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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not a 'stand alone' novel...
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...
Published 16 months ago by Linda S. Bryant

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars as they seem to get worse. After 'Kind of Cruel' I decided that this ...
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...
Published 7 months ago by Mrs. R. Oxbury


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars as they seem to get worse. After 'Kind of Cruel' I decided that this ..., 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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars review of the carrier, 13 Jun. 2014
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I have read all of the books in the Culver Valley series and prior to this one, I have enjoyed them. Sadly I cannot say the same about The Carrier. I found it hard going and took ages to get through it, not a story I "couldn't put down!" I don't think Tim was given enough "rounding out" as a character, he was just this person in the background, referred to a lot but with no substance. We're told that he was charismatic and thus all the friends would do anything for him but with what we were told I thought he was weak and spineless, letting them know when he attempted suicide making it an empty gesture, and letting Dan and Kerry support him while he was caring for Francine. This view of him was further reinforced when we eventually learned what his game had been all along - persistently, sneakily, tormenting the helpless, captive audience Francine. Very disappointing.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not a 'stand alone' novel..., 21 Oct. 2013
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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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48 of 53 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Most disappointing, 1 Mar. 2013
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Nikki - See all my reviews
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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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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not one for me, 23 Oct. 2013
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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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Poor storyline and characters, 19 Dec. 2013
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Not engaging at all, very disappointed, usually love this author but this was not her best by any means, shame
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55 of 64 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I've lost the will to live through any more by this writer, 28 Dec. 2012
By 
Katharine Kirby "Kate" (HELSTON, Cornwall United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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Reading Sophie Hannah used to be a pleasure. Little Face, The Fantastic Book of Everybody's Secrets, they were great. Maddeningly, a lot of trading on the past is now going on. I could call this review a plea for the return of a lost art, that of editing.

Sophie Hannah is also a poet. Much of The Carrier pays tribute to her love of verse with references to both modern and classical poetry. So why then can't she pare down her own prose to something more meaningful and easy? She is actually rude to her readers. Ploughing through The Carrier was exhausting. It gave me a headache, I felt as if I were tied to a chair while the author threw random things at me. I was never allowed to get remotely comfortable. If I weren't reviewing this for vine I would never have got past the first quarter.

Tantalisingly there is a sharp needle of a good idea hiding in the haystack. A killer who shouldn't have, couldn't have, really done it even if he says he did. An ex lover who wants to tear down the edifice of lies and release him from his obligation. There are two truly marvellous male monsters created, each so dreadful I felt I could kill them both myself. Sean, Gaby's `partner' - who `walks around - or rather, lies around - wrapped in a thick cloak of No-Concern-Of-Mine'. He is horrible. And Jason Cookson. A pantomime bully, one you would never want to meet.

Racketing about in the background are the now compulsory cast of coppers and crew - Charlie Zailer, Simon Waterhouse, Proust `The Snowman', Lizzy, Gibbs, Meakin, Sam... Endlessly sitting around making incomprehensible references to relationships and crazy stuff from their pasts I couldn't get worked up about. Too much, too many, too difficult to remember. Ghosts from all the other Sophie Hannah books I've started off with high hopes for and just got frustrated by. Weird mind games, reverse psychology, I really hope policing isn't like this.

Sarcasm is the lowest form of wit and yet it's the only attempt at light relief in four hundred and sixty pages. There are however some nuggets of rewarding reading to be found in the muddle of events. I enjoyed a few of the conversations/interrogations seen from all angles we are treated to; although the spotlight constantly moves from one scenario to another making it hard work to keep up. The miserably unsatisfactory ending was the final straw. Sophie Hannah is clearly deeply fascinated by psychology and forgets that her readers might be a little more straightforward. I think you would have to be a lot kinder than me to find this worthy of more than two stars though.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars ... read most of Sophie Hannah's books already and having enjoyed them, I felt very confident I was going ..., 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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33 of 39 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars To long and too complicated, 6 Jan. 2013
By 
Frances Stott (Devizes, Wiltshire) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
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The main thread of this story is straightforward enough. Gaby Struthers discovers that Tim, the man she loves, has confessed to the murder of his paralysed wife. No-one believes that he can have killed her, but in that case, who did? And why is he prepared to go to prison for a crime he didn't commit? A young woman, Lauren, whom Gaby has never met before, follows her to Germany. Why? Tim and his sick wife shared a house with close friends, but no-one has the answer (or is prepared to give it). And so the plot thickens. And thickens.

My biggest problem with this novel is that there is far too much of it. Half-way through, I nearly gave up on it altogether. For a start, there were too many characters (not least the many police in involved in the case), too many unusual names and surnames: Kombothekra, Breary, Jose and Zailer were among them. And then there was The Snowmman (aka Proust, or even, occasionally, Giles). I became bogged down in names and characters, some of whom were not central to the plot, and some involved in their own complicated sub-plot lives (for example, the police officer Gibbs, married with twins, but involved in a long-runing affair with Liv, sister of a fellow police officer, who is engaged to another man).

