Hurting Distance : Culver Valley Crime Book 2, Paperback

Hurting Distance : Culver Valley Crime Book 2 Paperback

Part of the Culver Valley Crime series

4 out of 5 (15 ratings)


The second stunning thriller from queen of psychological crime, Sophie Hannah, perfect for fans of Liane Moriarty. 'Superbly creepy' Guardian 'Rivetingly original' Sunday Times Sometimes love must kill before it can die.

Three years ago, something terrible happened to Naomi Jenkins - so terrible that she never told anybody. Now Naomi has another secret - the man she has fallen passionately in love with, unhappily married Robert Haworth. When Robert vanishes without trace, Naomi knows he must have come to harm. But the police are less convinced, particularly when Robert's wife insists he is not missing. In desperation, Naomi has a crazy idea. If she can't persuade the police that Robert is in danger, perhaps she can convince them that he is a danger to others. Then they will have to look for him - urgently. Naomi knows how to describe in detail the actions of a psychopath. All she needs to do is dig up her own troubled past ...


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 432 pages, n/a
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton General Division
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Thriller / suspense
  • ISBN: 9780340840344



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Showing 1 - 5 of 15 reviews.

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Review by

This is one of those satisfying books that begin by seeming to be pedestrian, with nasty events overwritten for predictable schlock value, and then unfolds into a deeply layered and involving story, complete with theme and a title that does more than apply two attention-grabbing buzz-words from within the text to the front cover. Characters that threatened to be cardboard stereotypes revealed themselves as disturbing and compelling, relationships that could have died on the page proved scratchy and irresistible, the plot twisted like a hurt thing, and a book that I could easily have put down within the first thirty pages became one that I will probably re-read, just to be sure I picked up on all the elements that were there to be noticed. Not as immediately engrossing as ‘Little Face’, but more rewarding; Hannah does credit to hard themes, disturbing the reader by turns subtly, and in-your-face, without overdoing either.

Review by

I wish there were more stars availabe as this book has left me chilled. I was captivated! I read the second half of the book alone last night and I wish I hadn't; my heart was racing. Although there are a few bits I'd like to discuss with someone to clear up; this has got to be the best thriller I've read this year and possibly one of my top ten books of the year. I've not read `Little Face' therefore I have no preconceptions of this writer's style. If it's as good as this I'll wait until I have company thank you very much! I did partially struggle with the how Sophie Hannah had Naomi addressing Robert as `you' as this made the reading somewhat challenging. However, when the plot runs away from about Chapter 9, I was able to switch off from this. We are introduced to quite a few characters over the space of the novel but the main one is Naomi Jenkins. Having suffered a traumatic experience (and I mean traumatic, it is quite horrific) three years ago, she hasn't really got over it in my opinion. Having never told anyone she decides to describe it in detail when her married lover, Robert Haworth goes missing. She figures that by saying Robert committed the crime in question against her the police will take her concerns seriously, as opposed to presenting herself as a jealous mistress. I've not carried out any research into this book so I don't know how Sophie Hannah has been able to write with such clarity but my goodness it is disturbing and gripping. You will like Naomi one minute and despise her next; then there comes along her flat mate, the detective and other characters. Be prepared for one huge rollercoaster. Cancel your plans and turn on the fire; this is a read you need to be ready for.

Review by

This is an excellent novel: well plotted, engaging, disturbing and convincing.The ‘secret’ mentioned in the blurb is revealed in the email printed before the start of the first chapter and is key to the novel, but not in the way you would expect. Naomi Jenkins was raped three years ago but has decided that she is a survivor; she has told no one of her ordeal and has found herself a lover, albeit a married man. The email suggests a very individual response to feelings and situations, which is bourne out as soon as the reader hears her voice. Naomi’s first person narrative, which is interspersed throughout the dominant third person narrative, is addressed to a ‘you’, her missing lover, and engages the reader immediately as she seeks to explain why she has broken the only promise she ever made him. Initially an unsympathetic character – obsessive, devious, imperious – she gradually evolves into a heroine of sorts as the novel develops and she responds more personally to her past.Detective Charlie Zailer initially dismisses Naomi’s worries as unfounded and ridiculous, thinking she is just another woman who can’t accept that her lover has returned to his wife. In fact, Charlie goes on holiday, a fact which may seem irrelevant but, in this tightly plotted novel, becomes anything but. This leads to Naomi’s daring act: she confesses her truth, twisted into a lie, and forces the police to investigate this ‘disappearance’ fully. Their subsequent initial discovery creates more questions which neither Naomi nor her lover’s wife seems willing to answer. All three women endure emotional difficulties, although they often seem firmly in control of what they choose to reveal to others. This creates a more engaging plot as the reader tries to identify with their feelings and actions.The baddies are also carefully developed. Although not initially obvious, their earlier actions and dialogue allow the reader to think ‘of course’ when their role is revealed. The casual attitude some of them take towards their action is terrifying, far more so than if they reveled in their own evil; they do not seem to recognize their actions as wrong and respond to mundane points in typically mundane ways: here is evil made appallingly human. Ultimately the novel is not about what has been done to Naomi, but what is being done to her and the lengths that one person can stretch to hurt another.Revelations are gradual and always believable, supported by relevant dialogue which fleshes out the characters and relevant history. Even the seemingly obligatory (for this genre) showdown in which the criminal confesses his motives to the potential final victim is largely believable. Twists continue until the final few pages, making this compelling reading. Even those twists which you can predict are thoughtfully unfolded, revealing more than anticipated in their execution. Chapters typically end, James Patterson style, on a dramatic cliffhanger that you need resolved.Dialogue forms a large part of the novel and flows neatly, perhaps due to the author’s practice in poetry. This contrasts sharply to the chapters narrated by Naomi, where her thoughts often seem clipped by contrast, consisting of largely simple sentences beginning with ‘I’. This helps to create a distinct voice for the character but also slows the pace slightly.A surprising but very enjoyable element of the novel was the occasional flashes of comedy. Proust, in particular, seems to be the focus of much humour as he over-reacts to situations, although his character is far from one-dimensional. The humour never detracts from the seriousness of the situations, but does provide a welcome respite from the often emotionally draining atmosphere.Overall, this is a compelling read in which the author rarely hits a wrong note. As soon as I had finished I reread key sections of the narrative to fully appreciate the skilful storytelling. Be prepared to set aside a large chunk of your day to read it in one sitting!

Review by

A very entertaining read about a rapist and how he is tracked down. Easy to get into but kept my interest throughout. Very cleverly thought out.

Review by

Found this quite a gripping read from start to nearly the finish where I found it started to fall apart.

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