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Kind of Cruel: Culver Valley Crime Book 7 by [Hannah, Sophie]
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Kind of Cruel: Culver Valley Crime Book 7 Kindle Edition

3.3 out of 5 stars 150 customer reviews
Book 7 of 10 in Culver Valley Crime (10 Book Series)

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Length: 385 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Review

A rich mix of the dark and the diverting. Brilliantly believable (Sunday Times)

Another triumph for one of the very best crime writers out there. Stunningly clever and compelling. (Heat)

Hannah excels at dissecting human behaviour, and the way she describes little acts of cruelty can send real chills down the spine. (Psychologies)

Cool, calculating and utterly chilling, KIND OF CRUEL is another compulsive book from Hannah, to be gulped down with all the lights on and someone to grab when the sense of menace grows too great. (Observer)

Hannah has outdone herself with KIND OF CRUEL . . . Her trademark precision-layered structure creates a multi-dimensional maze that holds at its centre a revelation which is truly hair-raising, even by Hannah's standards. (Independent on Sunday)

An audacious puzzle of a novel that is impossible to second guess . . . Crime novels are often dismissed in literary circles for not being literary enough. Yet KIND OF CRUEL is exactly the intelligent, reflective and stunningly written novel that has "literary" critics swooning and judging panels lining up to reward. (Sunday Express)

Hannah concocts a mystery of satisfying complexity in which frequent clichés of the genre (the locked room, for example) are turned inside out. If that were all her novels did, they would be admirably cerebral but uninvolving. Unfortunately for her rivals, Hannah does texture, depth and character with similar panache. (Scotsman)

Intricately plotted and pleasingly sinister . . . guaranteed to get under the skin. (Good Housekeeping)

A terrific reading experience. Everybody loves Sophie Hannah. (Gaby Logan Show, BBC Radio 5)

Book Description

Some secrets are so dark you keep them even from yourself . . . The brilliantly chilling seventh crime novel from the queen of psychological suspense.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2322 KB
  • Print Length: 385 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton (16 Feb. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340980699
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340980699
  • ASIN: B0071M89DU
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars 150 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #77,898 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By H on 30 April 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Yet another Sophie Hannah story that i couldnt put down. keep concentrating because it's worth it.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I don't want to seem negative when all the other reviewers are absolutely raving about the stunning literary masterpiece, but however much I enjoy Sophie Hannah's novels, this one just doesn't do it for me. There are too many characters, too many names and issues that I keep getting mixed up. I don't really care about what happens to them. Can't get my head around the story itself and the parallel stories attached to it. Sorry. I'm plowing through it and it's not bad on the whole as reading goes, but doesn't have me captivated like other of Sophie Hannah's books before. I can take it or leave it.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A couple of years prior to the events of this novel, Amber's best friend, Sharon, dies in a house fire and, as she had agreed so to do should the need arise, Amber and her husband, Luke, take in Sharon's two daughters.

Seeking help for her insomnia Amber visits a hypnotherapist. She is also obsessed by events several years earlier when she and her extended family stayed one Christmas at a large, rented house. Inexplicably, Amber's sister-in-law, Jo, Jo's husband, and their two sons, went missing for 24 hours. Though they returned unharmed, it was understood that this event must never be spoken of again.

The police are investigating the murder of a woman. They have few clues. In the murdered woman's flat, on a notepad, were found the imprints of the words: "Kind, Cruel, Kind of Cruel".

Amber is upset by her first hypnotherapy session. As she leaves the hypnotherapist's office she encounters the woman who apparently has the next appointment. In a kind of stupor she mutters the words found in the dead woman's flat, and the woman who has the next appointment just happens to be a police officer.

This somewhat unlikely coincidence is just the first of many in a book I found to be, in turns, disconcerting, disorientating, beguiling, fascinating, irritating and annoying.

I had not read one of Sophie Hannah's books before, nor had I read a book like this one before - psychological crime novel?

I had little clue what was going on for the first 50 pages. I think this was intentional. The narrator - mainly Amber, but not always - is of the unreliable kind. Each chapter is introduced by another narrator and we don't realise that this is the hypnotherapist until about a third of the way through.
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Format: Kindle Edition
If I could have I'd have given this book a zero - that's how much I disliked it. I've read some of the other reviews and am bound to say it reminds me of art reviews when we are told by so called experts what good art is and if we have a different view then we must be ignorant, uncultured, etc. etc. This book was boring in the extreme. The characters had almost every type of mental problem possible, were one dimensional and held no interest for me at all - I simply could not emphasise with any of them so had no investment in them. For example, Amber (our main character) was rude, arrogant and obnoxious in equal measure and I could not care less what happened to her or her family. Simon, the police officer, was held up as some sort of super sleuth with a boss that one minute was threatening to fire him and in the next praising him as the best man on the team. Simon near the end of the book was described as having experienced 'emotional incest' and was yet another that was also 'damaged' yet was the only character that Amber wanted to impress. The killer's identity was identified about 75% in and I was anticipating the police procedural of arrest and interview to crack the case only to find that the killer had already confessed (immediately) when in custody and we were left with Simon monologuing (sic) to the unresponsive suspect describing how and why the murders were committed before the latter had a complete mental breakdown!!!!. Weak, weak, weak and unsatisfying. All plot loose ends were quickly tied up with undue haste bearing in mind how slowly the story crawled along for the previous 350 pages.
This is the first book of Sophie Hannah's I had read and it will be the last, though I don't expect she will lose much sleep worrying about that!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Unbelievably confusing, and the motive was completely ridiculous and all the other stuff about Simon's sex life? why was that there? Ginny was such a laughable plot device........ lordy I was relieved to have finished the flipping thing and felt rather ripped off by the £6.99 kindle price! Not good I'm afraid..............
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I thought Sophie Hannah's plots couldn't get any more preposterous after the simply ridiculous narrative of Lasting Damage (which I still rather enjoyed until its laughable denouement).

I was wrong.

I think the problem with Kind of Cruel is that I just didn't care. If I have to read another interminable scene between Charlie, Simon, Proust, Sam and the other two who I care so little about I can't even remember their names, I may just hurl the book across the room.

The book picked up a little about halfway through, once the true character of the main suspect began to unfold but I found I was still skimming whole paragraphs in an effort to find something of interest. The weak-as-water 'climax' (told entirely in back-story) and the hypnotist's email which literally went on for pages explaining emotional incest - seemingly lifted straight from a psychology textbook - were the last straw. No more Sophie Hannah for me. Shame because Little Face, Hurting Distance and The Point of Rescue were wonderful.
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