11 Aug 2015


A previous guest reviewer on Pen and Paper, Leanne is a work colleague of Mr T who is instrumental in organising the World Book Night events that have proved so popular at their place of work. I'd like to welcome her in a series of guest reviews that will include Hurting Distance by Sophie Hannah, Maximum Security by Robert Muchamore, The Haunting by Alan Titchmarsh.


FIRST SENTENCE: This is not my story.

MEMORABLE MOMENT: (Part ll, chapter 21, Page 288) 'Unusual name, isn't it? Sarge? What's-'

MY THOUGHTS: Naomi Jenkins and Robert Haworth are in love. They conduct their extra-marital affair every Thursday, between 4pm and 7pm, from Room 11 in the Traveltel Hotel at Rawndsley East Services. But one day, Robert doesn't show up.... has something sinister happened to him? Or has he just ended things with Naomi suddenly?

With her second novel, Sophie Hannah has spun a dark, creepy and thrilling tale. Her first psychological thriller, Little Face, was a best seller and I feel that Hurting Distance is better still. The characters are tormented, brutal and shadowy, plus the storyline improves as the narrative goes on. Initially, I felt that the scenario was pretty unbelievable - but as it developed, I became immersed in the plot. When reading Little Face, at times I struggled to identify with the lead character. I was concerned that the same thing was happening leading up to the first major twist, but I soon realised that the characters and plotline was stronger this time round.

Hannah does a very special thing when she writes: she ensures that the reader feels constant and ever-changing emotion when thinking about the characters. I ran through a full range of reactions with the main character, Naomi Jenkins: I hated, pitied, and then sympathised with her at different points within the book. That in my humble opinion, means that the author has done her job properly.

LITERACY LABELS: Chilling, deep, memorable.

- Leanne.


Stephanie@Fairday's Blog said...

I hadn't heard of this one before, but it sounds like a thrill. I like that the author makes the reader constantly reevaluate their thinking about the characters. Awesome to know that Leanne read the author's first book and liked it, but that this one was even better. :) Great guest post, Leanne!

Kelly said...

I enjoy psychological thrillers and this sounds quite good. I don't mind hating a lead character (ambivalence is the killer), but you're correct in it being the sign of a good writer that can cause you to swing through the whole gamut of emotions!

Thanks to both of you for this interesting guest post. I look forward to the others.

Sherry Ellis said...

It sounds like this author has done her job in developing the characters.

Literary Feline said...

I have a couple of Sophie Hannah's books sitting on my shelf to read. If I'd just read the description of this one, I am not sure I would pick it up to read it, but I do like psychological thrillers. Thank you for your great review, Leanne! (And thanks for hosting her guest review, Tracy!)

Suko said...

Tracy, I enjoyed reading Leanne's guest review. The book sounds suspenseful and well-written.

Brian Joseph said...

I like complex characters. The protagonist here sounds really complex. I agree that it is a sign of a good author.

I am also Ok with not identifying well with characters.

This also sounds dark, which can also be a good thing and make a book interesting.

Leanne said...

Thanks for your kind comments, folks! I have also read a third Sophie Hannah offering and a review will be winging its way to Tracy very soon.

L x

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

Yep, you hate the author for putting you through the ringer, but love her for it as well. LOL This sounds like an interesting book!

Gina R said...

Sounds intriguing. I know a friend who's had this author on her wish list. Will pass along the high marks!