Book Review: Hurting Distance by Sophie Hannah

Three years ago, something terrible happened to Naomi Jenkins- so terrible she never told anyone.
Now Naomi has another secret- her lover, unhappily married Robert Haworth. When Robert vanishes, Naoimi knows he must have come to harm. But the police are less convinced, particularly when Robert's wife insists he is not missing.
Naomi is desperate. If she can't persuade the police that Robert is in danger, she'll convince them that he is a danger to others. Then they'll 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 traumatic past...

I thought that Little Face by Sophie Hannah was brilliant so I was a bit nervous about reading the next in the series. I shouldn't have worried though as Hurting Distance was just as good and has made me determined to read the others.
Naomi Jenkins is a rape victim which is the difficult subject that Hurting Distance explores. We do not know immediately what exactly or when it happened by Naomi is an extremely complex character and it is clear to see the devastating affect the rape has had on her life. Her relationship with Robert Haworth is equally as complex; they meet every Thursday at a motorway hotel for three hours, Robert goes home afterwards and Naomi spends the night alone in the same hotel room every week. When Robert doesn't arrive one Thursday she knows that something has happened to him. This takes her on a terrifying journey where she has to lie and manipulate those around her in order to find her missing lover. Naomi, however is not prepared for the fact that Robert's disappearance will cause her to visit the awful and devastating events of her past.
Sophie Hannah reintroduces us to the characters of Detective Sergeant Charlie Zailer and Detective Constable Simon Waterhouse. In Hurting Distance, the focus is more on Charlie, we see how her feelings towards Waterhouse are affecting her personal life and professional judgement. We see much more of Charlie and Simon's boss in this book, Detective Chief Inspector Proust. He is your classic, grumpy policeman but he adds a welcome touch of humour to the book.
I think that Sophie Hannah is an extremely clever writer, she litters the story with clues for the reader to pick up on, you feel as though you are part of the ongoing investigation. I worked some of the plot out but there were many twists and turns that I did not see coming.
I have already ordered the third book in the series and I am looking forward to the next story that Sophie Hannah has in store.


Anonymous said...

I had the same fears before reading this and loved it as much, both are so clever and brilliant I can't say which is better as they are equally great. I finished the third this weekend and can say its just as brilliant and throws even more impossible factors in. I think Sophie Hannah is superb!

farmlanebooks said...

I've recently read this one too. I enjoyed Little Face slightly more than this one, but I think that is just because I connected slightly more with the distress of the mother having her baby switched.

I will be reading all of her other books, but like to be able to leave a bit of time between them. I hope you enjoy the next in the series!

Dot said...

savidgereads- I think that she is superb too! The third one is on it's way in the post and a friend bought me the fourth one for my birthday!

farmlanebooks- I think that I am going to have a little rest before the next one! I enjoyed finding out more about Charlie in this one and I wonder if she will ever get what she wants with Simon!

Carole said...

I've also recently read and loved LITTLE FACE and HURTING DISTANCE. I couldn't put LITTLE FACE down but I thought HURTING DISTANCE wasn't quite as addictive! And I love the interaction between Charlie and Simon as well.
Anyway, I've just borrowed THE POINT OF RESCUE from the library which looks just as intriguing, can't wait to start it.

Dot said...

Carole- I have Point of Rescue on it's way in the post, I'm pleased to have found a new series of books to enjoy!

Anonymous said...

I´ve only read The Other Half Lives which I really enjoyed (I had no idea it was part of a series). I´m glad the other books seem to be just as suspenseful :)

Dot said...

ifyoucanreadthis- I'm looking forward to The Other Half Lives, heard lots of positive reviews!

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