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A Dark Dividing Paperback – 28 Feb 2008

4.6 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews

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Paperback, 28 Feb 2008
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Product details

  • Paperback: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK; Reissue edition (28 Feb. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847393500
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847393500
  • Product Dimensions: 17.5 x 10.9 x 4.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,059,316 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


"'She has a crisp and intelligent style, and a real way with tension' MO HAYDER 'Clever and atmospheric... a compelling read' Good Book Guide 'When you get halfway through, you won't be able to stop... The varied cast of characters are so well-drawn that they get under your skin long before you reach the grippig climax' Big Issue 'Equal parts Daphne du Maurier, Josephine Tey and Ruth Rendell, Rayne possesses superb storytelling skills' US Mystery Guild 'If your taste runs to psychological thrillers with complicated and riveting plotlines, you will love Sarah Rayne... Fast-moving action with unpredictable twists' Sussex Times"

About the Author

The author of seven terrifying novels of psychological suspense, Sarah Rayne lives in Staffordshire. Visit

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I just loved this book. Ordered off amazon after reading the reviews and they were spot on. The story intertwines between present and past, always a winner for me. This is done extremely well as there are a number of characters involved. I don't usually like far fetched stories but there was so much intrigue in this instance I didn't mind.

There are inconsistancies in the use of speech, mobiles, opening bank accounts etc. but with such a rattling good yarn these are soon forgotton.

Can't wait to read more Sarah Rayne books.
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By Keen Reader TOP 50 REVIEWER on 10 May 2015
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I’ve read quite a few of Sarah Rayne’s books over the years, and always enjoyed them. She has, in the last few years, started a series of books featuring Nell West and Michael Flint, and there are now some five or six of those. I enjoyed the first few of that series, though I find the more recent ones now a bit formulaic. I prefer generally her earlier and stand-alone psychological thrillers, such as ‘Tower of Silence’, ‘The Death Chamber’ and ‘Ghost Song’. So I thought I would read this book, which was first published in 2004.

The story follows a number of protagonists from different time periods. Harry Fitzglen is asked by his editor to follow up on the opening of a new gallery, as he thinks one of the partners in the undertaking may be someone who featured in a story some twenty years earlier – can Simone Marriot really be Simone Anderson, and what is her story? We read also of Charlotte Quinton, starting from her diary entries of 1900 when she is married, though not happily, and expecting twins. We then follow Simone in her memories of her childhood, and the strangely nomadic lifestyle she lived with her mother. Her mother’s own recollections are also followed in the story, and very slowly we start to piece together the separate narratives, and connections start to become evident. But even so, it’s a shock where the stories take us – the author has down to a fine art the pacing and layering of the stories so that when they all fall into place at the end, there is still plenty left to surprise and horrify us, and to make us pause as we piece it all together. Great stuff, and I found this story both intriguing and disturbing – a great combination in a dark and twisted novel.
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By JM TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 23 Nov. 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the third of Sarah Rayne's books I have read and she never ceases to amaze me with her fantastic plots, and interweaving storylines, always set in different timescales, in this book, around the early 1900's, the 1980's and the present day. It jumps from one period to another flowingly, with a whole host of interesting characters, in particular I loved reading about the villain of the book, a very disturbed and warped person. The author is amazingly clever with her ideas, the bit about the fire and the bodies in it (not giving anything away here) was excellent.
I loved this book and have loved her others, and am looking forward to reading the remaining ones. Highly recommended.
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Format: Unknown Binding
I had not heard of this author and ordered the book from my book club because it was a bargain.
A very complex novel, with layer upon layer of lives inter-linked through almost a century. The author keeps the reader guessing about the nature of the connectedness of the characters. Just when you think you have worked out the details, Rayne very subtly changes the whole scenario.
Research seems to have been good and most of the historical details, as far as I can see are appropriate to the times. There are a few little niggles for me, though. It is early 1980s when one of the characters sets up in a rented cottage in the Norfolk countryside and she buys the cheapest mobile phone she could find. Where? At that time, "mobile," phones were mostly car phones and very few people used them. Would there have been an adequate network coverage in the Norfolk countryside in the early 1980s?
The character also does not want to apply for a credit or debit card. I don't think debit cards were widely available at that time.
The last of my, "niggles," is that the character writing her diaries in the early 1900s keeps going in and out of a particular way of speaking. Her language is not consistent. She is a middle-class lady of that time, who sometimes seems to go into later 20th Century speech.
Having said all this, and I think the editor should have picked up on the details about mobile phones and debit cards, this is a good read and I have been kept awake by this book, telling myself, just to the end of the chapter, and half an hour later, I am still reading!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a clever and complex story with several storylines which come together towards the end. I enjoyed the book and would recommend it as well worth reading.

I do have a few observations, however. The most significant of these concerns the multiple storylines. Unless the storylines are very straightforward (decidedly not the case here) I think an author should take care not to leave the reader in one storyline too long in case he/she loses the thread of the other storylines. In places I think it would have been better to break one storyline earlier to avoid this possibility. Also, I always think that first person narrative (where appropriate) can come alive, particularly in expressing emotions, in a way which is difficult to achieve in the third person: Charlotte's narrative (in her diaries) is a good example, I think, when compared with the present day storyline (where I would accept it would have been more difficult to use the first person).

Along with other reviewers, I too noticed the few anachronisms: I would tend to forgive the author for these but perhaps not the editor. I am also puzzled by some errors in the Kindle edition: apart from more quite simple errors than are acceptable from a mainstream publisher (Simon & Schuster), eg of the type that even a spell check would reveal ("secredy"), there are some (eg "secredy" and "He" for "lie") which suggest that OCR software has been used at some stage in the production process (of the Kindle edition, I'm assuming) whereas surely S & S would have access to the original digital edition. Whatever the explanation, I think somebody should have corrected the errors.

Not wishing to end on a negative note, however, I would say this is the first book by Sarah Rayne I have read: I plan to read others.
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