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39 Reviews
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Girl With A Clock For a Heart - Enjoyable Reading Time
Well the blurb on this one caught my eye, a man sees a picture of former girlfriend even though she was meant to be dead, Right away it grabbed my attention thinking it to be a read I would enjoy.

I did, it was an easy read, poor George already knowing that Lianna has been responsible for things in the past but not wanting to accept the fact that she was...
Published 5 months ago by Alessi Lover

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lightweight but reasonably entertaining
I'm not surprised that the film rights for this novel have been sold. It has that feel about it; rather lightweight but with screen possibilities.
The premise is interesting. Boy falls in love with girl at college, is devastated when he finds she has committed suicide and even more devastated when he finds out the dead girl is not the one he loved. After twenty years...
Published 5 months ago by Penny Waugh


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4.0 out of 5 stars good, 9 May 2014
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This review is from: The Girl With A Clock For A Heart (Kindle Edition)
An interesting book that keeps going. It's a new author to me and I will try another book by him.
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3.0 out of 5 stars An obviously padded novella., 2 May 2014
When I received this as a review copy from publishers Faber and Faber, I knew nothing of it other than it was billed as a noir-ish tale of false identities and working out who you really love and trust and for the most part, Swanson achieves this.

Told over two timelines, The Girl With A Clock For A Heart gives us the story of George, a college student, and the love of his life Audrey. Totally inseparable, the 18 year olds live the idyllic college lifestyle and although Audrey is coy about her past and reluctant to let George visit for the holidays, they leave promising to stay loyal and meet again next term. Except, when George returns, he's told the devastating news that Audrey has taken her own life. Unable to rationalise events, he heads of to Florida and Audrey's family, not only for his sweetheart's funeral, but also to get answers. When he gets there, it's evident by pictures, family reactions and the involvement of the police, that the Audrey who died, was not the girl he'd devoted the last few months to.

Now, many years later, George is an (almost) successful professional in an 'on-again, off-again' relationship, but still haunted by the woman he thought he knew. So when he sees her across a bar, and she's not only sought him out, but is desperate for his help, George finds himself constantly torn between his head telling him to beware and his heart telling him to be loyal. Unfortunately, if you cut George in half, he'd have 'misguided' written all the way through him as none of his decisions are well thought out, leaving him and those around him vulnerable and at risk.

While the novel has some good ideas, none of them are particularly original; Swanson has obviously watched a lot of Hitchcock and read Ellroy, Elmore and Hiaasen but as yet, hasn't managed to pick up any of their style. Thanks to hugely repetitive sections and padded out inconsequential descriptions, the narrative feels padded and stretched. It reads like an extended novella, and when you read the acknowledgements, that's exactly what it is. This really would have been better suited to the Hard Case Crime series where it could be right at home among the novels that inspired it.
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2.0 out of 5 stars An ok holiday read, 28 July 2014
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This review is from: The Girl With A Clock For A Heart (Kindle Edition)
this is a reasonably well written thriller. however there are some improbable plot twists and the strange ending is supposed to lead you to buy more by this author. I would not bother.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Tick tock, 15 April 2014
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Laura T (Bradford-on-Avon, UK) - See all my reviews
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A girl? With a clock for a heart? Its fantastic fairy-tale-esque title is pretty much the only thing this poorly-written debut thriller has going for it - and even then, the phrase is dropped into the book and then forgotten, as if the author thought of a good title then realised that his story didn't really fit it. George, our supremely boring and dim protagonist, has never forgotten Liana Dexter, his college girlfriend who faked her own death and disappeared. When Liana comes back into his life, he is drawn into her machinations against his better judgement. But who is Liana and what does she really want?

The Girl With A Clock For A Heart seems to be striving to be the next Gone Girl, but it's really not of that calibre. Firstly, it's not remotely well-written. The prose is plodding and weak, and the cliffhanger endings used in several chapters pretty cliched. The overall concept is also nothing new, and many of the situations that George gets himself into are fairly unbelievable. The climax of the novel, in particular, reads like a trashy Hollywood blockbuster. Liana is supposed to be alluring and addictive, but Peter Swanson fails to convey what's so unusual about her, and especially why George would risk his life for her after all these years.

