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The Telling Error: Culver Valley Crime, Book 9 Audio Download – Unabridged

3.4 out of 5 stars 114 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio Download
  • Listening Length: 14 hours and 24 minutes
  • Program Type: Audiobook
  • Version: Unabridged
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
  • Audible.co.uk Release Date: 24 April 2014
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00J5OWJRY
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
If I had to pick a word to describe this book it would be 'tedious'. It seemed to just go on, and on, not quite knowing what to do, or where to go with all the characters that had been created. I haven't read any of Sophie Hannah's previous books, so wasn't aware that there was actually a 'Culver City' series featuring the partnership of Detectives Simon Waterhouse and his wife Charlie. I'm not sure this book has inspired me to read others from the series.
The book starts off with an advert from a website called 'Intimate Links' where someone is looking for a response from someone with a 'secret'. It swiftly moves on to the bizarre death of infamous journalist Damon Blundy, and we meet our main (extremely unlikeable) character, Nicki Clements. Nicki's carefully constructed life is based on an intricately woven web of lies, stretching back to early childhood. Her ex-best friend, Melissa, is now married to Nicki's brother Lee and we slowly realise that there is more to this triangulated relationship than meets the eye.
Nicki's non-entity of a husband, Adam, doesn't seem to have a clue about the woman he's married to, and although throughout the book, we hear how much she loves her family (husband and two children), we never see or hear evidence of a cosy family life.
Numerous (oh, so numerous!) characters are introduced who would have had motive to kill the vicious Damon Blundy, and the story quickly takes on a 'Whodunit' format. Unsurprisingly, Nicki takes centre stage as the Number One suspect.
Clearly the book did have some element that kept me reading, wanting to know about Nicki's past, and how her private life had inextricably tied itself to Damon Blundy and his ill fate. But sadly, even when the 'punchline' was delivered it wasn't the 'Ohmygosh' lightbulb moment one wants from a (semi-) suspense-filled prelude. My response in the end was more like 'who cares?' than the 'Wow!' that it should have been. Big, big disappointment.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Oh DEAR! I have read all the books in this series, and I grow increasingly bored with a) the psychological plot convolutions and b) the tedious relationship between Waterhouse and Zailer. But what really finished me with this one was that the character who was supposed to be sinister, threatening, even possibly violent... was called King Edward. Supposedly he named himself after Edward VII, that notorious rake - but from the first time I saw it I could only think of potatoes! So I couldn't take anything in the book seriously after that - in fact every time his name came up I went off into new fits of laughter. Can't believe that a writer of Hannah's calibre and experience could have made such a glaring mistake - the most "Telling Error" of all, one thinks.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Have read all her books and thought the last one was a real "stinker" but everyone is allowed an "off day" can't believe that this book was as bad if not worse than the last ! Thinking back on her previous novels its hard to believe its the same author !
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Format: Paperback
Very disappointing book. Ridiculously far fetched and complicated plot, completely unbelievable. Just about made it to the end but it was a struggle. I love a good psychological thriller, but this was really pretty bad.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Sophie Hannah at her best is edgy, tricksy and utterly compelling; but some of her later books have fallen a bit flat. This isn’t as good as Hurting Distance or The Other Half Lives, but is much better than The Carrier or A Room Swept White. The set-up revolves around a woman with secrets, and an outspoken journalist who is killed in a weird way; and the story involves issues of identity, public and private personas, and online lives.

At heart, this is a book with a story told in a complicated way, rather than necessarily being a complex story in its own right. The efforts to withhold past events from us do begin to feel a little contrived and artificial, and the story veers quite a long way from realism in the police investigation – no-one, for example, seems to worry about the fact that the murderer got into the house without breaking in, and that a convoluted killing scenario involving lots of accessories seems to have taken place while the man’s wife was downstairs in the kitchen...

I like Hannah’s slightly twisted world and, especially, the bizarre set-up of Charlie and Simon, but they feel a little under-used here. By the end we’re left with the feeling that no-one has anything but a dysfunctional relationship in the Sophie Hannah universe.

So an entertaining escapist read – but perhaps one that doesn’t bear too much scrutiny in terms of believability.

(This review is from an ARC courtesy of the publisher)
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It should come as no surprise that this, the 9th book in the Spilling/Culver Valley CID series, sticks to a well-established formula. As always, the narrative revolves around a bizarre or seemingly impossible crime which is related through alternating first and third person chapters. As always, the first person narrator is an intelligent but slightly flaky woman in middle youth whose connection to the case comes to seem progressively less coincidental as the story progresses. As always, there's a secondary mystery which is only tangentially connected to the case. And, as always, there's a bit of background from the supporting characters and a few incursions into the mental landscape of the main investigating officers. Essentially, if you buy this, you'll be getting a Sophie Hannah novel; whether you enjoy it or not will depend on whether or not your the type of person who enjoys Sophie Hannah novels.

About two years ago, I read an interview with Hannah and was drawn to download her first book, Little Face. Immediately, I realised that this was an author I was going to enjoy. After that, I worked through all of the novels in uninterrupted chronological order. In all, the books have a lot to commend them. Hannah has a parallel career as a poet and this is made apparent through some strong descriptive writing. The narratives are never less than compelling and the author had a very clear understand of how to maintain a reader's interest by teasingly drip-feeding information before shifting to another perspective entirely.

Unfortunately, after the series peaked with the masterful The Other Half Lives, Hannah has been churning out more of the same. She's found a formula that works, and she's sticking to it.
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