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Safe House Hardcover – 2 Aug 2012

4.2 out of 5 stars 3,424 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber; Main edition (2 Aug. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571290639
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571290635
  • Product Dimensions: 16.1 x 3.7 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3,424 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 776,900 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

'Chris Ewan soars to a new level with this dark, absorbing thriller. It combines a tense emotional switchback with an expertly controlled narrative and characters you care about. Chris Ewan is an author to watch and enjoy.' --Andrew Taylor

'Ewan has added a sprinkling of edible gold dust and elevated the everyman thriller into a compelling, contemporary read . . . SAFE HOUSE is an exciting, well crafted thriller, with flashes of real humour and insight. Ewan writes exceptionally well, especially in the first person.' --S. J. Bolton

'SAFE HOUSE is a highly original, deftly written thriller it's where you never want to find yourself, a near-surreal descent into brutal mayhem as an ordinary life unravels. And Rebecca Lewis is a new heroine for our times she's armed and dangerous, full of chutzpah and with the guts of a marine.' --Anne Zouroudi

'A modern twist on the classic old-fashioned British thriller with a compelling narrative as pacy as the TT itself.' --Caro Ramsay

'A high-octane thriller . . . Proceeding at warp speed with plenty of twists and excellent use of its setting, SAFE HOUSE is a terrific holiday read.' --Laura Wilson, GUARDIAN

'Clever nail-biter that reveals the Isle of Man to be a Heart of Darkness.' --DAILY TELEGRAPH

'[An] excellent thriller by [a] rising star. SAFE HOUSE by Chris Ewan is set on an Isle of Man as you never imagined it and has one of the best new heroines for a long time ... Popular fiction at its best.' --Susan Hill, The Spectator Books of the Year

'Ewan keeps the twists coming . . . Rob and Rebecca are engaging company during this ride-by-the-seat-of-your-pants novel.' --Independent on Sunday

'A high-octane thriller . . . Proceeding at warp speed with plenty of twists and excellent use of its setting, SAFE HOUSE is a terrific holiday read.' --Laura Wilson, GUARDIAN

'Clever nail-biter that reveals the Isle of Man to be a Heart of Darkness.' DAILY TELEGRAPH

'Ewan keeps the twists coming . . . Rob and Rebecca are engaging company during this ride-by-the-seat-of-your-pants novel.' --Independent on Sunday

Review

'A high-octane thriller ... Proceeding at warp speed with plenty of twists and excellent use of its setting, Safe House is a terrific [listen].' (The Guardian)

'[An] excellent thriller by [a] rising star. Safe House ... is set on an Isle of Man as you never imagined it and has one of the best new heroines for a long time ... Popular fiction at its best.' (The Spectator)

'Ewan keeps the twists coming ... Rob and Rebecca are engaging company during this ride-by-the-seat-of-your-pants novel.' (The Independent on Sunday) --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Best known for his 'Good Thief's Guide To...' series of comedy/crime novels, Chris Ewan turns his hand to the more serious end of crime fiction with his newest novel, 'Safe House'.

Rob Hale is a plumber on the Isle of Man, called out to repair a boiler in a remote cottage by two mysterious looking men, and a more talkative young woman named Lena. The next day, he takes Lena on a motorcycle ride, which ends in a crash. Waking up in hospital, Rob asks about the woman travelling with him, only to be told she doesn't exist. Rob is discharged from hospital, intent on finding out who the woman was, and how she disappeared. He is aided by Rebecca, a private investigator hired by Rob's parents to look into the suicide of his sister, just weeks previous. However, as they follow the clues and begin to uncover the mystery, Rob starts to wonder who Rebecca is really, and how she knew his sister.

As a huge fan of his earlier work, this change in direction and genre from Chris Ewan immediately piqued my interest. Would a writer more well known for his humorous comedy crime capers, be able to tackle a serious thriller?

Of course he would!

What Ewan accomplishes with his first foray into the world of thriller writing, is nothing short of remarkable. Safe House begins with a great hook...what would you do if you woke up in hospital after an accident, and everyone around you denied the existence of the person you were travelling with?

From there, Safe House travels at high speed throughout. It's a breathless, exciting read, which had me turning the page well into the late nights. That initial hook takes you on a journey into action thriller territory, which is up there with the best writing in the genre.
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Fast paced thoroughly engrossing thriller with lots of twists and turns. Compulsive reading could not put this down but did not want it to end. First book by this author I have read and will definitely be looking for more by him.
Anyone who enjoys a good entertaining thriller should this book, more please and soon.
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I only purchased this book, because it was in the 20p section and didn't really know what to expect. It has only taken me 3 sittings to read it. As although in places it seems really far fetched, it all becomes clear at the end. Easy to read!! Anyone who is interested in crime or detective novels this is a book for you. I would have gladly paid more--
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I found it a little boring, to be honest. The plot is far fetched, trying to be realistic, but at times, you just want to shake your head in disbelief. Rebecca is so stereotyped that she does not make a convincing character.
I am not sure why this book was rated 5 stars so many times. It is only average, in my opinion, I did not find the suspense in it to call it a thriller. There are worse books out there, of course, but there are definitely better thrillers.
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Safe House by Chris Ewan

If you like a novel to be driven by its plot, and you like the characters to be simply a vehicle for the plot, then this might be a novel you would like.

I felt nothing, one way or another for the people in this novel, I felt it was too long, poorly written and was a poorly edited story.

When it wasn't trying to be a novel, it was trying to be a guide book telling you that: this is found here, or that is what happens on the Isle of Man, or ...

Perhaps though, the worst thing for me would be the use of inappropriate American English such as: In chapter twenty, an English speaking Manxman explains: "He delved inside the pocket of his trousers. Removed a leather billfold." Do we no longer use wallets? Another example: In chapter twenty-nine: "I watched her shine the flash into the darkness." Er, did you mean torch? Another: Chapter Fifty-six "We took the elevator." Surely the lift!

Poorly written and badly edited novel.

One star.

It may be a cliché that some novels you can't put down but when I finished Safe House I was glad to put down - I had to push myself to finish it.
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A poorly written book created in the style of a teenage novel. You know when the hero is a plumber with a dog that you're not in for much. The main female character is unrealistically indestructible, the plot is feeble, pedestrian and predictable and I felt as though I was being patronised by the author throughout. I couldn't wait to finish it, but I did out of curiosity to see if it improved - it didn't.
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I have just finished this book, and I have been reading some of the other reviews, of which there are plenty!

I am not going to write a synopsis, there are plenty of those in other reviews.

The book really seems to polarise opinions, but my view is that whilst the 5 star reviews are probably too generous, the 1 star ones are even more unfair (I find it quite amusing that some of the 1 star reviews criticise the spelling and grammar, but are full of grammatical and spelling mistakes themselves)

I actually really enjoyed the plot, yes it is quite involved, and sometimes it was a bit tricky remembering which character is which, but there were some nice twists and turns which kept me guessing about a number of things right to the end, it is definitely worth sticking with. The descriptions of the Manx geography, and the tie-in to the TT races were also very welcome.

I do agree to a degree with the reviews which criticise the characterisations, apart from the lead (Rob) I did think that they were a bit underdeveloped, which made it rather difficult to really feel any sympathy for them.

Some of the violence is a bit graphic, but there isn't a lot of it, and where it does occur it is not gratuitous, but rather included to give an insight in to the characters.

It wouldn't take a lot for this book to reach 4 or even 5 stars: making some of the characters more real; cutting out a few of the longer, more convoluted sentences; and removing a few 'Americanisms' (A Manxman calling a wallet a 'billfold' for example).
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