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The High Flyer
Susan Howatch
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The High Flyer

3.92  ·  Rating Details ·  738 Ratings  ·  61 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 (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
Jan 15, 2009 Yrinsyde rated it liked it
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?
Dec 15, 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
Lori Baldi
Dec 04, 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
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).
Feb 17, 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
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.
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
This is the most ludicrous and unbelievable plot but while one is reading it is impossible to stop and acknowledge it.
Jul 14, 2016 Jeanne 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
Adam Shields
Dec 17, 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
Beth Dickey
Mar 19, 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.
Jul 31, 2015 Asha KRISHNA rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
A disappointing read.

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Case Lane
Apr 22, 2016 Case Lane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A wonderful intellectual book for those in the fast lane who want to step back, and refresh their spiritual health.
Apr 11, 2015 Wendy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great. Another convincing and imaginative story from the pen of Susan Howatch. A masterly writer.
Amy Sheldon
A bit preachy but in between the preachy parts, a gripping story.
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.
Aug 08, 2016 Ondrea rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Eh. It's ok but goes round and round in a philosophical way.
Eleanor Groom
Too wordy and philosophical. I enjoyed Howatch's first novels so much, but was disappointed in this one.
Jan 01, 2016 Tove rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4 stars until the end of part 4. Part 5 is not my cup of tea.
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.
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.
Aug 21, 2014 Yvonne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Feb 17, 2009 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.
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.
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).
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.
Jan 25, 2008 Sue rated it really liked it
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.
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.
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.
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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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