brett waiting for her back in the USA.

The whole book has a dark and sinister feel and is much more than just a romantic novel its a tense and quite disturbing thriller which kept me turning the pages well into the night. Highly recomended to anyone who enjoyed Ninepins or Revenge of the Tide
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great story, 4 Jan 2013
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Really good read with a twist at the end! Would definitely recommend to people who like a mystery but is also an easy read.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A plot that keeps you guessing and the romance makes this a big hit with me!, 12 Dec 2012
By 
Shazjera (Bournemouth) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Up Close (Paperback)
Up Close begins with intrigue ... in the prologue we join a watcher outside the window - a watcher who is waiting for the old woman to die.

"Her evident shock registered, and for one long moment they simply stared at each other, spellbound, frozen in time, as memories of their unwilling bond flashed through both their minds."

Hooked! Who is the watcher and what is the connection?

Chapter One begins with the reader experiencing Lia Thompson's nightmare alongside her. She's in her grandmother, Ivy's house, having missed the funeral but is there to sell the house as quickly as possible and fly back `home.' We find out that her mother, Connie, doesn't want anything from the estate. Lia is still jet-lagged having flown in from Philadelphia two days ago. We also find out that Lia wanted to get far away from Norfolk. Lia's life in Philadelphia is shared and we're introduced to nearest neighbour Mrs Larwood who brings Ivy's dog back. Ivy was not a dog lover.

From this first chapter I was intrigued. I wanted to know why Connie didn't want anything from her own mother's estate, what happened that made Lia move as far away as she could and why had Ivy bought a dog if she wasn't a pet lover?

Chapter Two we're introduced to Aidan Morrell. He's prepping to dive at Holkham Beach and we're made aware of an injury he received on a warship in the Gulf. Lia meets Aidan as he comes out of the sea. They were at 6th form college together but Lia doesn't remember him. She was in a daze for most of that time. Aidan had a crush on her and we're made aware of something happening with his brother. We're also made aware that a close member of Lia's family died when she was a child ...but not how.

More questions from me! Why was Lia in a daze? How did Lia's family member die? What happened to Aidan's brother? What happened with Lia's best friend Samantha?

The intrigue only gets deeper as we move further into the plot - and as the intrigue deepens, so does the attraction between Lia and Aidan!

The environment is perfect for the suspense and the secrets. An isolated community with Aidan living alone on the farm and Lia alone in the house; attics; deserted beaches; solitary running and diving; a scene involving snow. I also have to mention the art and how the author uses it as a way of Aidan expressing himself - especially when he starts to feel safe enough to show how he sometimes perceives the world to be ... the darker side.

Plenty of times I was tense and alert. I have to admit that I detest underwater scenes on movies although I do love the water and enjoy swimming underwater myself. The scene in the swimming pool after it is closed while Lia is learning to dive and the climax underwater on a group dive left me feeling shaken and nauseous!

Lia and Aiden's connection is there from the beginning but because Lia is engaged, they both make excuses for why they can't do anything about the attraction. Later, the intimacy between Lia and Aiden is beautifully written. Their relationship is not an easy one with underlying secrets but I loved the fact that Lia was always led by her own belief about Aiden and not by what the evidence seemed to be presenting.

The Armed Forces is a central connection to the plot in Up Close. Gyland is not afraid to tackle Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and how it affects the lives of the sufferer and their families.

I love plots that drop subtle clues and lead the reader to try and work out where the story is heading, to unravel those clues to find an answer ... Up Close is exactly this type of story. It wasn't until I reached page 297/384 that I had an inkling of where we were being led. As I continued to read I became surer although there is another incident that made me question what I believed. This is such a fabulous plot with the different strands weaving together to leave us with a story that gives the wow factor.

There is also personification (if you read my reviews you'll know I love this!) On page 238:

"The wind had dropped, and the trees in the garden, their branches held high in a last act of defiance, seemed to have accepted finally that this was the season of death."

Beautiful and very apt for that particular place in the plot!

I don't think there's any doubt about how I felt about Up Close ... alongside the romance we have the suspense and intrigue ... not only is it a keeper for me but it has gone straight onto my Top 20 reads of 2012. What an amazing debut novel! Henriette Gyland is definitely an author to watch. I'm a fan!

I would like to thank Choc Lit for providing a copy in exchange for an honest review.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Chilling and filled with suspense - This is a book you won't be able to put down!, 5 Dec 2012
By 
Megan ReadingInTheSunshine (England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Up Close (Paperback)
I was very keen to start reading this book, as everything about it intrigued me. The cover is fascinating, it's eerie and spooky and hints at a mystery. This mystery deepens even more when the blurb is read, as it hints at secrets, a death that might not be all it seems, and a selection of characters that we might need to be wary of.

In Up Close, we meet Lia Thompson, a Doctor who has been living in the states with her fiancé Brett. When Lia's grandmother Ivy dies suddenly, Lia returns to Norfolk in England to sort out her grandmother's belongings. However, Lia gets more than she bargained for. Not only is she having to get used to living in an old house with appliances that she can't work, but she is astounded to discover that her grandmother purchased a little dog called Jack before she died. On top of that, Lia has to deal with nosy neighbours who seem to know more than what they let on, and an array of faces from the past. Soon, it appears that there may be more to her grandmother's death, but can Lia discover what it is, or is it all in her head? And who can she turn to?

I have to say I was absolutely gripped by the book. The story opens with Ivy's death, which instantly had me hooked as there were immediately hundreds of questions running through my mind that needed to be answered! The mystery deepened as I progressed further into the book, and this only added to my questions. At one point I had an idea of what I thought had happened, only for there to be another twist and for all my ideas to be blown away. Wow. I literally could not guess where Henriette would take me on this journey, and I was constantly on the edge of my seat, racing through the pages in a frenzy to find out what was going to happen next.

Up Close is told from two different perspectives: Lia and Aidan's. Lia's parts are fascinating, she is instantly likeable as a character - the reader discovers things at the same time as she does and so there is an instant connection with her. As a reader I desperately wanted her to get to the bottom of all of this and I hoped she would find clues that would lead her to the answers she wanted. I became very emotionally involved with Lia, I felt confusion when she did, I felt fear and uncertainty as she realised that Ivy's death was a lot more complex than how it first seemed, and I could picture her clearly in my mind.

Aidan's chapters were very interesting to read, as it helped me to learn a bit more about him. Aidan is a man who keeps to himself, seems to have a lot of secrets, and is careful about what he reveals to others. However, through his chapters, we slowly over time gain an insight into his personality, his thoughts and what his plans are. However, Henriette does a fantastic job of keeping suspense to Aidan's parts, never giving us the full picture, so as a reader we are left questioning Aidan's movements, turning the pages in a bid to discover the next piece of the puzzle.

There is some romance to the story, and a few very well-written sub-plots to give the reader an extra part to intrigue them, and this adds a brilliant mix to the story, providing more depth and allowing the reader something extra to focus on!

Up Close is a chilling, suspense-filled story that keeps you guessing. It is not just a thrilling book - it has romance and the plot is complex, with both love and hate running through the story, making this book so much more than what it seems. There are so many twists and turns that you will be gripped to the pages until the very end. A powerful and fantastic debut.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly enjoyed, 30 Dec 2012
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This was a great first read on my Kindle. I was hooked after the first chapter and couldn't put it down.
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Up Close
Up Close by Henriette Gyland (Paperback - 7 Dec 2012)
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