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Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Book Review: The Telling Error by Sophie Hannah

This latest psychological thriller by Sophie Hannah deals with the murder of hated journalist Damon Blundy who has fashioned a career out of offending people. He's been tied up and killed with a knife - but there are no stab wounds - and 'HE IS NO LESS DEAD' is scrawled on the wall. It's a confusing case for the police, especially when so many people had a reason to want rid of Blundy. What does Nicki Clements have to do with the murder and why does she panic and do a U-turn to escape being stopped by the police at the scene? And what does her internet dating have to do with anything?

Sophie Hannah's books nearly always wrong foot me and this was no exception. There are so many strands, so many fascinatingly horrible characters, that I was rather disappointed I didn't get to learn more about them at the end of the novel. Human relationships are the core of psychological thrillers and The Telling Error certainly gives us copious representations of bad ones. For instance, the relationship Nicki has with her parents, brother and sister-in-law was something I found very interesting. Equally, two of the marriages at the heart of the book are quite creepy, though I won't spoil it by giving any details.

I did enjoy this book but it left me uneasy - I suppose that's the mark of a good one. The world of internet relationships and internet hate springs to life and gets very tangled. I also had to sit for a few minutes after finishing it to recount everything in my head and re-evaluate the novel from the new perspectives that been introduced in the final pages.

On the police side of things, DC Simon Waterhouse is as difficult as ever but the real 'mystery' this time is what's going on with his sister-in-law and colleague's affair. That's something I'll look forward to understanding in the next book hopefully. Oh, and I have to thank Hannah for making me laugh out loud with some of DI Proust's lines. I can never get enough of him and he lightened the book at some very opportune moments.

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