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Kind of Cruel (Spilling CID #7)

3.58  ·  Rating Details ·  3,619 Ratings  ·  479 Reviews
Described as having "perfected the psychological thriller" (Bookseller), Sophie Hannah deserves plenty of praise for Kind Of Cruel, a chilling novel which takes fear and suspense to a whole new level.

When Amber Hewerdine consults a hypnotherapist as a last resort, she doesn't expect that anything much will change. She doesn't expect it to help with her chronic insomnia ..
Paperback, 376 pages
Published February 16th 2012 by Hodder & Stoughton (first published 2012)
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Community Reviews

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Apr 17, 2012 Melissa rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Reading some of the other reviews for this book, I see the problems I have with it must be within myself. This is the first Sophie Hanna novel I've read and it will be the last. I found myself skimming through it. I found some of the scenes particularly claustrophobic, especially those involving the whole family and page after page of dialogue that seemed to go nowhere. I found that if I just read the last few lines of it, I got to the point a lot faster. The chapter separators were equally anno ...more
Jan 12, 2013 Ankur rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Well, i would really say that title of the book has more relevance to what the reader might feel after reading the book then it having much to do in the story itself.

I really wonder if "Psychological" thriller means reading pages after pages about the protagonist thought process, making very little sense to the reader and wondering whether i am reading case file of a psychlolgist.

80% of the book is devoted to problems of Amber and in the end very little gets explained of its reasons and origins.
Feb 09, 2017 Sheila rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2017
4 stars, I really liked it. Probably my favorite Sophie Hannah book.

Though Simon and Charlie are as weird as ever, their perplexing relationship is on the back-burner in this book. Instead of one central mystery, there are several (ranging from murder and arson to family secrets), and I was fascinated by all of them.

You have to really suspend your disbelief, but I personally enjoyed the melodramatic, over-the-top plot. I also really liked Amber, the prickly, obstinate protagonist of this book.
Oct 14, 2012 Bibliophile rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Liked this one much more than the last few Hannah books. As always, it's necessary to suspend disbelief in regard to the unlikely coincidences and bisarre plot twists, but once you've done that, it's a very entertaining read.

Kind of cruel stars the usual dysfunctional middle class families keeping secrets from each other, as well as the equally dysfunctional detectives completely disregarding proper procedure. There's also a hypnotherapist, a locked room, mysterious scribblings in a notebook, i
Barbara Elsborg
Two and half stars. I like Sophie Hannah's books though I didn't like this one as much as some of the others. It seemed to ramble at times and lack cohesion and any impetus to drive the plot forward. The intertwining of the two plots - the part with Amber, Jo etc and the policemen and women investigating, didn't always work for me. I can see the link that Ms Hannah was making with regard to children's relationships with parents affecting adults in different ways but it all seemed to run alongsid ...more
Dec 11, 2012 Philtrum rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
A couple of years prior to the events of this novel, Amber’s best friend, Sharon, dies in a house fire and, as she had agreed so to do should the need arise, Amber and her husband, Luke, take in Sharon’s two daughters.

Seeking help for her insomnia Amber visits a hypnotherapist. She is also obsessed by events several years earlier when she and her extended family stayed one Christmas at a large, rented house. Inexplicably, Amber’s sister-in-law, Jo, Jo’s husband, and their two sons, went missing
Mar 28, 2014 Tatterededges rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
This book started off ok but very quickly went downhill. There are a couple of very glaring problems. The first being that Ginny is a hypnotherapist, someone who helps people quit smoking, lose weight etc by using hypnosis to alter their automatic thought processes. She is not a psychoanalyst. The two are very different with very different training and purposes, yet Ginny behaves as though she's a psychoanalyst who dabbles in hypnotherapy. She psychoanalyses everyone in the book from just meetin ...more
Aug 05, 2012 Kathryn rated it really liked it
Where to begin...?

I stumbled across Sophie Hannah's book Lasting Damage and thought "WOWZERS! That looks like my kind of mystery... it was! I have now read all of the Spilling CID series (to date) but I did feel like Hannah lost her way during A Room Swept White and Hurting Distance so I was a tad apprehensive about picking this one up.

Hannah is back on form!

I will get my cons out of the way first...

