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The Carrier

(Spilling CID #8)

3.13  ·  Rating details ·  2,569 ratings  ·  373 reviews
The latest in Sophie Hannah’s internationally bestselling Zailer & Waterhouse series, named by The Sunday Times as one of the 50 Best Thrillers of the Last Five Years

When Gaby’s plane is delayed, she’s forced to share a hotel room with a stranger: Lauren, who is terrified of her. But why is she scared of Gaby in particular? Lauren won’t explain. Instead, she blurts out
Hardcover, 470 pages
Published January 8th 2015 by G.P. Putnam's Sons (first published February 14th 2013)
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Kitten It didn't make sense to me either. Francine was painted as heinous and Tim as a saint for being with her, but - if that was true and she really was…moreIt didn't make sense to me either. Francine was painted as heinous and Tim as a saint for being with her, but - if that was true and she really was all that bad - why was he with her in the first place?(less)
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3.13  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,569 ratings  ·  373 reviews

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Jul 07, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: borrowed
Oh, Sophie!

Over the course of seven books and seven fiendishly complicated cases investigated by the Spilling police force we have had some ups and downs. There have been more fabulous stories, and even when there have been flaws they have been balanced by good things that have stopped the lows being too low.

Until now. There are good things in The Carrier, but they were weighed down by things that weren't so good, and things that just didn't work.

The premise was, as always, far-fetched and brill
Aug 28, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Warning: if you want to read a Sophie Hannah book, DO NOT choose this one first!
I am usually gripped by Hannah's books, she's a fluent and engaging author, her books are well plotted and the twist is difficult to work out until very late on.

The Carrier began promisingly but I fully got the feeling the author got bored or distracted whilst writing it. The logic behind Francine's death is something I still don't understand, and the reasons why all the characters got tangled up in this web of lies
Aug 17, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime, sophie-hannah
I like Sophie Hannah's books. I always know when I pick one up that all my spare time will be devoted to it, her writing is very compelling. But I don't always like her characters or her characterisation. She tends to tell rather than show. For instance, and I've complained about this before, Giles Proust is set up as some kind of tyrannical monster but I see no evidence in his actual behaviour 'on screen' of his being anything other than a cranky, slightly sarcastic man. You'd think for a write ...more
Sep 13, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
A disappointment. In previous books Hannah has often made irritating errors, especially in relation to police procedurals. However, on the whole I have found her novels thoughtful, well-plotted and with well rounded and largely sympathetic characters - with the exception of the irritating detective couple. I struggled with this from the beginning. The relationships of the main protagonists were senseless, the characters one dimensional and the plot infeasible; especially the ridiculous dream int ...more
Bet Spencer
Sep 01, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Her worst book yet. Absolutely irrelevant police 'side story' Perseverance was not rewarding.
Celina Grace
Mar 10, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Why do I never learn? The next time I decide to spend my hard-earned cash on a Sophie Hannah book I want someone to give me a slap. A proper, big, roundhouse slap to the head and when I’ve picked myself up off the floor, to lead me gently away and say in a sad tone, “Celina…. Celina… do you never learn? Can’t you see how this is going to end (or not end, as is always the case)? Did the steaming pile of horse manure that was Kind of Cruel teach you nothing? You know the plot is going to be a laby ...more
Jan 07, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I’ve read two of Sophie Hannah’s earlier psychological thrillers in the Spilling CID series and enjoyed both but sadly this one is not one of her best. I was way of out date with the lives of the police detectives and in particular with that of Charlie Zailer and Simon Waterhouse, which only added to the frustration and I would therefore recommend that the series is best read in order, I believe this book is number 8.

I don’t know how to review this book – I don’t like giving negative reviews as
Jun 05, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thrilling
I am not sure if this was actually not as good as her previous novels or if I am just wearying of the torturously complicated plots and uniformly dysfunctional relationships.
Jun 30, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, crime
This review may contain some spoilers. The first of which is that it is an oddly terrible book. I have never believed that you need to like or be able to relate to a character in a novel to enjoy it to the fullest, but you do need to find their actions feasible in whatever stretched reality the author chooses to construct. Characters like Patrick Bateman are fantastical misallocations of reality, but appear all too credible. With an authors skill their choices make sense albeit in a warped world ...more
Oct 04, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This was our book club choice for September and another new author for me. The blurb sounded promising so we were all keen to get reading.

Each chapter is dated and with that brings a different person's view, I'm usually a fan of books set out like this but I don't think it really added anything.

