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Friday, 19 August 2011
By Sophie Hannah
While I was reading this book I was desperate to get to the end to find out what happened, but at the same time I didn’t want it to finish because I was enjoying it so much.
I loved the quirkiness of the story, which starts with the main character Connie looking at a property website in the middle of the night. What she sees on the website sets her on a very dangerous course of discovery.
Connie is a great study of a person falling to pieces. She’s surrounded by people who might be friends or enemies; she doesn’t know which, and nor does the reader.
One of the most impressive things about this novel is the way that absolutely every line of text counts. Every single thing that each of the characters says and does is consistent and reveals something about that person; even if the reader doesn’t discover what that is until much later.
Psychology is very important in this novel and the psychological motivations of both Connie and her husband are examined by the police investigators Sam, Simon and Charlie as they try to get to the bottom of what is going on. There is also a lot of emphasis on playing games with people’s minds and what the consequences of this can be. I found this aspect of the novel absolutely fascinating.
The plot is complex and multi-faceted and the way all the strands are brought together at the end is skilful. ‘Lasting Damage’ is a gripping, satisfying and very clever read. When I got to the end I was seriously tempted to go back to the beginning and start again.
A brilliant book in every way. I loved it.
Reviewed by Helen M Hunt
‘Lasting Damage’ is available in paperback now.
Please pop back to Bookersatz on Sunday when Sophie Hannah will be my guest reviewer, and please see my main blog Fiction Is Stranger Than Fact for an interview with American crime writer Lisa Jackson.