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Kind of Cruel (Spilling CID #7)

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3.58 of 5 stars 3.58  ·  rating details  ·  2,569 ratings  ·  388 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 ..
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Paperback, 376 pages
Published February 16th 2012 by Hodder & Stoughton (first published 2012)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Melissa
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
Ankur
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.
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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
Philtrum
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
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Bibliophile
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
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Kathryn
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
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Barbara
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
Justine
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
Courtney
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
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Puni
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
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Smitha
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
Carol Vincenty
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.
Vivienne
could not get into this book so decided not to read it
Denise
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
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Laurel-Rain
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
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Lizzie Hayes
‘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
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Jane
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
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Cyndy
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
Sarah
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
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
Phrynne
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.
Jan
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
Don
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 screen, which only reflects the most flattering image of ourselves.
Listening
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Bibliophile
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.
Elusive
‘Kind of Cruel’ was so terribly long-winded that it became a painful (and cruel) reading experience. The plot is undoubtedly interesting – when Amber is under hypnosis, she ends up uttering ‘kind, cruel, kind of cruel’ without knowing why. However, the execution of the plot was disastrous. Seriously, you can go straight to the last chapter and save yourself the trouble. It’s not worth it.

Basically two women have been murdered – Katharine and Sharon. Amber is then arrested as a suspect for murder
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Laura
It took me awhile to get through this book. Not because it was boring really, but I had a hard time focusing on it while listening to the audio book at work. It wasn’t the narrator, though she is not a favorite. She does most if not all of Hannah’s books and she has a habit of not differentiating the voices, which I’ve noticed in other narrations which is annoying when trying to figure out who was talking, unless she says “Amber said” etc.
As for the story itself I found interesting enough. You
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Victoria
This seventh addition to the Spilling CID series is one of my favorites of the entire series! This is, in many ways, an odd sort of series in that each book functions quite well on its own as a standalone. Other than the actual Spilling police staff, little carries over from book to book, and the police themselves generally play a more secondary role to the plot. Obviously, more is to be gained from reading them in order, but it certainly isn’t required for enjoyment. Although, some interesting ...more
Erika
"Remember, a story is not a memory; a memory is not a story. Each story contains memories; the interpretation and analysis we impose on events come later. Those can't be called memories."


I thought a lot about this quote while I was reading this book. Mostly I have a hard time remembering things from my childhood, but when I do, it's mostly a story built around a memory. Does that mean the memory isn't real? I still have no idea. Hypnotherapy and memory seemed a fascinating subject to me, and eve
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Frances
Oh So Cruel and Unbearable!
After the first 100 pages the plot was thickening and it was quite entertaining to read about the main character Amber who came across as a sassy outspoken gal. However, she soon becomes boring along with the other main characters. As we plod through the rest of the book those same words ‘kind of cruel’ were repeated and repeated until they became unbearable. The story simply seemed to be about why ‘kind of cruel’ was written on a piece of paper. Although I did finish
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Carol
The theme among Crime Novelist seems to be, we must have a cop/inspector who has a few character flaws. The players in this book Waterhouse and Zailer qualify. Most of the characters in the story are flawed. The book was flawed. Psychological suspense? I think not.This was number 7 in the series.
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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 (9 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)
  • The Telling Error (Spilling CID, #9)
Little Face (Spilling CID, #1) The Wrong Mother (Spilling CID, #3) The Monogram Murders Hurting Distance (Spilling CID, #2) The Other Half Lives (Spilling CID, #4)

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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.” 2 likes
“Prejudices are comforting: everyone should make sure to cultivate at least three.” 1 likes
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