Sara Townsend's Reviews > Lasting Damage

Lasting Damage by Sophie Hannah
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Mar 19, 11

bookshelves: crime
Read from November 20 to 26, 2010

It’s 1:15am, but Connie Bowskill is not asleep. She’s on a property website, viewing 11 Bentley Grove, Cambridge. As she scrolls through the rooms on the virtual tour she sees a gruesome scene: the body of a woman, covered in blood, lying on the living room carpet. When the tour scrolls around to the living room again the body is gone, with no sign of it ever being there. No one believes Connie as she tries to discover who the woman is — not even her husband Kit. Is she going mad? Or are the people closest to her hiding something?

The story of Connie’s obsession with 11 Bentley Grove and how she comes to be viewing a property website in the middle of the night comes out gradually throughout the book. It’s a tightly written thriller, and it had me turning the pages. The one criticism I have, though, is with the beginning of the novel. In effect, it starts with the ending, clearly trying to grab the reader by the throat by starting with a cliff-hanger. We then jump back a week and the story of how Connie comes to be in the situation described in the first page gradually comes out. We could lose this attention-grabbing opening, in my view — not only does it rather give away the ending, it’s a cheap trick.

That aside, I would still recommend this book as a gripping and enjoyable read.

Reprinted with permission of Mystery Women magazine.
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