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Land of the Living

3.74 of 5 stars 3.74  ·  rating details  ·  1,946 ratings  ·  146 reviews
A horrifying premise catalyzes this fast-paced, suspenseful thriller: A woman wakes up in a darkened room, bound, disoriented, unable to recall the recent past. She is terrorized and abused by a strange man who taunts her with the names of other victims. But for Abbie Devereaux, a 25-year-old Londoner, the nightmare really begins after she escapes. Recovering in a local ho ...more
Paperback, 310 pages
Published 2003 by Penguin Books (first published 2002)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Celine
I had to read this book for my English class, and that kind of ruins everything (it even made reading the Hobbit boring), but that aside, I didn't think this was a good book at all.

The writing was fine. The editing was fine. The point of view was fine. Even the characters were okay. It was the plot that bothered me.

It starts off interesting: Abbi awakes, doesn't know how she got there or why she's bound and hooded. Then she spends pages and pages being afraid and, well, tortured. Then she escape
...more
faeriemyst
With a gripping start that fully captured my attention, I had a hard time putting LAND OF THE LIVING down. The suspense-filled atmosphere leapt off the pages and I found myself catching my breath and actually feeling the pressure presented within the covers. This doesn't usually happen to me, especially from a book I know is fiction. The author (or authors really) have done a fabulous job bringing the book to life and I imagine the plot does a fairly accurate job conveying a true life account of ...more
Creative A
Aug 24, 2008 Creative A rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes mainstream fiction with a little clean edginess
This is a chilling, very realistic book by the collaborative voice of two journalists under the pseudonym Nicci French.

Abbie Devereaux wakes up somewhere in the dark, wrists tied, ankles tied, gagged and blinded with a sack. She can't remember the past week. Her kidnapper tells her he's going to kill her, that he's killed other woman just like her, and there's nothing she can do about it. She is going to die. In desperation, Abbie tries to hang herself with the ropes she's tied to, and breaks t
...more
Baudelaire Violet
So the end was reaally bad... I don't know what's happening but just as soon I get excited about a book plot I discover a really shitty ending. Just the main idea getting lost and then round and round we go with some useless facts.... boring....
And let me freak out about the main character Abbie. I think she is effing illogical. All along the book she says that she's so afraid of the killer, that she thinks that she will came after her. And then she calmly walks in into a stranger's appartment
...more
Sherry
Could not put this book down, best I've read since Michael Robotham! Really great mystery, Nicci French does it again! loved it!!!
Coleen
In the tradition of The Silence of the Lambs, Nicci French, bestselling author of Beneath the Skin and The Red Room, delivers what promises to be the psychological blockbuster of the season. Kidnapped, gagged, and held in an airless shed by some unknown assailant, Abbie Devereaux has somehow managed to survive her ordeal and escape. Now no one seems to believe her, including the police who found her bruised and beaten in a run-down neighborhood outside London, and the psychologists who interview ...more
Lance Greenfield
I cannot even begin to describe what happens in this book without spoiling it for you. All I can say is that it will grip your attention from the very beginning.

There were times that I became very frustrated, even to the point of anger, at the way tat the main character switches from following the sensible advice of her friends to almost deliberately putting herself in danger through forgetting, or ignoring, such sound advice. But the tension could not mount in the way that the co-authors allow
...more
Sharon
Yes I'm definitely giving up on Nicci French's books after Land of the Living. After the last one I read I decided to return my little collection of NF books back to the op-shop, but while (and this is so typical of me, lol) putting them in a bag I got distracted by one of them and thought "oh why not, I'll try yet again". I probably shouldn't have bothered. Land of the Living actually starts well with some writing that makes you feel the tension and horror of the situation the main character, A ...more
Nolan
If claustrophobia is something you have a problem with, this book may not be your thing. So horrifying and gripping was it for me that I found myself literally hyperventilating a time or two, and that's not me given to my usual flare for the melodramatic. Open this book and enter with jarring horror the life of Abbie Devereaux, a 25-year-old woman who has made some bad choices, none of which prepare her for the horror she faces as you and I enter her life.