I didn't really get the relationship between Tim, Kerry and Dan and why they were so devoted to him, it was all a bit odd. Oh...and the letters to Francine which are interspersed are actually really cruel
Liz Barnsley
Mar 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites
As usual for Ms Hannah, I found this book to be extremely intriguing and very well written. Having read an odd review I expected to be reading mostly poetry, but in fact the poetry used was relevant to the plot and indeed, moved things along apace without being at all intrusive. All the old favourite characters were back, and still managed amidst the mayhem of their own personal lives, to solve the mystery.
Tim Breary has confessed to the murder of his wife, Francine, however all is not as it app
Sep 03, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Not an edge of your seat novel and certainly not phenomenal. The potential for a great story was there but the ideas were half baked and there were so many threads of the story that were mentioned then not explored at all. There were no explanations offered for the often bizarre behaviour by the characters and it just appeared as if the author couldn't be bothered. So as a reader, I would suggest not to bother either.
Aug 15, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is not 'edge-of-the-seat' and its author is not 'phenomenal' by any means. Nevertheless, it's more middle-class crime in the same vein as Susan Hill's Serrailler and PD James' Dalgleish novels. All the characters live in suitably aga-ed (detached) houses, with names like Dan, Gaby and Tim. The obligatory chav characters (Lauren, Wayne and Jason, obviously) are replete with foul mouths and tattoos do the menial work, whilst Tim and co spout poetry and sit around on the proceeds of Gaby's mar ...more
Apr 07, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
'Tension, thy name is Sophie Hannah' - The Guardian
Although this comment was printed on the back cover of the edition I was reading, after finishing this book I'm afraid I can't agree with it in the slightest. I've read other books by Sophie Hannah and enjoyed them very much. However, with this book, Hannah seems to fail to live up to my expectations of her.

The entire book just felt like a repeat of the blurb: Tim Breary admitting to a murder he may well have committed, Gaby Struthers and the po
I was tempted a few times to discard this book but persevered because I liked Sophie Hannah's other books. This was a 2 1/2 star book for me. I bumped it up to 3 but then lowered it to 2 after writing the review reminded me how little I liked it. The ending, though "tidy" made me wonder why it took almost 500 pages to get there.

The story revolves around a man, Tim, who confesses to killings his disabled wife but won't give a reason. There is another woman, Gaby, who is or maybe isn't part of a t
Dec 18, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Poor, lazy effort.

The whole story is told in letters which the writers never intended to be read by the recipient, so they are completely pointless except as an easy way for Sophie Hannah to spoonfeed information to her readers.

I'm so disappointed. Similar to The Orphan Choir, Hannah's latest (terrible) book, the reader gleans facts due to one or more of the characters writing unnecessary information down for nonsensical reasons: in 'The Orphan Choir' the main character chronicles her life histo
May 03, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2015
What a confusing tale! And before I go any further I'll just say...

When I started this book I didn't realise it was Book 8 in a series though it wouldn't have stopped me reading it as more often than not I read out of order! That said in this case I think some background knowledge would have helped as I found the relationships....both personal & professional...between the police officers very confusing. I didn't understand the dynamics between Proust & Si
Aug 18, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I picked this up having heard good things about the author and by having been taken in by the hype on the cover sleeve. As described by one of the main characters I was decidedly "in the middle of my seat" for the whole 419 pages! (the more astute will note that this denotes the opposite of being on the edge of my seat which is what I had misleadingly been promised). I couldn't identify with any one of the characters; why would not only one grown, supposedly intellectually superior man put up wi ...more
Blue Shoes
This would have worked more effectively as a short story. I had no empathy with any of the characters which made it more difficult to plough through far too many pages. I haven't read any of Ms Hannah's earlier books so was not familiar with the police characters and I found their stories to be uninteresting and distracting. The only faintly likeable character neglected his wife and newborn premature twins to conduct an affair with a silly woman on the periphery of events. The outcome was quite ...more
Aug 24, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library
I think Sophie's the bee's knees with the plotting of her earlier novels but there comes a time when one needs to separate the tuna from the herrings.

It is just incredibly tiring to work one's head around all her dialogue and trying not to be tripped over by the red herrings.

It's one thing to lay the trap but at the end of the day, it's a novel and when one just can't get into the characters/plots, it fails, despite whatever brilliant scheme is dreamed up.

