It's 1.15 a.m. Connie Bowskill should be asleep. Instead, she's logging on to a property website in search of a particular house: 11 Bentley Grove, Cambridge. She knows it's for sale; she saw the estate agent's board in the front garden less than six hours ago. Soon Connie is clicking on the 'Virtual Tour' button, keen to see the inside of 11 Bentley Grove and put her mind at rest once and for all.
She finds herself looking at a scene from a nightmare: in the living room, in the middle of the carpet, there's a woman lying face down in a huge pool of blood. In shock, Connie wakes her husband, Kit. But when Kit sits down at the computer to take a look, he sees no dead body, only a pristine beige carpet in a perfectly ordinary room....
©2011 Sophie Hannah (P)2011 Hodder & Stoughton Audiobooks
I've enjoyed Sophie Hannah's other books but found this one repetitive and unbelievable. The characterisation is very far fetched and the storyline is hard to swallow. Not one of her successes.
An excellent audio book. The pace of the story is a little slow in the begining but it builds and builds. The characters are well developed, the story is imaginative and the book is very well written. Narration is also good, especially Simon Slater. One negative is the amount of swearing - too much and so unnecessary. Highly recommended.
I have just discovered Sophie Hannah and downloaded 4 of her books in a row. I have loved them. Whilst you think you know where the stories are going there are good twists built in. I love the humanity of the characters, and the fact the stories are told through differentg characters as well as third party. However, for some reason the main character in this book drives me to distraction. I sort of understand her and to some extent sympathise although her actions verge on hysteria. Over the course of the story,however, I think the reason for the irritation is the narrator voices her character in a whisper. Both narrators are excellent and I don't wish to put anyone off but the whispering......aahhhh. I would recommend this author and have really enjoyed her books so far even if listened to in the wrong order. I have already added the last two to my wish list
Pretty much the whole thing once passed the first few chapters.
The fact that I really don't think she thought this through AT ALL prior to starting it, as the story progressed it just became more and more ludicrous, really scraping the barrel with this one I'm afraid. Really disappointing as I was really enjoying her other books with these characters and the part where (without giving it away) one of the main characters talks endlessly about how he's figured out all of the psychology behind the perpetrator's actions / thinking and reasoning had me completely bemused - to have ever deduced all of that detailed summation was completely unrealistic but went to show that without it, the reader would have been left even more perplexed by the whole storyline and it was as though this part was added in as an after thought to counterbalance a sheer nonsense plot for us to try and make a bit more sense from it all. Sorry Sophie, this is one for bonfire !
The narrators did a fine job considering the plot line they were meant to explain away.
All of it.
Don't buy this book, especially if you are a Sophie Hannah fan, it will deflate you !
The story hinges on the most contrived plot device I've ever read. Two separate police forces are actually meant to take seriously the claims of our protagonist - Connie - that she saw a dead body during a search of an estate agency website in the early hours of the morning...which has then disappeared.
We're then into the realms of fantasists, liars, game-players - useful devices for a 'psychological thriller' when the stretching of credibility beyond snapping point covers up the inadequacies of the story-telling.
By the end, when over-long - and still incredible - explanations are being made about what has happened and, apparently, why, I was past caring. If I'd not been in the middle of a marathon decorating task, I'd have given up.
On the basis of Lasting Damage, certainly not.
The narration was also less than wonderful, with, on many, many occasions, the emphasis on the wrong words, or missing altogether, when emphasis was needed.
I got the impression that the author hadn't worked out the story before she began. There was too much introspection by the characters as if the author was feeling her way into the story - the kind of thing that happens in a first draft but should be edited out. I'm afraid I gave up after about an hour and a half.
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