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Book Reviews : Hurting Distance

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November 2007

Hurting Distance by Sophie Hannah

Kathryn Moss - Independent Reviewer

I have just put this book down and was so impressed that I felt compelled to promote it! It’s been a while since I’ve read such an original, disturbing, and superbly choreographed psychological thriller. The character development is brilliant, with ‘baddies’ who are chillingly understated, and ‘goodies’ who are, quite frankly, a bit of a mess! You would be too if you’d been in their shoes! The complexity of the plot makes the book fascinating and difficult to put down, as you’re constantly wondering where it will take you next. I’m usually quite good at guessing the ending, however I couldn’t see through this one! Even if you got the main thread there are so many layers to the story that the fallout was just as interesting. I also found the concept that created the title thought-provoking… you’ll have to read the book to find out why.

The story starts with a survivor’s story on a rape web site, a survivor’s story with a difference! Fundamentally it is about a vulnerable woman being deceived by a truly evil man with motives that are unbelievably warped. The character Naomi is cleverly developed, as she isn’t that likeable and it’s hard to find sympathy for her until you realise the full extent of what’s happened to her. There is a great twist involving one of the main police characters too, one that leaves her reeling and demonstrates how people in authority can be just as vulnerable as the rest of us.

I don’t want to say too much more as I don’t want to risk giving away the plot, all readers should experience a plot that’s so hard to see through! I would recommend this book to anyone who loves thrillers: well written, extremely clever and deeply chilling. It still makes my skin crawl when I think about the dark characters involved.
 

: Hurting Distance - Sophie Hannah

 
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