When her plane is delayed overnight, Gaby Struthers finds herself forced to share a hotel room with a stranger: a terrified young woman named Lauren Cookson - but why is she scared of Gaby in particular? Lauren won't explain. Instead, she blurts out something about an innocent man going to prison for a murder he didn't commit, and Gaby soon suspects that Lauren's presence on her flight can't be a coincidence. Because the murder victim is Francine Breary, the wife of the only man Gaby has ever truly loved. Tim Breary has confessed, and even provided the police with evidence. The only thing he hasn't given them is a motive. He claims to have no idea why he murdered his wife....
©2013 Sophie Hannah (P)2013 Hodder & Stoughton
Having loved all of Sophie Hannah's books was disappointed by this one, not much happens, I spent most of the time waiting for it to warm up, but sadly it never happened. Not worth my monthly credit.
I am a fiction fan. My tastes are varied but I like thrillers esp. psychological & I also like Jilly Cooper who writes animals fabulously :)
Firstly If your new to Sophie Hannah books please start at book 1 'Little Face' and move forward through the series - they are fantastic novels!
Right now onto 'The Carrier'
As a fan of Sophie Hannah I was looking forward to her latest full length novel and as usual I devoured her latest offering. I always purchase Sophie Hannah's novels on audio after I have read them as I like her work so much and enjoy experiencing her novel more than once without having to find the time to sit down and read it again and again.
After the first read & subsequent listen I have to say the novel isn't one of my favourite Sophie Hannah books, but that said it is still streets ahead of most of the other books I have read/listened to, and I still really enjoyed it.
Sophie Hannah is an amazing writer and her stories always feel fresh, unique and unnerving in clever subtle ways - and 'The Carrier' is no different. The premise is original and in my opinion the characters are superbly crafted.
The language is slightly high brow in this latest story and there are lots of references to poetry by the main character. However Waterhouse and Zailer's chapters offer balance this out and move the story on well whilst telling the b-story- their bizarre relationship that has been played out over Sophie Hannah's entire crime thriller novels.
The narration is really good although if you are listening in bed you may find the narrators characterisation of Lauren a little sharp.
I buy Sophie Hannah's novels for two reasons:
1. I want to catch up with regular characters Zailer and Waterhouse and see how their bizarre partnership is progressing (therefore I would urge readers that are new to Hannah's work to start with her first novel)
2. I know I'm going to read an intriguing psychological thriller that will keep me guessing until the final chapter
The Carrier fulfilled my expectations and I look forward to the next novel - I will never get bored of reading and listening to this gifted writers work.
I have never written a review before but having got through more than half of this book I can't face anymore. it's a shame as I have enjoyed Sophie Hannah's previous work and couldn't wait to download this one. I will wait to read reviews on any future work by this author before purchasing again
This is the first (and last) Sophie Hannah book I have read. It is the most boringly complicated plot, The main character has no qualities that make her likeable. This is a complete waste of my credit.
I've read and enjoyed several Hannah books before and this is my first audio edition. It will probably be my last.
Nothing to do with Julie Barrie's performance, which was excellent; all of the characters were clearly differentiated and her reading was beautifully paced. It was just that hearing it read out loud exposed what I consider to be Hannah's main weaknesses as a storyteller. First, she continually interrupts the flow by having characters lengthily reflect internally on their emotional states, existential difficulties and relationship problems. Second, her police characters must be the most unlikable fictional coppers ever - I just cannot relate to any of them and I wish they would just stick to their jobs instead of whinging on about their personal problems. When reading, I can skim over all of these annoying passages to get back to the story; but this is impossible when listening to it.
Given all that, I'm glad I persevered - it was a very good, involving storyline. Lauren was the best character by far. She could easily have been just a massive chav stereotype (Ruth Rendell has a terrible tendency for this), but Hannah gave her life and personality and I was cheering her on at the end. Gabe could also have been an awful stereotype but again Hannah made her sympathetic and three-dimensional. Tim was a cartoonish wimp for most of the time though - I simply could not believe that all these people loved him!
So I'll give this 7 out of 10.
Simon and Tim Dreary fighting a duel in which they're both killed. Gaby Struthers joins a silent order of nuns ....and is joined by Simon's mother who is later asked to leave following a torrid affair with the religious affairs correspondent of the Observer.
No - but I would be loath to listen to any more in this series
None - no disrespect to Julia Barrie
All of them
I have listened to all previous books in this series despite having serious misgivings about the characters, particularly Simon.
However, this latest helping of dull/daft Simon with added Tim Dreary and lashings of Gaby Struthers (equal parts acid tongued virago and besotted twirly girlie) is just too, too much. I really did not care who lived or died, who killed, or was killed, by whom.
Who or what is Simon supposed to be? Some kind of intuitive idiot savant weighed down by Oedipal hang-ups? A mildly afflicted (rather than tortured) genius? To me, he's just an unbelievable, thoroughly irritating composite character.
The sociopathic Simon is not the only failed attempt at complex characterisation. How about the totally un-PC, cracked and clingy Catholic mother?
With the earlier books, I was prepared to put up with the people for the sake of the stories, which were generally decent. Not so with this book. The smug/rude characters are allowed to dominate. Instead of a well-plotted and incisive story, there’s endless witter and bicker …and some very embarrassing sub-Noel Coward banter.
Based on this book this will probably be the first and last Sophie Hannah book for me. I found the entire plot slow, the characters unpleasant and depressing and overall very few redeeming features. Not recommended.
I've become a huge fan of Sophie Hannah over the past couple of years and so look forward to news of a new novel in her Spilling CID series. The publishers seem determined to play down the ongoing nature of these novels but I feel that is their strength as while the details of the case being investigated changes there are ongoing character arcs for the police,
This was a very twisty story and demanded close attention. I found Julie Barrie's rich voice well suited to the novel.
"A tour de force"
This is an magnificent novel. Brilliantly crafted, excellent characterisation and with a plot that intrigues until the end. This is Sophie Hannah at the height of her powers - I was transfixed. Julia Barrie's narration is faultless. I defy any one who loves a psychological thriller not to enjoy this hugely.
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