Hannah seems to have this ability to create really annoying protagonists. In this case she comes
Just loved this dark, intriguing psychological thriller. Learnt much about narcissistic personality disorder and emotional incest. I knew about physical incest, but never knew of the emotional counterpart. I read about it and was horrified to know that most parents practice it at one level or other, and if its too much it makes an emotional cripple out of your child. I loved the story part. Till the end, though there were subtle clues, I couldn't fathom why the characters acted out like they did ...more
Lizzie Hayes
Aug 31, 2012 Lizzie Hayes rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
‘Kind of Cruel’ by Sophie Hannah
Published by Hodder & Stoughton, 16th February 2012. ISBN: 978-0-340-98069-9

Amber Hewerdine does not sleep, has in fact suffered from insomnia since the death of her best friend Sharon who was killed in an arson attack. Amber has temporary custody of Sharon’s children Dinah and Nonie, and is hopeful of formally adopting them. To try and unlock whatever is buried deep in her subconscious that is stopping her from sleeping, Amber decides to consult hypnotherapis
Mar 23, 2012 Jane rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amber Hewerdine was losing sleep, and it really wasn’t surprising.

Her best friend died in an arson attack, the arsonist had never been identified, and now Amber and her husband, Luke, were bringing up her friend’s two young daughters.

An incident that happened at a family Christmas spent in a holiday cottage was still troubling her. Luke’s sister, her husband and their two young sons disappeared on Christmas day, not returning until the next morning when the refused to give any explanation of wha
Oct 26, 2012 Puni rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
like many other books i read, i was intrigued by the title at first. and when i found out that it has a somewhat high rating, i decided to read it.

the overall story is okay, believable enough. seeing the references the author added at the end of the book made me appreciate the fact that she did a thorough research in order to present such a complex story.

but what bothered me (so much, that i had to take away 2 stars from 5) were the characters. the main character, Amber, irritated me so much tha
This is 3.5 stars for me. It took until the last 100 pages to really get me hooked which means I had to read over 300 pages to get into it. This is a psychological mystery with a very convoluted plot. Detective Simon Waterhouse turns out to be a psychological mystery himself. His wife Charlie Zailer has her neurosis. The plot revolves around a hypnotherapist. I had no idea hypnotherapy was a psychological treatment. I thought it was something people did to change behaviors like smoking and overe ...more
Jul 30, 2013 Courtney rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
I was happy to win this book through Goodreads as I've read and enjoyed the earlier books in Sophie Hannah's series. Kind of Cruel is more of the same-- and that's both good and bad.

Sophie Hannah doesn't write straightforward plots, and when the complexity works it's pretty impressive. When it doesn't, her books can feel a bit like an overly-complicated, tangly mess. Kind of Cruel ends up leaning toward the latter while still remaining enjoyable. There were parts, particularly in the middle of
Carol Vincenty
Dec 13, 2013 Carol Vincenty rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I was really looking forward to read this book, but I was very disappointed. I thought it was too wordy, very boring, and totally unsatisfactory as a mystery. I also found that I didn't care about any of the characters, except the two young girls. I have read two other books by Sophie Hannah, but I doubt if I will read any more. Basically, I thought it was a waste of time.
Jul 16, 2012 Vivienne rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
could not get into this book so decided not to read it
Jul 03, 2013 Denise rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.0 out of 5 stars -- There's a huge difference between a memory and a story...

This was a very convoluted mystery that centered on solving two murder cases that had gone unsolved for years. This is part of a long series featuring Detectives Simon Waterhouse and Charolotte Zailer, and though it is probably good if you have read previous titles in order to know the history of these two characters, I had not and so was a bit confused by their relationship (they are married) and taken aback by their
Aug 11, 2012 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crimepieces
Amber Hewerdine visits a hypnotherapist in an attempt to cure her insomnia brought on my the death of her best friend, Sharon, in a fire. Amber and her husband Luke are now looking after Sharon’s two daughters but Amber is beset by anxieties that affect her sleep. She also obsessively revisits a fateful Christmas in 2003 when she stayed with her extended family in a house called Little Orchard. On Christmas morning four members of the family disappeared for 24 hours and have refused to speak abo ...more
May 16, 2013 Laurel-Rain rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amber Hewerdine suffers from chronic insomnia. As a last resort, she visits a hypnotherapist, doubtful that anything will really change. Under hypnosis, Amber hears herself saying, "Kind, cruel, kind of cruel." The words awaken a vague memory, but she dismisses the whole episode as nonsense. Two hours later, however, Amber is arrested for the brutal murder of a woman she's never heard of, and the only way she can clear her name is by remembering exactly where she's seen those words.

