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

Did You See Melody? – Sophie Hannah

Psychological Thriller
5*s

When you pick up one of Sophie Hannah’s books, I’ve learnt it is best to expect the unexpected and she’s done it again, I was gripped by the mystery of the seven year old’s disappearance seven years ago, a disappearance that had gripped America from the start.

As to be expected from this hugely talented author we have characters that are so memorable you’ll want to send them a Christmas card, or at perhaps cross them off the list, because,  some of them aren’t very nice at all!

Cara Burrows has booked herself into a five star hotel in Arizona, miles from her husband and two teenage children, simply leaving a note to tell them she will be back on 24 October. It takes a while for the reader to understand how this seemingly nice woman could take such an action, or perhaps more importantly why. Patience is key, Sophie Hannah starts with a mystery which demands an answer but she makes her readers wait for them, but fear not, the answers are all given in good time. Cara arrives at Swallowtail resort late at night and is booked in by the receptionist. She makes her way to the room, only to find that it is already occupied by a father and daughter who she disturbs from their sleep. The receptionist is deeply apologetic and finds her a new room.

Staying at the hotel at the same time as Cara is an elderly lady who has ‘seen’ Melody at the resort each time she has stayed there. Melody was a girl who was all over the news and excerpts from talk shows before the culprits were arrested are included in the novel. This platform is useful for discussing the very different ways that crimes are handled by the media in the UK and the US. In the US the talk show host Bonnie Juror is able to shout her beliefs from her chat show without threat of perverting the course of justice, something that simply would never happen in the UK, although of course it doesn’t stop individuals speculating when we see the sadly all too familiar media statements from grieving families.

With Cara needing a bit of displacement activity she makes a very reserved British bond with two fellow sun lounger inhabitants, a mother and daughter both of whom had me in stitches with their brilliant one-liners with the differences in approach between the two nations accurately portrayed. Anyway between them they educate Cara on the full Melody story and encourage her growing suspicion that Melody is still alive and on the resort.

Taken in parts this story is completely unbelievable but I really didn’t mind, the journey was so entertaining, the commentary that underlines the storyline on a number of different subjects is true which allowed me to believe in the right circumstances with a good handful of coincidences thrown in that this could be true…

This is the perfect summer read although if you are staying in a less than palatial resort you may experience some envy, with brilliant characters, each one is so superbly drawn (and coloured in) with a fair bit of drama to ensure that a soothing massage I required by the time you turn that brilliant last page.

Thank you to the publishers Hodder & Stoughton who allowed me to read this book ahead of publication on 24 August 2017 – this unbiased review is my thanks to them.

First Published UK: 24 August 2017
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
No of Pages: 400
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Amazon UK
Amazon US 

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
9. The Telling Error
10. The Narrow Bed

 

Standalone Books

A Game for all the Family

Author:

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

26 thoughts on “Did You See Melody? – Sophie Hannah

    1. Sophie Hannah is a genius Meggy – there was only one of her books I didn’t enjoy and I wrote that it was simply too clever for me as I was just totally confused! This is a fun read and perfect escapism to that five star holiday resort!

  1. I’m so looking forward to reading this! The review in yesterday’s Sunday Times says it’s her best yet and she’s already written some crackers. She’s also doing a great job on her Hercule Poirot novels.

    1. Funnily enough I despite loving Poirot and Sophie Hannah’s writing I haven’t read those yet… I think I enjoyed A Game for all the Family marginally more but she’s such a genius at coming up with totally new ideas that it is hard to compare.

  2. This one sounds quite suspenseful, Cleo, and as much because of the characters as anything else. Those sorts of stories can keep a reader thoroughly absorbed. And I like the idea of looking at the different ways that the media operate in different places. Interesting!! Glad you enjoyed this.

  3. I love this author’s books…and tried to order this one, but there was a message that they couldn’t ship to my address….but I changed the bookseller and it worked. Yay!

    I don’t often order paperbacks or hardcover, preferring the instant gratification of an e-book…but some books are worth waiting for. I always get the Nicci French books in those formats.

    Thanks for sharing.

  4. Hiya! Good post! I’m new to blogging and I would love it if you could read my latest blog post and comment on it. Keep on blogging you guys! Xoxo

  5. Nope! Still haven’t got over her Poirot book – I am the champion of bearing bookish grudges! 😉 Glad you enjoyed it, though, and I’m sure you’ll break down my resistance to her some day…

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