Her: A fabulously creepy thriller Hardcover – 12 Jun 2014
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Lane ratchets up the apprehension with a maestro's skill we first saw in her debut, Alys Always.. Read it: everyone else will be. (Sophia Martell THE OBSERVER)
a terrific, subtle thriller with delicious echoes of Patricia Highsmith and F Scott Fitzgerald (THE INDEPENDENT)
The exquisitely sinister psychological thriller that is going to take us all by storm this summer, Harriet Lane's Her, has a Notes on a Scandal-type relationship between an exhausted young mother and her rich sophisticated neighbour. (Amanda Craig THE DAILY TELEGRAPH)
Harriet Lane's Alys Always was one of the most memorable fictional debuts of recent years, a seemingly simple story that discovered subtle ways to unsettle, and which found elegant, disturbing insights into familiar English obsessions with class and status. Lane's new book, Her, due in June, promises to be this year's unmissable summer novel. Among Lane's antecedents is the pin-sharp prose of Patricia Highsmith (Tim Adams THE OBSERVER)
Deliciously nasty, Her belongs to an emerging "women beware women" sub-genre indebted to Zoe Heller's Notes on a Scandal. Yet it is distinctive in its domesticity and its missing formulaic elements: a violence-free psychological thriller in which the victim doesn't even know there is a threat (John Dugdale THE SUNDAY TIMES)
tautly written psychological thriller... there is forensic social observation here. Her London is recognisably real. Both Emma and Nina feel like women you might pass on a leafy Islington street. She has a sharp eye for telling detail... Then the endgame, when it comes, is shattering. (THE INDEPENDENT)
Icicle-sharp... This is psychological bait-and-switchery to put on the shelf alongside Patricia Highsmith and Georges Simenon (Jan Stuart NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW)
Lane's writing shines a spotlight on life's domestic flotsam. Lego under the fridge, damp laundry, crumbs in the toy box: these details of middle-class parenthood are picked out in Hitchcockian detail, gathering weight, promising imminent horror. Lane's first book, Alys, Always, was one of the most talked-about thrillers of 2012, a psychological drama exploring deceit and manipulation. Her is another study of spiteful female friendship, unwinding slowly and subtly over a year... Lane's writing is always careful and elegant, loaded with significance and often beautiful (Charlotte Runcie THE DAILY TELEGRAPH)
a new generation of female suspense novelists - writers like Megan Abbott, Tana French, Harriet Lane and Gillian Flynn... are redefining contemporary crime fiction with character driven-narratives that defy genre conventions. (NEW YORK TIMES)
As seductive as it is chilling, Her is quality literary fiction meets psychological thriller, the devil of which is in the detail (Lucy Scholes THE OBSERVER)
Brilliant. (Dennis Drabelle WASHINGTON POST)
The end.. is perfectly executed, leaving you at the most excruciating moment possible - when a horrible thing is about to happen and there is nothing you, or any of the characters, can do to stop it (OPRAH.COM)
a terrific, subtle thriller (i)
Chilling, suspenseful and shrewd about friendship's mix of love and envy, Her captivates right up to its shocking denouement (PEOPLE MAGAZINE)
Another taut, tense psychological thriller from the author of the acclaimed 2012 debut novel Alys, Always... A compelling revenge drama that will make you think twice about getting too chummy with the neighbours. (Sebastian Shakespeare TATLER)
Her is another psychological thriller, every bit as compulsive as the first one... The menace here is the sort that lurks right at the edge of consciousness - something unsettling that you can't quite put your finger on, that builds and builds until the last chapter by which time I was holding my breath. Don't miss. (Alice O'Keeffe THE BOOKSELLER 'Book of the Month')
A fabulously creepy thriller from the author of Alys, Always. Nina recognises Emma on the street from 20 years ago, but doesn't reveal this, and Emma treats Nina as a new friend. But what happens when it comes out that Nina remembers? (Viv Groskop RED magazine)
Her is a superbly taut, intensely gripping domestic drama... The tension is held beautifully throughout in this excellent second novel from a writer clearly at the top of her game (DIVA)
This spare, tense psychological thriller opens when a wealthy woman finds a struggling young mother's purse in the street of the London suburb they live in. Returning the purse marks the start of an unlikely friendship (HARPER'S BAZAAR)
Driving the plot are the reciprocal forces of revenge and provocation: we want to know what Nina will do next and what Emma has done to deserve it. Lane inspires a terrible dread as Nina's threat looms larger, combined with a slender hope that Emma might realize the danger in time. Lane also intrigues her readers with the puzzle of Emma's past... a fine mistress of suspense. (Emily Rhodes TLS)
Struggling young mum Emma is grateful when her glamorous neighbour Nina befriends her. What Emma doesn't realise is that Nina recognises her from the past and has a score to settle. In HER, Harriet Lane keeps the reader on the edge until the last page. (GOOD HOUSEKEEPING)
Struggling mother of two Emma doesn't recognise Nina, but Nina recognises her. She infiltrates her way into Emma's life gaining her trust. But what is it that she wants? The story is told by both women, with an underlying tension that builds and builds until the last horrifying scene. I loved this slow-burning tale of revenge. (Fanny Blake WOMAN & HOME)
Emma struggles with life's demands when Nina breezes into her world and makes it better - but what does she really want? This tense page-turner will make you look at kindly strangers with suspicion! (PRIMA)