She is bound and gagged; she is apparent
...more
Cassandra Shepherd
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rachel
Maybe it was because I had the unfortunate pleasure of reading two of Gillian Flynn's books at the beginning of summer, or maybe it was something else. Gillian Flynn has given me impossibly high expectations for every mystery/thriller I pick up, so maybe my "it was okay" rating is a bit harsh. But, really, The Land of the Living was okay. I found myself addicted to the mystery and I went along with most of the character's decisions, but all in all I found it a bit frustrating. I don't consider t ...more
Annelies
Mijn eerste Nicci French, ik had nog eens zin in een thriller en besloot een boek van dit schrijvend echtpaar te proberen.

Ik ben blij dat ik dat gedaan heb! Je wordt onmiddellijk in het boek gezogen: een vrouw zit opgesloten en vastgebonden. Ze weet niet waar of waarom, laat staan door wie. Het enige wat ze zich nog kan herinneren is haar naam: Abbie.

De schrijfstijl van het echtpaar French is fijn. Korte zinnen, zo heb ik het graag bij thrillers, het leest vlot en snel. Het boek bestaat uit dri
...more
Saloni Walimbe
Jul 14, 2014 Saloni Walimbe rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who enjoys this genre
Well, this book just sort of found me. I was on a family holiday and at one of the places I was staying, there it was lying on the bedside table. The title was very intriguing and I generally like psychological thrillers so I decided to give it a try. Man, am I glad I did!!!
Right from the start the book is gripping and fast paced, and written so well you can actually feel Abbie's desperation when she is being held captive. There are several unexpected (to me, at least) twists, that keep the susp
...more
Sarah
I tend to love this kind of crime thriller but there was something missing in this for me, or perhaps there was a feeling that this book inspired in me that I didn’t like to be more accurate. The writing is sort of detached, deliberately I think, as the writer is portraying the unknowns by the main character. I don’t think the main premise is correct though. I don’t think that an obviously malnourished and traumatised person who had a relatively stable life previously would be disbelieved so rea ...more
Jen
Land of the Living

Abbie Deveraux wakes up to find herself in the dark, bound and hooded, and unable to think clearly. Her captor ruthlessly relates what has happened to his previous victims, but he is no hurry to finish the job. Abbie finally manages to escape, only to find that no one believes her story.

In addition to her inability to convince the police about what happened, Abbie can't remember much of the time leading up to her capture. She begins interviewing her friends about the days imm
...more
Kaethe
outstanding suspense, and I thought The Collector was creepy.
Marti
Abbie Devereaux was kidnapped, brutalized, and miraculously escaped...and THEN her real trauma began. Soon nearly everyone to whom she told her story and those Abbie thought she could depend upon for help and justice was convinced that she was merely imagining everything. This well crafted thriller had lots of twists and turns and the character of Abbie was very well drawn. This is my second Nicci French books and I am very sure that I will seek out more reading adventures from her. To those who ...more
Khadija Tina
One OF MY BEST BOOKS EVER
Susan
I've had Nicci French books sitting on my shelves since 2004 (from the days when I was a member of BCA).

Those who know me will know that I'm an aspiring author of romance and happy-ever-afters (HEAs) and that's the genre I've been focusing on reading for the past, goodness knows how many years.

Earlier this summer I reached a point where I couldn't bear to read pure romance any more. It was as though I'd overdosed with it - I actually felt nauseous at the thought of picking one up. I hasten to ad
...more
Rémy
After one of the strongest first chapters that I've read in a very long time, Land of the Living just falls to pieces in the rest of the book.

That first chapter, where the main character, Abbie, is bound, gagged, tortured, and promised death without knowing why is strong. You're as much in the dark as Abbie, and it's really not too hard to feel for the girl. Then after that, she escapes and retraces the days leading up to the situation. After a chapter or two, I started feeling more compassionat
...more
Thom Swennes
The Land of the Living

