The Dead Lie Down Hardcover – Large Print, Sep 1 2010
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'This utterly gripping thriller should establish her as one of the great unmissables of this genre - intelligent, classy and with a wonderfully Gothic imagination' -- The Times on THE OTHER HALF LIVES 'A masterclass in plotting that adds twist after twist in a hectic finale' -- Sunday Times on THE OTHER HALF LIVES 'Beautifully written and precision-engineered to unsettle' -- Guardian on THE OTHER HALF LIVES 'The interest of any crime or thriller fan will be piqued by Hannah's early chapters, but even the most Machiavellian-minded will be confounded by the serpentine twists of her audacious plotting.' -- Independent on THE OTHER HALF LIVES 'This book is long but never tedious, and, as with the finest examples of the genre, Hannah refuses to allow the reader any hope of predicting how it will all end until she decides to put the final piece of the jigsaw in place' -- Daily Express on THE OTHER HALF LIVES 'Beautifully written and absorbingly chilling, this is a tale that steadily builds in tension, throwing up twists and turns that keep you guessing right up until the very end' -- SHE on THE OTHER HALF LIVES 'An intricate and sinister suspense novel' -- Woman & Home on THE OTHER HALF LIVES 'Sophie Hannah is the new British queen of the psychological thriller' -- Heat 'Sophie Hannah has become the master, or mistress, of suspense. This one's even better than her others. Each moment is so purely enjoyable. Her genius is that she creates these very real characters - absolutely incredible. She's at the very peak of crime fiction at the moment.' -- Boyd Hilton, Simon Mayo, BBC Radio 5 Live 'Hannah combines the baroque pleasures of dizzyingly convoluted plotting with witty dialogue, a rare depth of characterisation and emotional force ... addictive stuff ... the book will have to be prised from your hands' -- Guardian on THE OTHER HALF LIVES 'Sophie Hannah has done this before and is doing it again brilliantly. You have to keep turning the pages. As twisted as fairy lights in the loft after Christmas. Very clever, very cunning.' -- Joel Morris, Simon Mayo, BBC Radio 5 Live 'A truly gripping thriller' -- Psychologies on THE OTHER HALF LIVES 'Wonderfully inventive' -- Sunday Express on THE OTHER HALF LIVES 'This is a monster book in every sense. It is both a chunky psychological thriller and a testamony to the legacy of depravity ... The trademark neuroses that afflict many of Sophie Hannah's characters lead to multiple twists in the plot, while her brilliantly acerbic dialogue lightens this clever but complicated tale' -- Charlotte Norman, Waterstone's Books Quarterly on THE OTHER HALF LIVES 'The pages keep turning ... The firm grip of suspense will hold you fast until the thrilling ending.' -- Sunday Telegraph, Australia 'A terrific page-turner, one of those really creepy suspense novels with so many twists that it is impossible to guess the ending.' -- Bookseller on THE OTHER HALF LIVES 20081114 'A real chiller; the clever plot will keep you hooked and guessing to the end' -- Choice on THE OTHER HALF LIVES 20081114 'Genuinely unsettling ... Fabulous stuff ' -- shotsmag.co.uk on THE OTHER HALF LIVES 20081114 'Hannah, like Rendell and Fremlin before her, takes ordinary domestic setting and turns them into something extraordinary ... THE OTHER HALF LIVES proves that she is an established force to be reckoned with ... a marvellous piece of literary conjuring' -- Crime Squad magazine 20081114 Praise for Sophie Hannah's previous novels -- : 20081114 'Bewitching' -- The Sunday Times 20081114 'Beautifully written, outstandingly chilling' -- Spectator 20081114 'A superbly creepy, twisty thriller about obsessive love, psychological torture, and the darkest chambers of the human heart' -- The Times 20081114 'Sophie Hannah's ingenious, almost surreal mysteries are so intricately constructed that it's impossible to guess how they will end. It's a compelling and disquieting story, told with the author's usual panache.' -- Sunday Telegraph 20081114 'Chilling, compulsive and with a genius twist' -- Elle 20081114 'Sophie Hannah brings many gifts to crime fiction. She is a poet whose use of language is precise, and her images are evocative. As a novelist, her overriding interests lie in people on the edge and in the relationships that have driven them there.' -- Times Literary Supplement 20081114 --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.