And then there were all the dysfunctional relationships. Francine (the murder victim) doesn't seem to have had a single redeeming feature; so why on earth did Tim ever marry her? Gaby, highly intelligent and rich, is living with self-centred Sean, who spends his time grumbling at her and watching football on TV. Lauren is married to abusive Jason. Why? There doesn't seem to be any reason why any of these unlikely couples got together in the first place.

Half-way through the novel, there began to be enough flickers of action to keep me going, but as the plot staggered towards its (for me, very unsatisfactory) denouement, I was rapidly losing the will to read another word. The whole story could have been told quite satisfactorily in half the number of words, and I think would have been twice as interesting.

What a shame. For some of the descriptive writing is lovely. But that wasn't enough for me, and sadly, I shan't be reading any more from this author.
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22 of 26 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The last Sophie Hannah I will buy, 24 Mar. 2013
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When a 40 year old stroke victim is discovered dead in her home the police think it's an open and shut case after her husband Tim admits to killing her. However Tim will give no motive and staunchly denies it was a mercy killing. Meanwhile his ex and the true love of his life Gaby finds out about his arrest after she meets a strange young girl in a German airport, Gaby hasn't seen Tim for some time but she is sure of his innocence and is determined to help him.

As with all Hannah's books I found the premise intriguing and I will say that I didn't find the plot itself to be the worst thing about the book, indeed with better characters and a few tweaks it may have worked well. Sadly the characters are terrible, it's not that they are badly drawn it's that they are terrible people who I had absolutely not a shred of sympathy for. Our heroine is one of the most annoying antagonistic characters I have ever had the misfortune to come across, I suppose there is some consolation to be had in the fact that she irritated me so much... at least she isn't two dimensional. Our hero of sorts, Tim (the aforementioned confessed wife murderer) is equally as annoying. Tim has a whole host of devoted fans, Gaby and his best friends Kerry and Dan will do literally anything for him. They constantly waffle on about how amazing and unique he is but we never actually see any examples of anything even bordering on the amazing and unique, we are just supposed to accept it. We learn very early on that the victim (Francine) is a horrible, terrible person blah blah blah. Again though the examples of how horrible she is just aren't that bad and there is absolutely nothing stopping the people she hurts simply telling her to piss off.

Then of course there are Hannah's police characters, it's been mentioned a lot in various reviews about the superfluous nature of their role in this book. Hannah has created an ensemble cast of characters for the series and sadly it adds nothing to the books and is instead a detriment to them. Readers who are new to the series must be absolutely perplexed by whole sections of the book. For instance a chapter early on ends with a scene where the daughter of one of the police characters turns up unannounced on another characters doorstep, any new reader would be completely baffled as to why this scene is written with such drama and the only consolation I can offer them is long time readers of the series are only slightly less baffled. It wouldn't be too bad if their characters stay consistent throughout the series, but they don't. Hannah tries to trick the reader into thinking these parts are relevant in the most cliched ways "Oh I was having a conversation with DS Sellers before about his affair with my ex-girlfriends hairdresser and he asked me if I wanted some tea... that's when I realised the murder weapon was a teapot!" (that's not a spoiler but it's generally the kind of thing that happens). Fortunately, despite Hannah's attempts to convince us otherwise, the tedium of the goings on in the copshop add nothing to the story so they can be skim read.

This is the worst book Hannah has wrote to date and as a long time reader of her work it has confirmed a few of the things I had become uncomfortable with in earlier books. Hannah only has 3 or 4 characters, she renames them, gives them a new profession and switches them sometimes from villain to hero (or vice versa) then trots them out again. Our female protagonists are usually successful women and are generally snobby, selfish and judgmental (casting my mind back over the series most of these protagonists have had an extra martial affair, usually with absolutely no compunction about what they are doing). In her earlier books Hannah writes the characters well and makes them if not likable at least admirable. Here though that sheen is gone and what lies beneath is ugly and casts a shadow on her earlier work, is this what Hannah considers strong? Are these qualities she admires? Does she think being a cruel bully is witty? The men who feature in Hannah's books are weak willed and psychologically damaged, invariably the damage is inflicted in childhood by their parents. Usually this second category are most complex than the first but again because this book is such a half baked effort it just all seems vaguely ridiculous. Working class character's in Hannah's books are held in contempt, the only variation on "tracksuit wearing council estate scrote" (that being fairly typical of Hannah's description of poorer people in the book)are those characters that have heroically escaped their working class roots and ensconced themselves in the money and values of the upper middle classes.

Anyway, I will stop before I end up writing an essay on Hannah's collect works of fiction. I don't recommend this book and if like me you are a fan of the series I urge you to do what I could not. Heed the reviews and give it a miss, it may end up tarnishing the whole series.
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