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The High Flyer

3.93  ·  Rating Details ·  779 Ratings  ·  65 Reviews
Successful London lawyer Carter Graham has power, sex appeal, and a well-ordered life. Everything has gone according to plan, including her recent marriage to Kim Betz, an investment banker with the right combination of looks and position. On the surface it appears to be a match made in heaven. The only problem is Kim’s ex-wife. Sophie begins to follow Carter like a shadow ...more
Paperback, 611 pages
Published 2001 by Warner Books (first published 1999)
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Jun 03, 2009 Elizabeth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Elizabeth by: Kathleen
I'm hooked. I've read two of her books and enjoyed them both.
She seems to have a system: gripping and gritty mystery involving lots of sex followed by lots of spiritual therapy that goes a little long, and then everything is figured out. She also has some common themes. So now I have to read another to see if this continues :)
I don't agree with every bit of her theology but I really like the main theme of repentance, forgiveness and redemption.
Discussing a cathedral "...overpowering in its mag
So far, this is reminding me of a book I read ages ago called 'The Victorian Album' by Evelyn Berckman ...

Well, I've finished now and I have to say that it was a very gripping story of warring personalities, cults, egotism and emotional domination. It could have been cut down in length - it was overly long with too much conversational filler. Another gripe I had with this book was the insistent use of Christian theology and I wondered about the author's intent. Is she trying to convert readers?
Nov 30, 2010 Molly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was morbidly fascinated by the Mrs. Mayfield character, and her manipulative sociopathy! This book was very thought-provoking for me, especially regarding themes of evil, forgiveness, redemption, and spirituality. The author also explores notions of romantic love, particularly the pitfalls of projecting onto a partner what you want them to be, rather than recognizing who they really are. This is the second in the St. Benet's series, I thought the third one (The Heartbreaker) was maybe a tiny b ...more
Jun 22, 2012 Diane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have been a fan of Susan Howatch since I read her Gothic novels, Penmarric and Cashelmara many years ago. But it was with the series Starbridge series that centered on members of the Anglican clergy. In High Fllyer, the second in the St. Benet's series she deals with persons buffeted by the forces of the the ultra competitive and agnostic society much in need of spiritual healing. I am definitely going to read the other books in this series: The Wonder Worker (#1) and The Heartbreaker (#3).
Lori Baldi
Jun 01, 2010 Lori Baldi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
A truly fantastic book. Not to be missed. I gained so much from this book and that is a big factor for me. I've always been troubled by the line drawn between emotional problems and the help provided by the medical establishment versus the clergy's answers. The High Flyer merged the 2 in such a way that I've found answers to some troubling issues I've faced in my world.

I'm certain that poltergeists haven't been described in popular fiction in the way that it is presented here. I think that shou
Jul 26, 2012 Bonnie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely loved this book. The plot is compelling, the characters are believable, and the setting is so detailed you feel as if you are there. The plot involves the struggle between good and evil. The main character, Carter, finds herself literally in a fight for her life against the forces of evil and must find her true self in order to triumph.
Although now slightly dated, and despite the Carter Graham character being so annoying (private opinion), I still find this book a worthy successor to all Susan Howatch's wonderful books. I'm still giving it 5 stars, and I will read again in the future... more than once!
This is the most ludicrous and unbelievable plot but while one is reading it is impossible to stop and acknowledge it.
Sue Fletcher
Way too heavy on religious symbolism for me and poorly edited, which was distracting. The psychological thriller read much more like a religious primer.
Adam Shields
Sep 20, 2015 Adam Shields rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Short Review: Howatch's books are always significantly about ideas. It is not that the story is unimportant, but that the story is a method for discussing ideas. In many ways this is a book that attempts to confront atheism and to present a response to the new atheist critique. It is sort of a fictional version of the memoir Unapologetic: Why, Despite Everything, Christianity Can Still Make Surprising Emotional Sense Unapologetic.

There is a lot of explication via dialogue here and that is what
Feb 06, 2014 Ariella rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'm giving it 2.5 stars. The mystery part of the book was great(- hence the .5). It was both a murder mystery and a psychological thriller. And it had me riveted. I was never sure who the 'bad guy' was if there even was a 'bad guy' and I really enjoyed that part of the read. For that it was worth reading. But the book goes downhill 3/4 of the way in when the mystery is mostly solved with the help of the clergy of a certain church known as a Healing Center. The author gets preachy and the main ch ...more
Keith Massey
Apr 14, 2014 Keith Massey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I rate this book with 4 stars primarily because it is near the end of a lengthy series of novels Susan Howatch penned, most of which would deserve ten stars here, if it were possible.

