Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Hurting Distance - Sophie Hannah

Three years ago, something terrible happened to Naomi Jenkins - so terrible she never told a anyone.

Now Naomi has another secret  her lover, unhappily married Robert Haworth. When Robert vanishes, Naomi knows he must have come to harm. But the police are less convinced, particularly when Robert's wife insists he is not missing.

Naomi is desperate. If she can't persuade the police that Robert is in danger, she'll convince them that he a danger to others. Then they'll have to look for him - urgently.

Naomi knows how to describe in detail the actions of a psychopath. All she needs to do is dig up her own traumatic past ....

Published By: Hodder & Stroughton - Fiction
Year: 2007 - Paperback
Pages: 408
ISBN: 978-1-4447-1092-2

This is the second psychological thriller of Sophie Hannah in which she features Sargent Cbarlie Zailer and DC Simon Waterhouse. The story is separated into three parts. In part one you learn that Robert Haworth appears to be missing and that no one seems concerned apart from his mistress Naomi Jenkins.  Whilst being interviewed by Zailer and Waterhouse Ms. Jenkins gives them a business card for Silver Brae Challets instead of her own business card for her sundial business. This error on Ms. Jenkins part soon becomes a significant lead to the identity of a serial rapist.  In part two you learn the secret of Ms. Jenkins past when she accuses Robert Haworth of attacking her three years previously what Ms. Jenkins didn't realise was how near to the truth she was about her attacker.  In part three comes the twist of the story and one that you will not have guessed up until this point and from then on everything that has happened in the previous two parts will fall into place.  

I had read Ms. Hannah's first novel 'Little Face' last year and I wasn't that struck by it at all and was left feeling that the story was quite weak and not necessarily very believable.  'Hurting Distance' is the tenth book I have read from my yet to be read shelf.  Having been disappointed with her previous novel I suppose I had just kept moving this one along the shelf in search of something better.  I was pleasantly surprised at the difference between the two novels.  I like the fact she continues to use her two main characters in Charlie Zailer and Simon Waterhouse and believe she has continued with this vein in her future novels.  This was a much better read for me and far more believable and if her subsequent books have continued along the same theme I would be be tempted to read more of her work.  The content was so vastly improved that I could see a police drama series being bought to life featuring these two  main characters based on Ms. Hannah's Psychological thrillers. 

Have any of you read any other Sophie Hannah novels and would you have one in particular you would recommend?

Happy reading one & all



  1. I went through a phase of reading Sophie Hannah, but stopped at The Point of Rescue, which I think is the third of her novels. I don't enjoy psychological thrillers as much as straightforward detective fiction. I would probably go back to reading this author, but there are so many other writers such as Ruth Rendall writing as Barbara Vine that would be further up the book pile than a Sophie Hannah novel.

  2. Couldn't agree more her first novel Little Face I found really hard work and if I hadn't already got Hurting Distance sat on the shelf I don't think I would of gone out of my way to buy it. This second novel was a huge improvement on the first and hopefully she will of continued to grow. I did go through a phase many years ago of reading a lot of Psychological thrillers but not so much these days. I was drawn to the Sophie Hannah's as she was at school with a relative of mine so I knew her as a young girl prior to her success as a writer in fact I still have a copy of one of her children s books 'Carrot the Goldfish' I think it was called that she gave to my eldest son who is now 26 when he was about 3 packed away somewhere.


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