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Hurting Distance by Sophie Hannah – a review

I have read quite a few of Sophie Hannah’s books although not in order and have always enjoyed them. This one was no exception. Naomi is having an affair with Robert who then goes missing. Meanwhile Detective Claire is having a relationship with local chalet owner Graham until she is called in to investigate the disappearance. Their lives and Naomi’s past soon become interlinked and what starts off as a missing person with an odd wife, becomes something more sinister altogether.

This was a quick read book that I enjoyed. The pace of the story is good, and there is enough intrigue to keep you guessing. It’s most definitely a crime book, although it is not based around a murder. The crime is pretty horrific, but I didn’t think it was overly graphic in its inclusion.

I did find the characters all a bit confusing but I suspect that’s mainly because I have read the books out of order and was not sure of the central characters relationship at this stage. Equally some of the relationships seemed a bit unrealistic, for example Naomi is portrayed as an independent business woman, but apparently she falls for a rather dull sounding lorry driver who can only see her once a week in what sounds like a rather sleazy cheap hotel. Sorry but surely thanks to the genius that is laterooms.com all affairs are now conducted in a 4 star hotel minimum!

I find that Sophie Hannah’s books are always a fascinating read with a real mix of characters. She has the ability to make you start out believing x is good and y is bad, but by the end of it any initial preconceptions have been turned inside out and upside down. There is never a simple black and white story. I also like the way the story is written from differing viewpoints, each one identified by the different way the date is written at the start of the chapter.

I think this novel is definitely worth a read, although it may be an idea to start at the beginning of the series and keep them in order.

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