Louise has no reason left to stay in the city. She can't see her son, Joseph, who is away at boarding school, where he performs in a prestigious boys' choir. Her troublesome neighbor has begun blasting choral music at all hours of the night - and to make matters worse, she's the only one who can hear it.
Hoping to find some peace, Louise convinces her husband to buy a country house in an idyllic community called Swallowfield. But it seems that the haunting melodies have followed her there. Growing desperate, she begins to worry about her mental health. Against the pleas and growing disquiet of her husband, Louise starts to suspect that this sinister choir is not only real but a warning.
©2013 Sophie Hannah (P)2014 Dreamscape Media, LLC
"This stand-alone novel, a break from Hannah's series of psychological police procedurals featuring Charlie Zailer and Simon Waterhouse, is a riveting story in which suspense snowballs to a climax that is all the more dire for its everyday contemporary English setting. Absolutely haunting, in every sense of the word." (Booklist)
"Chilling. A must listen." (Daily Express)
"Horrifically good." (The Independent)
"This bestselling thriller writer knows how to pile on the tension, and her ending is chillingly, memorably disturbing." (The Sunday Times)
Anglophile. Prefer only British fiction and mysteries. Good translations of Italian, too.
The prose was pitch perfect. The reader was incredibly right for the story. I could not stop listening to this mystery.
Earlier Sophie Hannah mysteries, to be sure.`
It would be unfair to reveal too much, but the orphan choir in the lake .... resonated.
Also, the scene where the Cambridge house was scaffolded, windows closed, etc.
I laughed sardonically as the wit was so acute in the depiction of social mores and times - with regard to noise and no noise v. choral singing. The book haunted.
I normally do not read novels that one could describe as "suspense" for the most part. I am a fan of modern detective mysteries, classic British cozies, etc.
This book, because I have read the author's previous work, was a risk for me. Well worth it. I could not recommend it more highly.
I thought at first it must be me, because Sophie Hanna's standard is usually high. Not in this book though. Irritating, unbelievable, not-fleshed-out characters, a woolly plot and a completely incomprehensible end. I've returned the book.
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