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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More than just a 'Crime' novel., 24 Feb. 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Breakheart Hill (Paperback)
Anyone familiar with Thomas H Cook's work will tell you that this is one of, if not the best book he has written. As with all Cook's novels, he manages to combine a brilliantly crafted thriller with a devastating critique on a facet of American life; in this case the small town South.In telling the story through Ben Wade's reminiscence of a teenage crush that went tragically wrong, Cook manages to highlight the ambiguities and denial of the American South during a time of great social change; namely in the form of the 'Negro' question. At first one gets the impression that the town of Choctaw is destined to be unaffected by the changes all around them. But the arrival of Kelly, a dark, sensitive and beautiful young girl, unleashes powerful emotions among her fellow school friends, but especially Ben. Their response to these emotions ultimately ends in tragedy. This story will stay with you for a long long time!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thomas H. Cook - Breakheart Hill, 14 Jun. 2007
By 
RachelWalker "RachelW" (England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Breakheart Hill (Paperback)
Since reading Red Leaves, I've devoured all Cook's books readily available in the UK (basically, those three published by Quercus), and have found each one to live up to the promise of that first one I tried. So far, neither (The Murmur of Stones or Breakheart Hill) betters Red Leaves for it's beauty and shattering power, but this one comes the closest. Cook writes so sensitively, with such strange and entrancing imagery, that it's hard not to be enraptured. He can occasionally be melodramatic, but that's fine for a crime novel. The way he tells his stories - which is similar to how Kazuo Ishiguro narrates his novels - through the prism of chopping-and-changing unreliable memory, ensures the reader is always on their toes, and is always waiting for something to be revealed. The sucess of his books does seem to rely on the conclusion (all that suspenseful build-up needs something big at the end to satisfy the reader), and, in The Murmur of Stones it wasn't so strong, but with this book the conclusion is almost as strong and brilliant as Red Leaves, making this another excellent crime novel. Highly recommended.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful book superbly and sensitively written, 21 July 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Breakheart Hill (Paperback)
My first experience of a Thomas H Cook novel which left me very impressed.
Cook captures superbly the impact of a dark and traumatic event on a small southern US town.
He deals beautifully with the complex emotions associated with not only first love, but also middle and old age.
The atmosphere generated by his writing transported me to Choctaw and allowed me to feel what the inhabitants themselves may have been feeling when confronted with, and dealing with in their varying ways, the horror of the attack on Kelli Troy.
The suspense left me wanting to devour information that would allow me to solve the riddle of "who done it" well before the surprise ending arrived.
Excellent !
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Breakheart Hill, 22 Jan. 2008
By 
Pat from Tyrone (Northern Ireland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Breakheart Hill (Paperback)
A fantastic read. Drama is created in a stunning fashion throughout with the reader is kept in suspense; not knowing quite what happened in the past. The ending was sublime with an unexpected twist in the tail. This is the first book that I have read by this author but it won't be the last.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read this book!, 13 Feb. 2001
By 
Magnus Olsen (Norway) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Breakheart Hill (Paperback)
This is one of my all-time favorite books, and I have read it several times. Beautifully written, exceptional characterization and plotting, with a surprise ending that might break your heart.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A haunting tale, 1 Mar. 2009
This review is from: Breakheart Hill (Paperback)
I finished reading this book a few days ago, wished it had gone on for longer. I enjoyed it so much. This is the first book from this author that I have read and will most certainly be reading more of his books. A haunting tale, each time Ben looked towards Breakheart hill, I felt so many emotions, attempting to feel just how I would feel knowing what he knew, and kept it a secret for sooo long!I cannot write a more worthy review of this excellent book than the other 'reviewers' have already done. All I can say do read it you won't be disappointed.
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4.0 out of 5 stars "For Never Was A Story Of More Woe...", 1 July 2010
By 
Rotgut "rotgut" (Warrington UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Breakheart Hill (Paperback)
Thomas H Cook produces another slow burning thriller, told in a series of long flashbacks from various points of the narrator's life.

Our narrator, Ben Wade, tells the story of his High School passion for the beautiful Kelli Troy. It is obvious from the start that Ben blames himself for the tragic fate of his childhood love, but surely this good man, the small town doctor who has spent his life helping his small home town community, can't really be a murderer-or worse-can he ?

Answering this question leads to an unhurried description of Ben and Kelli's school year, and of the other pupils and teachers that they meet and interact with. Naturally, as all the main characters are all teenagers the passions and emotions run deep and the extreme events that boil over into violence feel real. The uncertainty of the guilt of the narrator inevitably makes sympathising with Wade difficult, but other characters, particularly Kelli Troy herself, are attractive and do engage the reader's sympathy.

Some twists are delivered at the very end of the book, but, perhaps not all the diverse strands of the preceding pages are dealt with. It is highly appropriate that the play the pupils study as the school year ends is "Romeo and Juliet", another story of teenage lovers swept up in emotion.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A perfect masterpiece of crime fiction and so much more..., 29 Dec. 2011
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This review is from: Breakheart Hill (Paperback)
Absolutely breath-taking.
A wonderful lyrical novel of depth, that delicately sketches beauty and the darkest of human pain. It tears you up to read it and it left me gasping at the end.
This is literary crime fiction of such power that it deserves its own sub genre.
Gotta go now and buy EVERYTHING Cook's ever written...10/10.
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5.0 out of 5 stars breakheart hill, 8 Jan. 2013
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This review is from: Breakheart Hill (Paperback)
only the second book ive read of thomas h cook, and i wasnt disapointed, couldnt put it down, should be made into a film, iam now reading mortal memory, and looking forward to reading more of thomas h cook
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4.0 out of 5 stars Breakheart Hill Review, 6 July 2013
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This review is from: Breakheart Hill (Paperback)
Stylish thriller. Seems to build up slowly but a clever and surprising ending,gets the reader heavily involved. will try more of his books.
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Breakheart Hill
Breakheart Hill by Thomas H. Cook
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