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Hannah, Sophie - 'Lasting Damage'
Paperback: 464 pages (Aug. 2011) Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks ISBN: 0340980680

Connie Bowskill seems to have everything: a wonderful husband, a lovely house, a caring family. So why is her life falling apart and why is she frightened? The story starts with the information that Connie knows she is going to be killed - for a family she hasn't even met. We are then taken back to join with her in trying to find out why and how she has got to that point. The story starts by her searching on a website for details of a house for sale in Cambridge. As she watches the visual tour of the house, she sees the body of a woman, covered in blood, but when she gets her husband to look a few minutes later, the body and blood are no longer visible.

Connie's family is manipulative and claustrophobic, her role defined within its close confines, her need to break away, and fears of doing so, not understood and ignored. Kit, Connie's husband seems so supportive and yet doesn't really help, but instead seems to reinforce Connie's fears and inaction.

This is a psychological roller coaster of a book, one that I had great difficulty in putting down. I found myself believing in Connie and the next minute thinking I was reading the story of a woman whose paranoia was causing her to fall apart. The detective in the story is a strange complex character who also demands the reader's attention and understanding.

A fascinating and compelling read, this book reminds me of early Barbara Vines in some ways. I have never read Sophie Hannah before but will rectify that as soon as I can. I thoroughly recommend it - a very good read.

Read another review of LASTING DAMAGE.

Susan White, England
October 2011

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 9/10/2011 13:15