About the Author
Sophie Hannah is a best-selling, award-winning poet. Her latest collection, First of the Last Chances, was chosen for the Poetry Book Society's Next Generation promotion in June 2004. She regularly performs her poetry to live audiences nationwide and abroad, and recently won first prize in the Daphne Du Maurier Festival Short Story Competition for her psychological suspense story The Octopus Nest. Little Face is her first psychological crime novel. Sophie lives in West Yorkshire with her husband and two children. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.See all Product Description
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Sophie Hannah's books are not always equal in quality. I loved her The Wrong Mother: A Novel, found Little Face to be OK although not really gripping and was disappointed by the Hurting Distance which in places was graphic to the point of being traumatizing. I almost decided not to go back for more books in the Zailer/Waterhouse series as a result of this uneven quality of the author's writing. I'm very happy that I decided to give her mystery novels one more try and bought The Dead Lie Down.
From the very first pages, this book catches you in its grip and doesn't let you go until you are done. The characters are so weird and their relationships are so curiously dysfunctional that I was often reminded of the mysteries by the matchless Ruth Rendell, the true master of the psychological mystery genre from Britain. There is nothing boring, ordinary, or pedestrian in this novel. As an added bonus to the fascinating mystery and the engrossing relationships between characters, you get a glimpse of the art world in Britain, with its art fairs, quaint galleries, and strange personalities that inhabit this universe.
But Ruth's is not the only odd, and chaste, relationship, Sergeant Charlotte "Charlie" Zailer, ex-CID currently working with the Culver Valley Police, and her fiancé DC Simon Waterhouse, both making a return appearance here, being the other. But dysfunctional connections, familial and otherwise, abound in this novel. Charlie's back-story is not gone into in any detail, except that is clear that yet another past relationship nearly ruined her life, and severely damaged her career. Simon's career is here regularly threatened as well.
These characters come together when Ruth seeks out Charlie, to whom she is a stranger, to tell her that Aiden has told her that he has killed a woman, a woman Ruth knows to be quite alive. Beyond that, the salient story lines take a lot of patience on the part of the reader, or it did this one at the least. It takes a couple of hundred pages before any part of the intricate and convoluted plot makes any sense, and another hundred or so before any clarity takes place. There are several twists and turns, and shocking revelations, along the way.
When Aiden makes his startling admission, Ruth is appalled. The catch is that the woman Aiden claims to have killed is not dead. Mary Trelease lives at 15 Megson Crescent on the Winstanley Estate, a rough neighborhood whose residents are steeped in squalor and hopelessness. Trelease is a painter who jealously guards her work from prying eyes. Aiden shows no obvious signs of mental illness, so why is he confessing to a murder that he did not commit?
To answer this question, the author goes back and forth in time and shifts point of view frequently. In addition, she teases us with bits of information that, by themselves, mean very little. Eventually, the puzzle pieces come together to form a ghastly whole.
Hannah is a fine descriptive writer with a strong eye for detail. For example, her depiction of a party during which Sergeant Charlotte Zailer and her fiancé, DC Simon Waterhouse, celebrate their engagement at "a dingy room in a pub," along with family and friends, is excruciating, embarrassing, funny, yet also unutterably sad. Simon and Charlie are a wounded pair and people say cruel things about them behind their backs. What should have been a festive occasion turns into a cringe-worthy fiasco.
Hannah's characters are off-beat and intriguing, but her plot is bizarre and convoluted. If an extremely lengthy explanation is needed to clarify the narrative, then something is amiss. "The Dead Lie Down" concludes with so many pages of exposition that a scorecard is needed to keep track of who did what to whom and why. Sophie Hannah's "The Dead Lie Down" is a multi-faceted psychological thriller about guilt, revenge, self-destruction, and redemption. It would have been even more satisfying, however, had the story been less dense and more grounded in reality,