Posted in Book Review, Books I have read, Five Star Reads

The Telling Error – Sophie Hannah

Psychological Thriller 5*'s
Psychological Thriller

The Telling Error is the ninth in the Culver Valley series which features the extremely clever but somewhat odd Simon Waterhouse and his wife Charlie who solve the fiendishly complex psychology to explain an equally intricately planned crime.

The book starts with a post on Intimate Connections website with a post entitled “Looking For A Secret”, the post then goes onto describe a murder-scene and appealing to the murderer who the author is certain is female. Who would post the question and would anyone be compelled to answer? This opening had me hooked, which is not unusual for one of Sophie Hannah’s books and I was like a fish on the end of the line until the last page.

In The Telling Error a well-known controversial columnist Damon Blundy is found dead in mysterious circumstances and the police trail leads back to Nicki Clements. Nicky to be fair, doesn’t help matters by taking a detour to avoid a policeman she recognises, although as a reader you may have little sympathy when you read about her cyber secrets. Nicky is a misguided woman who seems to have a bit of a wimp of a husband who has turned to the internet for a bit of excitement which unsurprisingly threatens to blow her world apart. Nicky also reveals a worrying past where it appears she longs to be loved for who she is, but tellingly has been wary of revealing the truth to any of the normal candidates including her best-friend or her husband.

One of the things the author does really well is an intricate plot (sometimes far too intricate) giving a sense of satisfaction as the pieces slot into place revealing some fairly outrageous motives, in this book, just on the right side of believable. On another level this book examines the recent phenomenon of cyber relationships, long-kept secrets and sibling relationships. Even while describing unusual characters the author handles this with a surety which gives quite an insight into human behaviour while simultaneously entertaining the reader with a complex puzzle.

Although the Police are constant throughout the series their own stories don’t over shadow the main action which means that anyone of these books can be picked up and enjoyed as a stand-alone read.

I was delighted to find that this was one Sophie Hannah’s better novels. I have read them all and enjoyed the majority, although I struggled with her last book so this one was approached with a caution which was completely unfounded.

I was lucky enough to receive a copy of this book from the publishers Hodder & Stoughton ahead of publication on 24 April 2014.

Culver Valley Series
1. Little Face
2. Hurting Distance
3. The Point of Rescue
4. The Other Half Lives
5. A Room Swept White
6. Lasting Damage
7. A Kind of Cruel
8. The Carrier


A book lover who clearly has issues as obsessed with crime despite leading a respectable life

24 thoughts on “The Telling Error – Sophie Hannah

  1. This sounds like an interesting read. I’ve probably said it before but outward appearances are just shells. A human being is so much more complex inside. One doesn’t know his/her past or how it has affected that person.


    1. That is so true. Every one of us has hidden layers. At its best the past informs the future but can be so damaging and very hard, if not impossible to overcome. I think I enjoy books like this because I like examining the way different people think and Sophie Hannah has a real insight into the psychology of a wide spectrum. Each of her books is different.


  2. That’s probably one of the best descriptions of Sophie Hannah’s appeal: seemingly impossible set-up, intricate plot, then the pieces slot into place revealing some fairly outrageous motives,just on the right side of believable. I too was less blown away by The Carrier than by her earlier novels, so am glad to find out that this one is Hannah on top form again.


  3. I am hooked on this author, and have read several books in this series: Little Face, A Room Swept White, Lasting Damage, and A Kind of Cruel. This one is definitely on my list.


    1. Although the subject matter is different this is right up there with A Room Swept White and A Kind of Cruel for the ingenious, on the edge of believable, plot! I really enjoyed it so it deserves a place on that list 🙂


  4. I was terribly disappointed in The Carrier too – so much so that I wasn’t rushing to find out about this book – but I’m delighted to know that it’s a return to form and that maybe I haven’t ‘lost’ an author after all.


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