It's not the best of the series, but it holds a special place in my heart because, having read all the rest and knowing this volume had come out a few years earlier, the man I just happened to relieve in Iraq in 2004 had it and had just finished reading it. He left it with me and it was a solace to me at a very dar
Jeanne Gehret
Jul 14, 2016 Jeanne Gehret rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was well-written suspense, and so creepy and disturbing at the beginning that I struggled to finish it. Once I did, I found a main character on a serious, genuine spiritual journey of the toughest kind, surrounded by genuinely caring ministers from (gasp!) mainline Christianity. I loved it when she said that her drive for material success was just as brainwashed as fundamentalist religion but far more socially acceptable. Sometimes the deepest parts of the book occurred as monologues t ...more
Feb 25, 2012 Philippa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2012
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Beth Dickey
Mar 07, 2015 Beth Dickey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wowza. My eyes nearly popped out of my head reading this one! In addition to the intriguing characters and the twisty, whose-viewpoint-is-right plot, the character of the city of London figures prominently.
I believe all her books can be read individually, without having to read the whole series,but you'll probably want to read them all after reading one.
Mary Jane Cedarface
Carter Graham, the high flyer, is a successful corporate attorney who relates to London through the telescope in her high rise apartment. She marries the man who she thinks fits her life plan and is in for many unsettling surprises. This book raises worthy questions. Now I want to read her other St. Benet books.
Jan 15, 2014 Yvonne rated it really liked it
This book was a 5 star novel until the final part when all the dramatic tension and excellent dialogue were replaced by long monologues which seemed to be serving a didactic rather than a narrative purpose. If you are thinking of reading this novel, please do not let this observation put you off, it is still an excellent read and is refreshingly different.
Sep 16, 2008 Beth rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
At first I could not get into this book, a little slow. Then it picked up and I really liked the main character. Trying to figure out what was wrong with her relationship with her husband was interesting. I would have to say the only thing I did not like about this book was the page upon page of religious/god discussions.
Jan 03, 2011 Vikki rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Carter Graham is a high flyer. She has recently married another high flyer. She has her Life Plan all worked out. But things go awry. Spiritual lessons, the occult, many subjects are dealt with in this book. I did really enjoy it and would like to read all of the books in this Starbridge series or books with Nicholas Darrow in it. Howatch did study church history in England.
This book kept me emotionally and psychologically engaged. It has such a multi-faceted storyline - deceit, spirituality, and love in a supremely modern woman's life. A suspensful read with disturbing as well as deeply spiritual elements.
Jan 25, 2008 Sue rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Carter Graham is a high-flying city lawyer, convinced that if she follows her 'life plan' she will achieve happiness. A suspenseful book with some shocking moments. Fast-paced, action packed and very well-written. Quite a battle of good vs evil, and some psychology/spirituality.
Dec 28, 2012 Lisa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved Susan Howatch a decade ago or her plots seem a little over the top. The plot here strains credulity and the spiritual connections feel a bit forced. But it is always engaging to read her work.
This series is quite different from the previous one, but some of the same characters are included. Ms. Howatch always addresses theology and psychology within her characters, and I am inspired by them.
Riveting enough story of shattered trust in a new marriage to keep me reading the 500 pgs in one day. But the endless talk of the dark side, demons, the Powers, and second guessing the path to redemption seemed like just endless layers of "nutterguff" or "clergyguff." (my new favorite words).
Sep 03, 2012 Marty rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Marty by: Shelli Vallis
Pretty much have not put this book down all weekend. I had forgotten how much I enjoy Susan Howatch's books. Thanks Shelli for reminding me and loaning me the book (which I think you borrowed from Kathy)
Jan 21, 2010 Jes rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Much more intense than "The Wonder Worker" with characters that are a little more bearable than the previous book as well.
The action keeps unfolding - I was consistently surprised that I wasn't closer to the books end because the story intensifies rapidly. Overall, very engaging.
Apr 19, 2010 Jean rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really a pretty good read. But at the end it got way too didactic in each character explaining the big questions like: what is evil? why do people do bad things? And everything comes back to the author promoting Christianity -- albeit, at its best. Just not what I expect to read in a novel.
Apr 14, 2012 Tansy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found this intriguing, and enough within my world view to accept. It is problematic that we so often seen in others what we want to see, or expect to see. Is it really any better not to? Even the good and evil part was plausible in this one.
Aug 31, 2008 Abby rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of thrillers or theology
Recommended to Abby by: my mom
A little talky, but very very interesting. A hitchcockian page-turner. If you're at all interested in theology, the battle between Christianity and the Occult, or if you're just looking for something to keep you up late reading, this book won't leave you wanting.
Debra Roman
Jul 23, 2010 Debra Roman rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have to say that this is one of the best books that I've read in a long time. The book was fast paced and told in 1st person by Carter, a female high flyer in the legal world. But her world is flung into lies and deceipt. I could not put this book down!
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Susan Howatch (b. 1940) is a British novelist who has penned bestselling mysteries, family sagas, and other novels. Howatch was born in Surrey, England. She began writing as a teen and published her first book when she moved to the United States in 1964. Howatch found global success first with her five sagas and then with her novels about the Church of England in the twentieth century. She has now ...more
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“The rules that apply to line on dry land no longer apply. You're immersed in water, a substance which has the potential to drown you. If you're not accustomed to swimming every instinct tells you to yell in terror and grab the rail at hte side of the pool, but in fact this isn't the way to deal with the problem. You have to make the problem no longer a problem by embracing it--you have to let go of the rail and launch yourself out on the water because once you're find the water's stimulating, bracing, even welcoming. So by embracing the chaos instead of shunning it you've opened up a whole new dimension of reality. Father Lewis Hall” 0 likes
“You've asked enough questions about evil. But you never asked once about love."
So I asked him to tell me about it, but of course his definition lay beyond words. He just went on sitting with me in the dark and taking the weight of my pain.”
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