So why two stars rather than one? The early scenes with George and Liana at college are rather more readable, as is his unravelling, as a teenager, of the initial mystery that surrounds her. I was unsurprised to read that this was the original seed for the novel, and that Swanson was persuaded to 'flash forwards' and tell a story about these two characters decades later - a decision that I don't think works. The first third of the novel was relatively enjoyable, before it all began to disintegrate. Nevertheless, I won't be reading anything else by Swanson, and I do think this is a waste of a brilliant title.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A good summer read, 22 July 2014
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This review is from: The Girl With A Clock For A Heart (Kindle Edition)
Exciting enough to keep me gripped although a little confusing at stages and the end was a definitely slightly disappointing
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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Light 'American crime' reading., 4 Feb 2014
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bookworm8 "bookworm8" (UK) - See all my reviews
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The story unfolds with alternate flashbacks and 'current' events, which are easy to follow. The characters are superficial, even George, whose memories are used as a reason for his irrational and frankly stupid behaviour, does not have much depth, so I did not care how much trouble he got into. The plot has been carefully worked out and yet even that, at the end, disappoints. Diana Lecter - oops, sorry, Liana Decter (surely this is not an accidental transposition by the author - is it meant to tell us she is evil, like the hinted-at Hannibal?) is also shallow, and her appearance is pushed as the reason why people do as she wishes - slim, long legs, large bosom, beautiful, long hair....... I did not care about this character by a few pages in and although I stuck the book out to the end, she was no more believable by then than she had been at the start. All in all, for me, a set of stereotypical stock characters (weak man, beautiful-but-evil poor girl, hypocritical, ruthless rich man, conscienceless crook, good cop ....) that had no appeal. Perhaps Peter Swanson will build on his good use of description and sense of place to create characters I like better in his next novel. However, if you like very American crime, this may be for you.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An okay read but ultimately rather lightweight, 8 April 2014
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D. P. Mankin (Ceredigion, Wales) - See all my reviews
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An intriguing plot (which is what first attracted me to the novel). But given some of the hype surrounding the book I just didn't feel it matched the expectation. Ultimately it was an okay read and perhaps ideally suited to the beach or a long haul flight. I needed more convincing about the characters and the way in which the plot unfolded. There was a lack of depth and this is always necessary to engage the reader. Overall, rather lightweight.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, solid thriller, 22 Feb 2014
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Mr. K. Cross "keithcelt2" (Wales) - See all my reviews
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The plot of this book could, potentially, be very confusing dealing as it does with two time-lines, & one of the central characters going under three different names & not appearing to be as she seems. The fact that it is easily followed is all credit to the clear writing & well thought out story line. It's full of twists & turns, some rather predictable, others quite surprising, but holding enough intrigue to keep me reading. I found the main character, George Foss, a tad irritating & not particularly likeable that made it difficult for me to care much about what happened to him. Why on earth was he so infatuated, back in their college days & the present, with Liana? I could put the former down to being young, impressionable & silly, but when an adult? Hmm! I wanted to shake him sometimes till he saw sense!!!! Anyway, she's trouble: big time! It's an enjoyable book, a quick & easy read, but there's nothing terribly original here & nothing to elevate it above a good, workman-like novel.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Unfinished?, 20 April 2014
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This review is from: The Girl With A Clock For A Heart (Kindle Edition)
I was quite enjoying this book, I even managed to overlook the obvious gullibility of the main character, but I was very disappointed that the book ended so abruptly, without any real denouement. Having said that, I enjoyed the story.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fast-paced thriller, 6 April 2014
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J. H. Bretts "jerard1" - See all my reviews
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Out of the blue George's old girlfriend returns, bringing with her a lot of danger...

Peter Swanson writes extremely well, drawing you in with a faced-paced and twisting plot, two different timelines to keep you guessing, and a vivid prose style.It will be interesting to see what he does next.
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