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Land of the Living

3.75  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,386 Ratings  ·  185 Reviews
Abbie Devereaux wakes in the dark. She is hooded and bound, with no idea where she is or how she got there. Kept alive by a man she never sees, his only promise is that eventually he will kill her - like the others. But Abbie has spirit and bloody-mindedness on her side. She counts the seconds spent alone and plots her survival. Above all she dreams of returning to normal, ...more
Paperback, 370 pages
Published 2003 by Penguin Books (first published 2002)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Feb 14, 2010 faeriemyst rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
May 07, 2010 Celine rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Great start , promising a crime thriller! But it is a psychology thriller after all. Very good indeed , just without the element of surprise , or an interesting villain . Quite a page turner though!
Creative A
Aug 24, 2008 Creative A rated it it was amazing  ·  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
Baudelaire Violet
Aug 21, 2014 Baudelaire Violet rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
May 10, 2014 Sherry rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Could not put this book down, best I've read since Michael Robotham! Really great mystery, Nicci French does it again! loved it!!!
Oct 11, 2007 Coleen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
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
Oct 01, 2009 Lance Greenfield rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Sridhar Babu
Jun 28, 2015 Sridhar Babu rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Nicci French..
Abbie Devereaux, Ben Brody, Terry, George Ronald Sheppy,Jack Cross, Sadie, and Sheila..

Abbie Devereaux is kidnapped. Held in a cellar, with a hood over her head, gag in her mouth, and an eye of the killer watching her in darkness. Abbie knows very well she going to die in the hands of the killer with no help coming for her. She escapes on her own, when the killer was away. When she files complaint, no body, including Detective inspect
Dec 19, 2014 Sharon rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014-reads
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
Jun 25, 2014 Nolan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Cassandra Shepherd
Jul 17, 2014 Cassandra Shepherd rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: waste-of-time
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 06, 2014 Rachel rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 16, 2014 Annelies rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
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
Saloni Walimbe
Jul 14, 2014 Saloni Walimbe rated it really liked it  ·  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
Christine Blachford
This felt like it had elements of other Nicci French novels all intertwined together, and it was a good read perhaps because of that. The story works backwards in a sense, as our heroine has memory loss following a horrific incident. Kidnapped and prepared to die, she manages to escape and then has to try and piece back together the fragments of her life and how it went so drastically wrong.

There's also the aspect in which the authorities don't quite believe what they are hearing and can't reall
Mar 01, 2016 Sheila rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2016
The heroine was a bit too-stupid-to-live, and the cops required a suspension of disbelief, but for a thriller I read during lunch break, this was pretty solid.
Mar 08, 2014 Sarah rated it liked it
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
Jan 27, 2015 Jen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, suspense
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
Feb 16, 2016 Tamera rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My first Nicci French, and definitely not my last! A 1st person narration of a girl, kidnapped, held for days, beaten, and facing death by a psycho, but the plucky woman manages to escape. The problem is she has no memory of how she was snatched, and she spends the next couple of weeks retracing her steps to figure out what happened. Added to her memory loss is the fact that the police dismiss her kidnapping story, and just before her disappearance she displayed erratic behavior regarding her jo ...more
outstanding suspense, and I thought The Collector was creepy.
Sep 16, 2014 Marti rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
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
Bontos Burgos
Jul 19, 2015 Bontos Burgos rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Contrary to most of the critical reviewers here I thought it was the first part that started to drag along. You got your initial situation and after a while it got a bit (view spoiler) and just went on and on and on. Then after page 50 it took off like a rocket for me and kept me guessing until I finished it. I'll definitely look at more Nicci French books. I read an American edition with US spelling and words. Not sure if that's really in good t ...more
Mar 26, 2016 Herman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
De bewoonde wereld zou een plot van een Hitchcock-film kunnen zijn. Hoofdpersoon Abbie is er van overtuigd dat iemand haar wil vermoorden, maar mist een stukje uit haar geheugen en tast daardoor in het duister over het wie en waarom. Mensen uit haar omgeving en ook de politie nemen haar niet al te serieus en ook als lezer wordt je gaandeweg in dit kamp geduwd. De grote vraag is dan ook: speelt zich dit alles af in haar hoofd of dreigt er echt gevaar. Beklemmende en spannende Nicci French die moe ...more
Khadija Tina
Nov 05, 2012 Khadija Tina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: best
Dec 12, 2009 Susan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
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
Sep 26, 2012 Rémy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
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
Thom Swennes
Jan 13, 2012 Thom Swennes rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Sep 12, 2012 April Kane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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  • Alles te verliezen
  • Herfstlied
  • Terug naar de kust
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  • Daglicht
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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 about Nicci French...

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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.” 13 likes
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