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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 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 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 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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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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on 31 March 2012
I have read many crime novels in the last few months and this has to be the worst by a mile. The plot devices are so contrived it is ridiculous; a series of letters that are read one at a time by another character to drip feed information into the story (as if any real person would have such a lack of curiosity!)a diary conveniently left at the scene of a crime, a villian who is so one dimensional it beggars belief. As for Laura, the central character, she is completely unbelievable and pretty unlikeable too. Do not waste hours of you life reading this 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 August 2016
93 people agree with me that this is just drivel. It started as dour and lifeless, with so much cross contamination in paragraphs it was throoughly annoying. Then when the ridiculous letters began on top of this galaxy of self-important magnificently handsome men (!), enough was enough. Time me thinks for the author to move from her bubble of isolation and live in the real world to sit and listen to how people talk, not to go on and on with tripe uttered from mealy mouths. As poor as it gets.
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