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Hannah, Sophie - 'Kind of Cruel'
Hardback: 384 pages (Feb. 2012) Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton ISBN: 0340980699

Amber's extended family also includes her husband's brother, Neil, his wife Jo, their children and his wife's relatives. Amber is obsessed by a mystery that happened on a Christmas holiday arranged for the whole family by Jo. Jo, Neil and their children suddenly disappeared on Christmas Eve and returned on Boxing Day with no explanation. Amber cannot understand why everyone accepts the situation and why she seems to be the only one that wants to know what happened. Amber has since become the guardian of two children whom she and her husband Luke are hoping to adopt. They are the children of Amber's best friend, Sharon, who was murdered in a fire at her home.

Since the children came to live with them, Amber hasn't been able to sleep. She decides to visit a hypnotist as a final resort to help her cure her insomnia. She is a reluctant client, not really having any hope that hypnotism will help. Amber finds the experience disturbing and accuses Ginny, the therapist of putting words in her mouth and leaves without paying. A couple of hours later she is visited by the police who want to interview her in a murder case, a case where the same words were found written near to the body of a woman that Amber has never even met.

This is a fascinating book about the difference between memory and story. There are two narrators - Amber and one other and their voices intertwine throughout in alternate chapters. Amber's voice is in the present, the "other voice" is an analytical addition that seems to have a different narrative to Amber's story.

I was looking forward to this book very much and it did not disappoint. Simon and Charlie from the previous books also feature again and their story is taken forward without distracting from Amber. Again we are given insights into Simon and Charlie's relationship as the new storyline unravels its secrets.

I cannot recommend this author enough - I find her books so interesting and readable.

Susan White, England
February 2012

Details of the author's other books with links to reviews can be found on the Books page.
More European crime fiction reviews can be found on the Reviews page.

last updated 4/03/2012 10:23