A sharply observed relationship with a sinister plot line of hand-in-the-mouth proportions... psychologically nuanced novel... Lane excels at everyday detail. Emma's total absorption by motherhood is rendered with beautifully stinging observations (METRO)
With a forensic eye for domestic detail, Lane sets up a riveting series of vicious snares (SAINSBURY'S MAGAZINE)
Harriet Lane's first novel Alys, Always was widely praised for combining sharply observed everyday life with something a lot more sinister. Her second now pulls off the same trick with equal aplomb... The result is a novel that becomes increasingly - and at times excruciatingly - tense as it approaches its devastating final chapter (READERS DIGEST)
Harriet Lane's debut, the subtly unsettling Alys Always, was a chilling psychological drama of power privilege and manipulation. In this, her equally compulsive follow-up, similar sinister shenanigans are spun out in Lane's elegant, poetic prose... Unlike conventional thrillers, the perverse pleasure of this compelling novel is not a big reveal but the pin-sharp unpicking of personality (Eithne Farry SUNDAY EXPRESS)
Harriet Lane is a deft conjurer of menacing middle class scenarios, and her second novel, a taut revenge drama with a shattering endgame (i NEWSPAPER)
Nina's a control freak, Emma's a mess. What happens when their paths cross - and is it really the first time? Psychological page-turning follow-up to Alys, Always, Ms Lane's best-selling debut (GRAZIA)
Like a fly caught in a spider's web, struggling naive mother Emma is drawn further into sophisticated Nina's life. The ultimate frenemy thriller. (NOW)
When frazzled mum Emma encounters sophisticated Nina, she thinks their meeting is down to chance. But, as this cool, controlled thriller reveals, the truth is far more sinister. With wonderfully fleshed out characters, this is a chilling study in revenge. (SUNDAY MIRROR)
Harriet Lane has created a taut, unnerving thriller in Her that will keep you in its hold until the devastating conclusion... Her is a beautifully put together novel which fans of Deborah Levy's Swimming Home or Helen Walsh's The Lemon Grove will enjoy. (WE LOVE THIS BOOK)
Harriet Lane made a memorable debut in 2012 with novel Alys, Always and her second book is another superb psychological thriller... that slowly unfurls, layer by tantalising layer, in this riveting revenge drama (HELLO!)
Emma and Nina inhabit very different words. Unknown to Emma, they have met before... Wangling her way into Emma's home is the easy part - but how can Nina ensure she finally gets her revenge for what happened in the past? (BELLA)
Revenge is, of course, a dish traditionally served cold, and that in a toxic nutshell is the theme of Harriet Lane's deliciously unpleasant second novel, in which she makes of that dish a perfectly plated-up thriller, ideally consumed at one sitting... She has a gimlet eye for domestic minutiae and how they betray us... And rarely has any writer so well nailed the ambivalent feelings and frustrations that attend motherhood.. Her is an immensely classy thriller which will have you in its grip to the very final pages (Caroline Sanderson BOOKOXYGEN.COM)
Harriet Lane, author of Alys, Always, specialises in scheming women. Her new novel of psychological suspense asks how you can tell when your friend is really your enemy... She's a clever creation, this villainess, like a deadly spider waiting to pounce... One unanswered question keeps the reader gripping that seat-edge... The answer and the novel's outcome do not disappoint (THE INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY)
Dual narrators and their different perspectives on the same events create a distinctly sinister and uncomfortable atmosphere in this gripping novel. Sympathies and allegiances shift with each chapter, keeping the reader unsettled, yet hooked... A cautionary tale that could make you re-evaluate those friendships made by the swings (Victoria Clarke THE LADY)
If you loved Notes on a Scandal's brand of toxic camaraderie, you'll love this (GRAZIA Summer Reads)
The author is good on atmosphere, observing lifestyles, ratcheting up the tension and keeping her readers guessing (CHOICE)
This unfolding story of a toxic friendship... will have you racing through the chapters. A gripping and thought-provoking psychological thriller. (Nimmi Maghera-Rakhra THE SUN)
There's a genuinely unsettling gripping tension to it... a book I hugely recommend (Alex Clark ROBERT ELMS SHOW, BBC LONDON 94.9)
A roller coaster of a read... tense and creepy... will linger with you for a long time afterwards (NOVELICIOUS)
This sinister revenge thriller is beautifully written and has a slowly-slowly-catchy-monkey reveal that will have you on the edge of your seat (WOMAN'S WEEKLY)
I am very very impressed by Harriet Lane's writing. She is so so clever and has produced a very intelligent psychological thriller... Her is a brilliant read - Bravo! (Randomthingsthroughmyletterbox.blogspot.co.uk)
it is distinctive in its domesticity and its missing formulaic elements: a violence-free psychological thriller in which the victim doesn't even know there is a threat. (SUNDAY TIMES)
A downtrodden mother-of-two, Emma's life is made infinitely more exciting when she meets intoxicating artist Nina. They have met before, only Emma doesn't remember. A series of petty acts turn nasty as Nina wreaks her revenge in a sharp but drawn out thriller (DAILY TELEGRAPH)
This is a particular type of thriller, done beautifully. It's quiet and sinister and has the feel of Patricia Highsmith and Barbara Vine. Very clever, very gripping. (EVENING STANDARD)
Lane is a fine stylist, especially when describing nature. "Rain hits the window in fits and starts, as if it's being flung in handfuls... It's getting dark, the air full of stars and the surging tidal percussion of crickets."...
