When Amber Hewerdine consults a hypnotherapist as a desperate last resort, she doesn't expect that anything much will change. She doesn't expect it to help with her chronic insomnia. And she doesn't expect to hear herself, under hypnosis, saying words that mean nothing to her: 'Kind, cruel, kind of cruel'. These are words she has seen somewhere before, if only she could remember where….
She also doesn't expect to be arrested two hours later, as a result of having spoken those words out loud, in connection with the brutal murder of Katharine Allen, a woman she's never heard of.
©2012 Sophie Hannah (P)2012 Hodder & Stoughton
A convoluted plot - that becomes ever more tortured - is overlaid with a cast of judgmental characters who never use one word when 10 will do in this endurance test of a book. Smug, self satisfied preaching is no substitute for imaginative engagement.
"Mystery behind the mystery"
Amazing book, incredibly well written and narrated. More of a psychological thriller than a crime thriller, with never a dull moment. Keeps you questioning 'why' and 'how', with the answers slowly unraveling bit by bit. I'm a big fan of Sophie Hannah, and this is probably her best book so far.
"Way too much psychoanalysis"
It could be a very good novel but especially the last few hours get increasingly tedious with lots and lots of psychoanalysis. Throughout the novel there are parts when the of conversation and internal thoughts get boringly detailed and very unnecessarily drawn out, adding hardly anything to the story. Amber the main character was getting on my nerves with the constant internal huffing and puffing at the hypno-therapist, I found myself almost wishing she would turn out to be the murderer. Such an irritating know-it better! And if she's got such a fantastic sense for sussing out personalities why is she insisting on being friends with a passive-agressive psycho she doesn't even like!
The last hour or so when we've already got the murderer I'm wondering is this still going anywhere or can the writer just not resist educating the readers on all the psychology she learned during the research for the book and found so fascinating.
This is a terrific novel. The plot is exciting, the suspense is brilliant, the characters are believable and the different narrative voices make it really interesting. Highly reccomended.
"Better than I thought it would be."
I downloaded this book by accident, I was distracted at the time and thought I'd downloaded another book. I didn't think I'd enjoy the story and I didn't like the idea of three different narrators. However, I started listening anyway with the attitude that I've paid for it now, I may as well listen to it. I didn't like the main character to begin with, but she really grew on me, the same with the psychobabble - after a while it all began to make sense. A really good story, a bit different. I've only marked it down to 4 stars because, although the three narrators were good, I think it would have been better with just one narrator. Will definitely look for more titles by the same author.
"Difficult to follow"
I am sorry to say I found this audio hardwork, I thought the characterisation was poor and too psychologically intense. I never found myself wanting to know what happened next, but to get to the end as quick as possible. I neither felt warmth or understanding of the characters, despite the detailled psycho -analysis. Am sure if you like this genre you will enjoy it. I watch with interest other reviews. I may just be a lone voice!
"Psychological thriller with a good twist!"
I really enjoy the psychological domestic dramas that Sophia Hannah creates. She's a writer who creates characters I can identify with, and there's a sense of creepy reality in her books. Kind of Cruel is a clever book with a good whodunit element to it. It also rejoins the police characters we've met in her previous books, and it's nice to catch up with Charlie Zailer and her emotionally useless policeman husband.
"Kind of Disappointing"
II wanted to like this story, but in the end it was purely a stubborn streak that kept me listening. Yes it was clever with some good literary tricks, but the plot was far too convoluted, unbelievable even for a fictional novel and as other reviewers have noted steeped in psychoanalysis. Yes I will listen to further Sophie Hannah books as the development of the sub-plots between the police characters and their relations is intriguing; although how come Waterhouse hasn’t been promoted! Very well narrated especially enjoyed the use of three narrators.
"Not very believable"
Much too much psycho-analysis for my taste. I liked some of the characters but the plot was convoluted
and slightly absurd.
I love Sophie Hannah's books, but this was incredibly tedious. The characters and plot were unbeleivable and I really couldnt finish it - a first.
"A classic Sophie Hannah story"
The usual twists and turns that you would expect from a Sophie Hannah story. Not sure how successful it was to have 3 readers - I must admit to getting a little confused at times. The plot twist at the end is a step too far - so very typical of Sophie Hannah's books. Well worth a listen.
Report Inappropriate Content