Monday 25 November 2019

Mini Book Review: I Thought I Knew You by Penny Hancock

I Thought I Knew YouI Thought I Knew You by Penny Hancock
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow – what a tour de force! I’ve enjoyed all Penny Hancock’s books, (especially my favourite, Tideline), and this is right up there. 'I Thought I Knew You' is a psychological thriller in its purest and most brilliantly executed form. There are subtle shifts in direction as we hear two mothers’ voices; first Holly’s, then Jules', laying a trail of skewed perceptions, assumptions and judgements, one after the other. It’s like observing an intricate game of chess as the small group of interconnected characters make unexpected moves across the board. I kept having to stand back to look again at the whole picture – because with every chapter, the situation changes.

I love the author’s writing style, giving us delicate details about the setting and atmosphere. The depiction of the fens, the remote detached flatness of the area, drew me in completely. The story is a slow burn at the start, which those who favour quick-skim page-turners may find a challenge, but stick with it. That tiny flicker of a fuse sneaks across the floor, gathering momentum on its way, until it builds into a ginormous explosion. It’s all about action and reaction. Underpinned with ambiguity and the limitations of trust. Throw in several lies and misunderstandings and by the end the author ignites fireworks that are sufficiently dazzling they will blow your socks off. Fabulous! I loved it!

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Monday 11 November 2019

Mini Book Review: Tell No One - Harlan Coben

Tell No OneTell No One by Harlan Coben
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Loved the film (French) when it came out, years ago now - in fact it's up there as one of my all-time favourite films. The premise that someone has been long gone and suddenly seems to re-appear in covert circumstances is SO good! The book is a great page-turning read with Coben's trademark succinct character portraits - giving tiny (often scathing) details which make the players come to life in just a few sentences. There's always a brush of humour there, too - amidst the angst. Reads as an adventure/mystery/thriller. Highly recommended.

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