I have just returned from holiday where I saved this book for the plane home. I devoured it in under 4 hours! I loved "Little Face" and had bought both books together as part of a special offer and it was money well spent! In both books there are sections where you genuinely get the creeps reading but you cannot wait to read more! Sophie Hannah conveys how each character feels in such a way that you genuinely feel like you know them. I liked that the police characters of Charlie and Simon (as well as their colleagues) were carried over from the first novel and thought it was a nice touch that Simon was thinking about contacting the lead character from the previous novel. This only added to the familiarity with the characters for me. I would agree with the previous reviewers who thought this book may be disappointing or not quite as good given how excellent "Little Face" was but I was amazed at how much I preferred this story. And to top it all off there was a teaser for her third novel at the back of this one and I am now desperate to read it - but it's not out until next year! Sophie Hannah is a superb writer and these two first novels cannot be beat in my opinion.
I had read Little Face and enjoyed it, but I think Hurting Distance is even better. The plot is complex and layered, dependent on coincidence but not implausibly so and the characters are interesting and far outstrip the customary clichés of the genre. This is a beautifully constructed and crafted book, and I am only sorry that I will have to wait another year for the next book. This one really deserves to take off and hit the big time. The central premise of the plot is really creepy and very cleverly revealed. Highly recommended.
I read Hurting Distance last night (30th Dec) and it has blown all the other competition out of the water for my book of 2007...
I really didn't much like Little Face by the same author and only picked this up as there was nothing else available and within 5 minutes I was engrossed. The novel looks at crime from a very different viewpoint to most books, giving a dimension to victim, police and perpetrator as the trinity of crime that creates a truly mesmerising aspect as the plot unfolds with the mixture of simple and sheer coincidence that only real life tends to offer.
The characters are a similiar mixture of incredibly real yet incredibly unreal that makes it feel like you really are following the Naomi's narration of her story as an invited observer which adds tension and heartbreak as the novel progresses.
I defy anyone to guess the ending of this novel...I was gasped out loud when it was finally revealed...and if I hadn't been in an airport lounge it would have made me cry...
This is a heartbreaking novel that will haunt you but thrill you with the quality of the writing and characters. Truly exceptional!
I only read less than a quarter of it, and that was because I forced myself until I could bear it no longer. I'm not one to abandon a book and usually see it to the end but this was an exception, along with the other Sophie Hannah I ordered (little face) which I managed even less of and I angrily threw them in the charity shop pile.
My main issue is that her writing is so confused- I feel like she's trying to be poetic, whilst building suspense which could be great. However she then decides to add in ridiculous over exaggerated cartoon like police officers which I could have ignored but unfortunately they were in every other chapter. At other times I felt I was reading some crappy chick-lit book and not a thriller with the laughable descriptions involving manalo blahnik sandals and some other designers handbag.
I'm unsure as to why her books get such high praise and why on earth they are allowed to be under the thriller category. I also wonder why they're even published in the first place. I've read better books by lesser known authors which are free on kindle.
Deeply disappointing. As a basis for the book the plot showed promise, it could have been a real edge of the seat thriller but I just found it annoying. There was no tension, no gripping moments and no build up to an exciting end. The characters were all unpleasant and their behaviour was unbelievable and far fetched. There were characters who served no purpose and incidents which were included for no reason that I could see other than to fill a few extra pages. It was a good idea spoiled and I doubt I would ever purchase another book by this author.
Quite honestly one of the most dispiriting books I have read. None of the characters are likeable or engaging, the plot is convoluted and unbelievable, and there is very little tension. And whilst I like a good murder there is something particularly unsavoury about rape being the crime at the centre of the novel. At times I almost felt as though the author was promoting the mysogynistic view that women secretly harbour rape fantasies and particularly those where they are are the objects of voyeurism. Seemed like she'd cobbled together some of the fantasies from Nancy Friday's Secret Garden and other compilations and mixed it in with a bit of Anais Nin and The Story of O and finally added a whole load of cod psychology.
But even putting that disquiet to one side the book seemed riddled with flaws. The dialogue was unconvincing and the behaviour of the police was quite frankly unbelievable. I'm aware that even in real life police officers are human and sometimes make ill-judged decisions but some of the events here were completely incredulous. Revealing names and locations of other rape victims to someone who was both a victim/survivor and a possible suspect? Confirming to said individual the results of DNA tests confirming someone's identity as rapist? Allowing potential suspect of attempted murder to visit that victim in hospital? Allowing two potential suspects to attempted murder to meet and engage in dialogue with each other? I could go on but life is too short ;)
The only reason I continued to the bitter end was because of the tyranny of the book club - I can't not read the selected book! I'm interested to know what my friends will think of it because I can see from reviews here and elsewhere that I seem to be in a minority. And I'm not usually so out of synch . But on the basis of this I won't be reading any more Sophie Hannah.
Naomi Jenkins had something terrible happen to her three years ago. Now she has another secret, shes seeing a married man. When he doesn't show up Naomi thinks something has happened to him. The police however are not too worried so Naomi takes things into her own hands.
This is the second book in the Spilling detective series. DS Charlie Zailer and Simon Whitehouse feature and obviously have a history of some sorts. I do prefer to read books in order as I like to get to know characters. On this occasion it hasn't made a lot of difference.
I really enjoyed this book. I was drawn into the story straight away and was hooked. The crime in the story is the rape of women so isn't for the faint hearted but the book also has a lot more going on too. The story is certainly compelling and I wanted to find out how things were going to go. At times I did think whats going on here but it all comes together.
This is my first Sophie Hannah crime book and because of how much I enjoyed it I will read more in the future.
A very twisty, sometime disturbing, but a very satisfying read.