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4.4 out of 5 stars
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4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 11 January 2012
This book was sent to my kindle for me to review.
The author has it all here with darkness, abuse, degradation, drugs, sex and a murder at the start of the novel. The husband is a control freak and his idea of marital relations are not the normal ones found in a loving relationship. His wife is not aware of this at first but begins to see something is not right on their honeymoon. It is the wife who tells most of the story through the letters she writes to her best friend. The caring policeman who is drawn to the wife, the missing girls and his own daughter are all involved in different ways.

This is a well written novel and the plot is superb, nothing is given away to the reader. Several twists and turns. I highly recommend it and look forward to reading more of this authors works.
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on 30 April 2013
This is the second Rachel Abbott novel I've read and I enjoyed it immensely! She has a wonderful way of making the characters very real and engaging so you can't help but read on to find out more about what has and is happening to them. The writing style is very descriptive so you can really picture the characters, places and scenes in the book for yourself. The plot of this book built up steadily and kept me hooked and I'm delighted to say that I didn't see the end coming, which is unusual for me. A top class read and I hope Rachel brings out another book very soon!
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on 8 July 2014
I read Sleep Tight first (apparently the third one in this series) quite by chance and was totally engrossed in it. Realising I had bought Only the Innocent some time ago and, for some unknown had overlooked it, I started reading it with relish as I had so enjoyed Sleep Tight. I also wanted to know more about the background of the wonderful and gorgeous, DCI Tom Douglas who I really like, and his sergeant, Becky Robinson.

I have to say I struggled with this one, sadly. I just felt like it was going round and round in circles at times and was getting frustrated as to why no one was telling the truth.

Laura Fletcher is a character I liked and loathed at times; her whiny voice was getting on my nerves and she seemed so weak and feeble I wanted to shake her! She is married the handsome but dastardly, Hugo, who makes her life a living hell with his dreadful but very careful bullying of her until she is a mere shell of her former vivacious self.

We learn what has happened to Laura in her letters to her life long friend, and latterly sister in law, Imogen. The letters were never sent but kept secret should anything happen to her and then Imogen would know the truth. However during the investigation into the sudden death of Hugo, Laura gives the letters to Imogen to read so she knows what has been happening to her as she had lost contact with Imogen many years before.

It's fast, it's pacy and should have been wonderfully enjoyable but I felt there was something slightly lacking and overall that it was a little too long, as the facts were constantly being repeated which became quite tedious. However as I realise this was Rachel Abbott's debut novel and I have since read another book of hers, I would recommend reading it if only to get the background on the delicious Tom, who I know is going to be a great character.
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on 5 May 2013
I have to blame this novel for giving me a headache. I started reading this novel earlier this morning and couldn't put it down and read so much, I had to have a lie down with a cool flannel over my head! Seriously, it's one of the best crime novels I've read for a while, and it passed the 'page-turner' test for me.

The characters were very good, I really liked DCI Tom Douglas and I hope there will be more of him. I really enjoyed reading about the relationship between Laura and Hugh, gripping stuff and had me saying 'nooooo' at my kindle a few times.

The story was very well paced and offered little hooks all the way through to keep me reading, hence the headache. I found myself racing through the end to find out the solution, and it was very satisfactory. I'm looking forward to reading the next novel, only this time I'd better have some Ibuprofen at the ready as I think it'll be another gripping read.
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on 18 March 2012
I found this book very hard to put down!! The twists and turns the novel took were enough to keep you shocked and want to know more. It really annoys me when people write reviews which clearly over analyse the content ... Just read and enjoy or not enjoy don't go into dialogue, character depth etc etc.

