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The Carrier (Culver Valley Crime) Hardcover – 14 Feb 2013

2.8 out of 5 stars 226 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton; Culver Valley Crime Book 8 edition (14 Feb. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340980729
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340980729
  • Product Dimensions: 16 x 3.7 x 23.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (226 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 423,041 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


A leading writer of psychological suspense . . . As ever, Hannah excels. Her books are so distinctive that they deserve to be placed in a separate sub-genre of their own. (Spectator)

The genius of Hannah's domestic thrillers - along with the twistiest plots known to woman - is that she creates ordinary people whose psychological quirks make them as monstrous as any serial killer. (Guardian)

A labyrinth of a psychological thriller . . . Hannah is masterly at leading the reader down the wrong path and here she excels once again. (Sunday Express)

Absorbing, intricate . . . THE CARRIER is a vicarage whodunit as well as a psychological thriller. (Sunday Times)

A hugely confident, beautifully written and bold mystery. Another gripping triumph. (Heat)

[Hannah] confirms in this, her eighth novel, her fluent writing skills, taste for complicated layers and deft hand with character, not to mention a knack for producing compelling openings . . . [THE CARRIER] is the kind of puzzle Agatha Christie might have created. Delicate, with ever-increasing dread, it is a mature work - full of confidence and intrigue. (Daily Mail)

Absorbing, intricate . . . Here the rewarding bonuses are poetry's role in the plot and a playful reworking of the Agatha Christie formula . . . THE CARRIER is a vicarage whodunit as as well as a psychological thriller. (Sunday Times)

Highly original . . . Hannah has once again ripped up the industry-standard 'A to Z of Writing a Whodunnit' and audaciously charted her own course . . . to produce a novel that is a classy, compulsive and chilling literary triumph (Irish Independent)

Such is the author's command of narrative, we find ourselves glued to the page. We remain hooked throughout this compelling novel. (Daily Express)

Our favourite writer of psychological crime thrillers is back with perhaps her most ambitious novel yet . . . Here's another massively intriguing premise from Hannah, with plot threads that spin out in all kinds of unusual and surprising directions . . . A hugely confident, beautifully written and bold mystery. Another gripping triumph. (Heat)

Blissfully intricate . . . As usual I tried to guess the solution, failed utterly and decided simply to enjoy the white-knuckle ride; this is a writer who gets right into the heads of her characters. (Saga)

A tale of the power that weakness and passivity can have over strength and action, and how theories of love and duty can lead us astray . . . Intriguing. (Guardian)

Hannah, a whip-smart thriller writer, makes tales that are tricky, teasing and thought-provoking. THE CARRIER is a classic of the type. (RTE Ireland)

Another gripping puzzle of a novel from one of Britain's best crime writers . . . A compulsive read. (Image Magazine)

A whirlwind journey of whodunit . . . There are plenty of good thrillers out there, but then there are the great ones and this is definitely one of them. (RTE Guide)

It is brilliantly constructed, and it had me, screaming, on the edge of my chair. (Reader's Digest)

Contemporary in its intent and setting, the novel is also a pleasingly old-fashioned 'locked room' mystery, with Hannah referencing Agatha Christie a number of times. All told, it's a very satisfying addition to Hannah's canon. (Irish Times)

This complex plot demands and rewards attention, thanks to a fantastic cast and some superior, atmospheric prose . . .Thrilling. (South China Morning Post)

The queen of the ingenious plot twist (Good Housekeeping)

Brilliant (The Bookseller)

Sophie's storylines are always riveting, and this one will not disappoint! (My Weekly)

Another compelling read from Sophie Hannah . . . If you are interested however in what makes people behave as they do and what lengths ordinary people will go to in response to extraordinary events, then you will enjoy this. (Euro Crime)

With ingenuity and deft plotting, this accomplished page-turner moves inexorably towards a shocking conclusion (The Good Book Guide)

Book Description

A chilling novel from the queen of psychological suspense.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I started my Sophie Hannah exploration with Point of Rescue (and loved it!) which inspired me to move on to the others (room swept white and little face). I gave it a bit of a rest after Little Face (which I didn't enjoy as much as the other two) but chose The Carrier before a recent holiday and thought I'd give it a go.

I started it twice and put it back down before sticking with it to the bitter end. My husband and I like to chat about how we're getting on with our current reads and I said The Carrier was giving me a bit of a headache (literally). I explained the storyline (which is basically about an annoying bloke called Tim with a dead wife) and that the theme was mainly 'Tim did it, no he didn't, yes Tim did it, did he, it was Tim, I don't think Tim did it, did he, he did, Tim did it, but it wasn't Tim, but Tim did it, did he, oh no he didn't, oh yes he did ...' and so on and so forth. That coupled with the Ministry-of-Silly-Names-Murder-Squad that Sophie favours was all a bit much for my brain to cope with.

I don't think the characters come across as the author intended either because I ended up feeling sorry for the wife! My word that poor woman had a lucky escape! The three main characters go on and on and on and on about how evil she is but it just left me feeling more and more sorry for her.

Tim and his 'I'll utter no more words than necessary' attitude got on my wick. I didn't find him attractive or appealing (unlike the women in this book who find him irresistible). He had no substance. He was just downright odd.

And, despite being told in the book about the 'significance' of The Carrier - I still have absolutely no idea what all that drivel meant. Nope. None. Nada. I consider myself of average intelligence (!) but that went straight over my head.
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By Nikki VINE VOICE on 1 Mar. 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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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Format: Kindle Edition
The plot winds its way around three central characters. Tim, his dead wife Francine and the 'real love of his life' Gaby who Tim hasn't seen for a long time. The wife died in mysterious circumstances, perhaps as a result of a mercy killing, and was ill for a long time before her death. Whodunnit?. When Gaby finds out Tim has admitted to murdering his wife she decides to return home and prove his innocence. I was never quite sure why. There was a lot of 'not sure why' in the book because things happen without any real explanation.

The basis for the novel is simple and there's nothing wrong with simplicity but; if you make something simple you have nowhere to hide and you also have to make it perfect. 'The Carrier' isn't perfect. The plot is reasonable enough but creaks and crumbles under the weight of the awful characters it's being forced to support.

We soon learn that the recently departed Francine was a nasty piece of work, that everyone loves Tim, especially Gaby, and they'd all do 'anything' for him. The problem is that Francine had every right to be nasty, she'd had a stroke, and anyone on the wrong side of her had the option of leaving the room!. More of an option at times than she had. Francine wasn't actually that bad. Would have made a lot more sense if she had murdered the lukewarm Tim.

If you haven't read all of these books in the proper series you really won't get to know the history of the characters and you'll feel as confused as me. There is no attempt at any explanation as to back history or motivation but there's an awful lot of cliche and far reaches. As for the ending; you'll probably guess way before you reach it and even if you don't there are no real surprises.

This is the 8th novel in the Sophie Hanna 'Culver Valley' series and maybe it's a series that has gone on too long.
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Format: Kindle Edition
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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