The story unf
Oct 12, 2013 Cyndy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book could have been great. What should have been tantalizing tidbits designed to keep the reader interested turned into confusing, some times excruiatingly boring, passages when it was hard to determine who was even speaking. The sophisticated, bitingly sacarastic repartee among almost ALL the characters gets old, fast. After this second book (and I confess I skipped two hundred pages in the middle and was STILL able to understand the ending)I am sick of Simon Waterhouse's grandstanding, h ...more
Lea Wait
I've read Sophie Hannah's books before, and respect her ability to come up with creative motivations for her characters, and to set her scenes very well. In KIND OF CRUEL, though, her mystery is so convoluted that at times I got confused over which character was which. That didn't last long, however, and she wrote brilliantly about narcissism and how it can affect an entire family. But -- there was a little too much analysis of the "why" psychologically. Yup, we got it. In fact, I was disappoint ...more
Sep 03, 2012 Jan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
this book was ok, but there is something about Hannahs writing that i find frustrating, and i felt the book was trying too much to be cleverer than it was, and the characters were quite frankly extremely unlikable, even the so called heroine. I don't know where sophie hannah gets her info as how the police work, but being married to a police officer, i know an inspector cannot sack a police officer "just like that". having read a couple of sophie hannahs books now, i don't think i'll bother wit ...more
Jan 09, 2014 Phrynne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was such a good book I just could not put it down. The main character was actually allowed to be intelligent and in control. She didn't go to pieces and do stupid things when the police were involved. She didn't put herself in dangerous situations when she should have known better. She acted like a normal, thinking person and yet there was still an exciting story left to tell. Loved it.
I'm starting to wish Sophie Hannah would just make her mysteries standalones - I really like the central cases (even when they're a little bit unbelievable as they are in this outing) but the backstory with Charlie Zailer and Simon Woodhouse is just annoying at this point.
Feb 12, 2016 Ayla rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Op zich een goed boek, spannend en je mond valt soms open van verbazing.

Maar veel personages (dan moet ik altijd diep nadenken: wie was dat ook alweer?) en de redelijke voorspelbaarheid van de dader (ik had toch snel door wie het gedaan had) zorgen voor 3 sterren. Wel interessant!
Spannend, veel plottwisten. Niet alleen een raadsel die ze in het boek oplossen, zelf ga je ook nadenken. Op het einde wordt een grote bom gedropt en toen had ik een "wow" moment. Verschillende perspectieven waren in het begin lastig, maar dat is ook zelf uitvogelen.
Her best one yet. Couldn't put it down.
Brenda Ayala
Feb 28, 2017 Brenda Ayala rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library
Kind of Cruel is clever but takes too long to get to the meat and potatoes of the story. A great deal of time is spent on Amber's inner workings, which got a tad annoying when she constantly flipped out on people for her own weird idiosyncrasies. The one who bore the brunt of her weirdness were the two cops and the hypnosis doctor--she'd realize something then freak out and storm away.

I also had a hard time with the alternating points of view. Perhaps it would have been easier if I was reading t
Apr 27, 2015 Don rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
My favorite part of this book was the concept that there are “events” and then “memories about events” It is difficult to separate this memory, which is a meaningful narrative made up about the event, from the event itself but they are completely separate and sometimes at odds with each other and at best a two dimensional reflection. The meaning we supply with these memories is almost always used to create a comforting mirror, which only reflects the most flattering image of ourselves.
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Sophie Hannah is an internationally bestselling writer of psychological crime fiction, published in 27 countries. In 2013, her latest novel, The Carrier, won the Crime Thriller of the Year Award at the Specsavers National Book Awards. Two of Sophie’s crime novels, The Point of Rescue and The Other Half Lives, have been adapted for television and appeared on ITV1 under the series title Case Sensiti ...more
More about Sophie Hannah...

Other Books in the Series

Spilling CID (1 - 10 of 11 books)
  • Little Face (Spilling CID, #1)
  • Hurting Distance (Spilling CID, #2)
  • The Wrong Mother (Spilling CID, #3)
  • The Other Half Lives (Spilling CID, #4)
  • A Room Swept White (Spilling CID, #5)
  • Lasting Damage (Spilling CID, #6)
  • The Carrier (Spilling CID, #8)
  • Pictures Or It Didn't Happen (Spilling CID, #8.5)
  • Woman with a Secret (Spilling CID, #9)
  • The Narrow Bed (Spilling CID, #10)

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“That's not me talking, it's your inner voice. I'd attempt the accent, only I don't speak low self-esteem. It's a language I've never needed to learn.” 3 likes
“Prejudices are comforting: everyone should make sure to cultivate at least three.” 1 likes
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