This book certainly entertained me on a rainy Sunday, which is what u want from a book !!!
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on 13 April 2012
Sir Hugo Fletcher is found murdered in his home and tied to the bed in such a way that it is obvious to the police that sex games were involved which leaves them convinced that the perpetrator of the crime must be a woman. Sir Hugo was very controlling in his relationships, particularly within his marriage to Lady Fletcher. As the book develops we begin to see what a dangerous and destructive character Sir Hugo really was. I felt the book started really well but as it went on I found there was an over reliance on dialogue between the various characters to tell the story rather than descriptive scenes of the main action. Also, much of the story is told in a series of letters written by Lady Fletcher to her friend that she never sends. Although Rachel Abbott does well in interweaving the tricks that controlling men of this kind use to totally manipulate their partners and destroying their confidence, it is my view this would have had much more impact if this part of the book was written in a serious of flashbacks. There are parts of the book relating to a particularly vulnerable character that the author showed clearly that she is able to relay the thoughts fears in the first person, I'm just sorry she didn't do it more often with Lady Fletcher who is the main character in this book.
Don't get me wrong, this is a talented author with a lot of good ideas. Going by her success so far, if she exploits her talents to the full in her next book she could be on to a winner. I also think this book also appeal to the big market of women's contemporary fiction.
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on 22 July 2014
Ever since I discovered the joy of books as a young lad I've always told myslef not to give up on a book and to see it through to the end no matter how turgid I found it or how badly written it was. In the 40 or so years of reading everything from airport pot-boilers to the classics, I've tried to follow this principle and I can count on the fingers of one hand the few times I have actually given up.

I say this in an attempt to indicate how unremittingly bad this book is, because about one third of the way in I contemplated poking my eyes out with rusty nails rather than start the next chapter of this dire, cliched guff. Instead I decided to junk it. Maybe its my fault, maybe I should have researched the title a bit more but having read the blurb I thought i was buying a highly recommended crime thriller. How wrong I was. In actual fact it reads like the most trite of "women's fiction", all deep meaningful glances at the handsome hero cop, a complete lack of story progression and pointless chapter long padding between the widowed wife and her sister in law designed to inform the reader of past events. I will not miss this book.

Awful, awful, awful. Do not buy.
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on 15 February 2012
I read quite a lot of thrillers and have to say this was one of the best I've read in a while.

The book revolves around the murder of a famous philanthropist and, so the public thought all-round good-guy sir Hugo Fletcher. As the book develops we find out more about Hugo and realise that not all is as it seems.

All the characters feel real and well-rounded. From Laura Hugo's wife to the chief police officer Tom, the reader empathises with them and understands their motivations. Even the minor characters feel original and well-thought out.

The plot is gripping and in particular, the sections of the book narrated in the form of letters Laura wrote to her best friend are particularly strong. The procedure of the police felt authentic and the twist at the end, although I saw it coming from some way out was never-the-less very enjoyable and the dilemma Tom is left with at the end of the book is truly fascinating.

The book is fast-paced and well written with the authors prose giving the story a real sense of atmosphere. I recommend Only the Innocent without reservation and will look forward to Rachel Abbot's next book.
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on 30 May 2014
is the only word that can describe my reaction to so many 5 star reviews for this really awful book. Ignoring the pólice officers, the charity, the Mills and Boon Sir Hugo, all of which can be criticised in equal measure, we have the star of the show, Laura. A successful film-maker, Laura meets Sir Hugo and after a whirlwind romance, marries him. She goes from being an intelligent woman to an idiot in the space of several months. She allows him to choose her clothes, including her wedding dress without the slightest objection, equally everything in their relationship is determined by Sir Hugo. She is an intelligent woman, not a latterday Eliza Dolittle, plucked from the gutter and being groomed by 'Enry 'Iggins. Perhaps Sir Hugo is a genetically-modified vampire sucking brains instead of blood. A truly awful book.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 5 February 2012
This first novel by new writer Rachel Abbott is an accomplished and well written story based on the premise that no-one, not even nearest and dearest, knows what goes on in the privacy of a marriage.

A titled gentleman, perceived to be a pillar of society, is murdered. As the intriguing story progresses we find he is not all he is thought to be by those who think they know him.

I really enjoyed this book. It was full of believable characters and the story had sufficient in the way of plot twists to keep me guessing. It was written in a graceful style that kept the story moving and I have to say I love the character of Beatrice though she didn't play a huge part in the book! A highly recommended read.
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