You may find yourself wondering (as I did) if Lane has given herself enough room to wrap the story up satisfactorily. Trust me, she has.
'Thriller of the Year' Amanda Craig
You don't remember her... But she remembers you. The stunning new novel from Harriet Lane, author of 2012 break-out hit ALYS, ALWAYS.
Top customer reviews
I brought Her by Harriet Lane solely because the blurb truly grabbed me. I was browsing through Amazon, enjoying a spot of book shopping, and decided that it sounded too good to be missed. One-clicked, added to the basket, bada-bing, bada-boom! Once it was delivered, I knew I'd pick it first out of the bundle, and once settled down in my pyjamas with a cup of something nice and hot, I finally felt ready to begin.
Her by Harriet Lane follows a chunk of Emma and Nina's lives. Throughout the telling of this story, Harriet switches the narratives between the two women, allowing the reader an incredible insight into each woman's life, which is where the reader begins to take note of the obvious differences between Nina and Emma. Harriet slips in amid her stunning descriptions that something, although exactly what isn't revealed right away, happened years before between the two girls, which is the reasoning behind Nina's now fascination with Emma. As Her progresses, Nina draws Emma further and further into her enticing world of freedom and neatness, until it all reaches a point where Nina's intent becomes seriously real and dangerous. Her was thrilling, intense and incredibly powerful.
One of the things that I truly loved about this book was the switching of the narratives. I mean, I love this in general, but in the given circumstances, and with Emma and Nina, I was ridiculously eager to skip and forth between them to try to figure each out of them out. The women's narrative's switched with each chapter change, and so, when it became apparent that this would be a regular occurrence throughout the book, I found myself looking forward to it, desperate to see what one of the women thought a particular event etc. It was brilliant in how this was achieved. Mainly because something would happen during Emma's point of view, but then once we were back with Nina, Harriet went over what had happened once more, and we were then given the why and the how, if that makes any sense. There was one thing that became a little repetitive during reading, and that was this repetition of events being told a second time round. I don't know why, but I found myself rushing through these bits, not enjoying them as much as I could have been, which was sad, but it happens! I was definitely interested in what was going on in Nina's head, but really didn't want to go over the conversations again, and dinner again...
Besides those repetitive moments, Harriet's writing style was flawless. Her descriptions, despite seeming to some as taking too long, were fantastic. I'll stand out in the crowd here and say that actually, I loved them. I read a few reviews beforehand, but wanted to keep an open mind for my own reading of the book. These descriptions were beautiful, and just so spot-on, I was able to picture every single tiny detail in my mind and I adored it. Harriet has such a way with words, from describing her settings and characters, to the weather and homes. I also felt that Harriet's writing style, quite strange and foreboding, fit in perfectly with the tones and atmospheres of the book, leaving me almost disturbed out at times. There was something dangerous laced within the words, and I picked up on that danger almost instantly.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I loved how wrapped up I felt within the character's, I loved how I was kept in suspense for almost the entirety of the book, and I loved how neatly the strings of this story were wrapped up as it came to an end.
Becca's Books is rating Her by Harriet Lane with FOUR SCRUMMY CUPCAKES! If you love books that have you hanging on the edge of your seat (or bed, or whatever) then this would be perfect for you. A gorgeously gripping read.
I very much disliked this book. Nina was ridiculous, like a pantomime villain. I refuse to believe that someone would devote so much time to obsessing over someone for the reason she was obsessing over Emma. Emma was ridulous too - as if anyone would delve so deeply into a friendship with a stranger to the extent she did without really knowing anything. Why didn't she remember Nina? Fair enough, you could forget a face, but names, places, personal items? I don't buy it. Was she not even a tad suspicious when Nina saved the day multiple times? Emma was an idiot.
The constant repeating of discussions and conversations from both characters POV was irritating, and the book felt double the length it was. There wasn't enough character development to differentiate between the two voices clearly, I got mixed up a few times and thought I was reading Nina when I was reading Emma. The women were both weak drips, and the reason why Nina wanted revenge was ludicrous. The ending was horrible and unsatisfying, it made the whole book a waste of reading time.
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Even what Emma did to 'deserve' it was a bit woolly and vague. Feel robbed of the £8