Shop now Shop now Shop now See more Shop all Amazon Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Shop now Learn More Shop now DIYED Shop now Shop Fire Shop now Shop now

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
47
4.2 out of 5 stars
Format: Kindle Edition|Change
Price:£4.49
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

on 20 May 2013
More physiological than psychological thriller, Crouch certainly conveys the horror of physical decay - we're talking incontinence pads and bed sores here rather than blood and guts (you have to wait for them to come along at the end). For a full-on no-holds barred introduction to the kind of situation that care assistants face everyday start here. Dementia is so vividly portrayed that it's impossible not to conclude that at some point in the recent past Crouch has had to deal with just such a situation as confronts her protagonist, Peg.

The skill of course is to integrate the detail of dementia and old age into an absorbing thriller which plays on how memory shapes and reshapes the present. A couple of niggles. The past is vividly created but it is a past which is to be found further back than the 90s of Peg's childhood. Also the characterisation of Peg's father is problematic - there are some inconsistencies there which never quite pan out. Nevertheless a really good read.

But one mystery remains resolutely unsolved - unless I somehow missed it - what is the "handicap" that monstrous Auntie Jean suffers from?
11 comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
When Peg (Margaret)was six years old her mother died, and shortly thereafter her father disappeared; she was raised by her ageing grandparents and morbidly obese Aunty Jean. She never questioned her background or upbringing, but now in her twenties she discovers she had an uncle who died many years ago. The fact that this has been kept a secret from her ignites not only her anger at her grandmother, but her curiosity, and so her quest to find her father, and answers to the many questions she how has, begins.

I found the actual setting for this novel depressing - the grandmother's bungalow with Aunty Jean's annexe was just so bleak; the characters lacked depth and substance, the result being that I found it impossible to like, or sympathise, with any of them. The plot, such as it is, plods along at a frustratingly slow pace and is somewhat predictable.

I'll probably be in the minority when I say this "thriller" is anything but thrilling. It is the second Julia Crouch novel (the other being "Every Vow You Break"), that has left me cold, so I doubt if I'll attempt a third.
0Comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
VINE VOICEon 9 June 2013
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Peg can't remember much about her childhood. All she knows is that her mum died of cancer when she was six and that she was brought up by her beloved Nan, Doll, in Doll's seaside bungalow. Doll, now suffering from dementia, is also principle carer of her bed-bound, massively obese daughter Jeanie. Peg has been trying to find her father, Raymond, using the internet. The other major character in the book is Peg's girlfriend, Loz, a feisty chef who seems to genuinely love Peg and wants the best for her - including helping her remember.

From the opening chapter when a gruesome discovery is made in the sea, this book has a sense of menace that is really gripping. The description of Doll's bungalow and the vile Jeanie made my flesh creep, the claustrophobia is almost palpable and you know that something is very wrong. The author keeps the reader guessing right to the end until the whole truth is revealed, both to the reader and to Peg.

Julia Crouch has created some brilliant and original characters here, from quiet, self-effacing Peg to the gross, but strangely compelling Jeanie. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. A perfect holiday read.
0Comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 20 May 2013
Have read all her books and this is the best - so far ! this one is darker than the last but each has gone that way. The characters are very strong and vivid. I couldnt put it down till I had finished it.
Also read the VERY short book on kindle about a train journey to harrogate. very clever twist and great for a VERY quick read, waiting for an apoointment or a on a quick journey. it is free so go get it !
Cant wait for her next one - set in Greece ??
would recommend thoroughly
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 5 June 2013
This book is as good as Julia Crouch's previous two, perhaps better. I had eagerly anticipated this book, and I was not disappointed. It's beautifully written, and it had me constantly wondering just what was going to happen next, as good mysteries do. I look forward to her next novel, which I'm told is already in the pipeline.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 14 October 2013
Good but not outstanding. I found it was getting nowhere until towards the end, and what a surprise was in store. If you can keep with the story then you are in for an amazing ending.
0Comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 23 September 2013
This was one of those rare books that you don't want to put down, but also don't want to finish. This is the first book I've read by Julia Crouch and I really enjoyed the pace, the humour and the twists in the story.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
VINE VOICEon 8 January 2014
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Peg is trying to remember her childhood, and find out about her family history, encouraged by her girlfriend, Loz. Peg's mother died when she was a child, and she has been brought up by her grandmother and aunt. She doesn't see her dad, although he paid for her to go to boarding school. As she uncovers family secrets she can't help wondering if she would have been better off not knowing.

Peg lives and works in London but regularly goes to visit Nan and Jean in their seaside bungalow. These parts of the book are not exactly enjoyable but Julia Crouch cleverly builds up a compelling portrait of domestic creepiness before ratcheting up the suspense of the plot, as what Peg learns may put herself and her loved ones in danger. The present day story is told in the third person, with flashbacks to childhood in separate chunks of first person narrative. I found these changes in style a bit disruptive, taking me out of the story.

Most of the characters in the book are not very likeable, but they are not meant to be, and Tarnished is a gripping story of domestic creepiness.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 31 January 2015
Disappointing - absurd plot.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
VINE VOICEon 9 January 2014
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Having read and thoroughly enjoyed Julia Crouch's excellent first novel Cuckoo, I was very pleased to receive this book from the Amazon Vine programme. For me, Tarnished got off to a rather a slow start but gradually without me quite knowing it, the tension and suspense slowly crept up and then suddenly I was hooked and racing through the pages! A brilliant read which I was sorry to finish, I am now going to buy Julia Crouch's other book Every Vow You Break.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

Customers also viewed these items

£0.99

Need customer service? Click here