The Land of the Living by Nicci French starts off in a direction few would explore and none would enjoy. In the dark and lost with no idea where you are or even who you were; what do you do? Scream? Can’t. Move? Can’t. What can you do? Wait. Wait she did, she waited for answers; she didn’t know that those answers weren’t words she wanted to hear.
If you’ve read this far, I know you will continue to read and the time I spend on writing this review aren’t wasted. Your interest
...more
Lisa (scarlet21)
Abbie wakes up one day, bound and hooded in a strange place, kept alive by the minimum of food by a sadistic stranger and sure of only one thing - he intends to kill her. She has a gap in her memory and cannot remember why or how she comes to be there, can barely remember who she is or what she is...but Abbie manages to escape. Unfortunately for her the police don't believe her story and Abbie finds herself in the unique position of having to find her own kidnapper and re-discover her life by fi ...more
April Kane
The first fifty pages of Nicci French’s Land of the Living are very suspenseful and terrifying. The story centers upon twenty five year old Abigail Devereaux, an office space consultant. The reader is introduced to her as she wakes up bound and gagged in the darkness, her eyes covered with a hood. Abbie has no idea where she is or what has happened to her. She can’t remember anything of the last few weeks. It is all blank.

After Abbie manages to escape, very few people believe her tale of kidnapp
...more
Jen
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ilona
GE-WEL-DIG.

In het begin vroeg ik me af wat ik ervan zou vinden, omdat ik normaal gesproken meer science-fiction lees. Maar ik ben nog nooit zo erg in een boek gezogen.
Het was het eerste boek wat ik van Nicci French heb gelezen en vanaf de eerste bladzijde kon ik niet meer stoppen. De personen, de belevenissen, de manier van schrijven, alles sleept je gewoon in het boek. In het eerste deel van het boek, werd naar mijn gevoel gewoon van alles meerdere keren herhaalt, normaal zou ik dat niet lang v
...more
Jill Hutchinson
Something a little different for me but I liked French's Secret Smile, so I gave this one a try. It is not as well done as the latter but still holds the reader's interest. A young woman finds herself gagged, hooded, chained to a wall, and bound hand and foot.....she has no memory of how she got in this situation, where she is, or how long she has been there. She is being tormented into madness by a man who visits her prison periodically and although she escapes, she cannot get anyone, including ...more
Anne Martin
I enjoyed it until -well, the last hundred pages. When she gets upset at Ben, and starts running anywhere, t does not make sense anymore. From the beginning, there was somethng off with the cops, who were not even interested in her story, who did not search around the house where she rang and was found. There must have been 10 girls who disappeared in london in a few weeks, and no one notices? And when she keeps looking around and getting closer... does not she think it would be better not to be ...more
Martin
This is only the third one from Nicci French for me. After the first 2 I though I would give them 1 last chance and am I happy I did. Although it's again about a woman who is under lots of stress and whose life is in turmoil, I think this one is definately much better. The whole story is much better and more clever put together. It starts with the main character, who seems to be taken hostage and it takes like 40 - 50 pages before you are even sure if she is indeed. After that you are thrown in ...more
Elizabeth
This book was almost great. A woman is kidnapped for several days and given barely enough food and water to subsist. She amazingly manages to escape and is hospitalized. During her hospitalization she is evaluated by psychiatrists who disagree on whether she was truly a victim or if she's looking for attention. The place where she was held can't be found and there's no other evidence that she didn't merely mistreat herself for a few days hiding from her friends. She starts to become unsure herse ...more
Esra
When I read the description of the book I thought omg this sounds so thrilling but in reality it wasn't that great. It's the first Nicci French novel I have ever read so I wasn't really a great start but I probably will read of their books I just wasn't impressed with this one.
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  • Alles te verliezen
  • Herfstlied
  • Nieuwe Buren
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  • The Wishing Game
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Note: (Nicci Gerrard and Sean French also write separately.)

Nicci Gerrard was born in June 1958 in Worcestershire. After graduating with a first class honours degree in English Literature from Oxford University, she began her first job, working with emotionally disturbed children in Sheffield. In that same year she married journalist Colin Hughes.

In the early eighties she taught English Literature
...more
More about Nicci French...
Blue Monday (Frieda Klein, #1) Killing Me Softly Tuesday's Gone (Frieda Klein, #2) Beneath the Skin Secret Smile

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“If I had to ask him to ask me, it wasn't going to work as an expression of concern. Like when you ask someone if they love you - if you have to ask them, they don't. Or not enough. Not the way you want them to.” 11 likes
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