I am going to give Sophie's book a rest
Although I generally enjoy Ms. Hannah's books, the psychological underpinnings of this one strained credulity. Does anyone really believe that human beings would choose to act the way these characters do? And given that Francine's so-called abuse is mainly filtered through Tim, I kept hoping that it would all turn out to be gaslighting on his part, that it never happened or didn't happen as he portrayed it. And, frankly, TWO withholding men, damaged by their mothers yet brilliant and inspiring u ...more
Kelly Cookson
This is the first Sophie Hannah book that I've read and it will be the last. There were way too many unnecessary characters in this book and it was way too long. I forced myself to finish it as was hoping the ending would be explosive. Boy was I wrong. Tim is a pathetic, unlikeable character which makes it totally unbelievable that Gaby, Dan and Kerry would worship him in the way that they do. It didn't seem to me that Francine was all that horrendous, she just sounded like a bit of a cow. I can ...more
Minty McBunny
I read the first book in this series and liked it enough to want to read more, but my library didn't have any. So when this book came in, I was interested to read it even though I knew I'd missed all the books in between.

I definitely felt that lack of knowledge regarding all the CID characters' lives but I was still able to enjoy the main story. And enjoy it I did, it was weird and gripping and tense all the way through.

But then at the end, it just totally fell flat. The motive, the solution,
Jul 07, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, suspense
I usually really enjoy Sophie Hannah's suspense novels and go into them knowing that for the first third or so, nothing is going to make sense. This one, however, never reached the point where everything starts to come together and the rest is fast-paced and you can't wait to find out what happens next. Once our trusty Culver Valley CID detectives began to unravel the web of lies and motives woven by the suspects, the whole thing became a big convoluted mess that relied on people thinking and do ...more
Amber Myott
Jan 18, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The only book I have read of Sophie's was The point of rescue which I read quite a few years ago and enjoyed . I came across the carrier at a second hand book store and wish I had left it there ! Confusing,messy and sloppy storylines ..... And I skim read the last half of the book which always makes me grumpy that I felt like I had to do that !
Carolyn Young
Interesting and well written, but a little scattered. The beginning was good, but then it kind of drags on and some of the characters aren't very clear or believable. The ending is disappointing also. It is, however, suspenseful, some parts more than others, but enough that I wanted to keep reading to find out what happened.
Garry Stevens
Jan 07, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I've read three of Ms Hannah's books. Had I read but one, I would have been more impressed. The author has really only written one book, and then rehashed the same characters, the same neuroses, the same plots, over, and over, and over. The same could be said of Agatha Christie, but Christie did it with more finesse and style.

Here is Ms Hannah's inevitable and tedious formula. The protagonist is invariably an upper-middle class unlikable, neurotic, demanding, self-righteous woman, who holds ever
finally got to finish this after suffering from reader's block. i thought it's going to take me months to finish this. but i was thinking about all other books that i haven't touched. and even all the books that i was planning to buy! *sigh*

okay. so this book is about crime solving, a guy who confess that he killed his wife, but actually trying to cover for somebody. the character, Tim Breary for me is a very unique guy. he analyzes everything and he thinks differently. i am still wondered how p
Feb 16, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I usually love Sophie Hannah's novels, but this latest book completely lacked the wit, dark side and compelling qualities of her previous books. Some of the characters appear very one-dimensional (especially the "thugs" that Sophie so vehemently dislikes). The ending is just awful and terribly rushed. However, there are some redeeming features: contrary to what other readers said, I found the inclusion of poetry in the narrative rather interesting - it introduced me to authors that I wouldn't ha ...more
Mar 21, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'm normally a huge fan of Sophie Hannah's work and had been really looking forward to reading this latest book. It started off very promising but then went downhill before I'd even reached halfway. I was so bored at times that I only skim-read a chunk of the pages (all these 'letters to Francine' were so dull) and the ending fell totally flat. Not one of her best, I'm afraid, and I'd have a hard time recommending it to anyone.
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Goodreads Librari...: cover replacement (from photo to publisher site) 2 16 Jun 05, 2017 06:23AM  
Goodreads Librari...: The Carrier missing book cover art 2 11 Dec 16, 2016 12:52AM  
Should books be read in order? 4 12 Dec 04, 2013 03:05AM  

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Sophie Hannah is an internationally bestselling writer of psychological crime fiction, published in 27 countries. In 2013, her latest novel, The Carrier, won the Crime Thriller of the Year Award at the Specsavers National Book Awards. Two of Sophie’s crime novels, The Point of Rescue and The Other Half Lives, have been adapted for television and appeared on ITV1 under the series title Case Sensiti ...more

Other books in the series

Spilling CID (1 - 10 of 11 books)
  • Little Face (Spilling CID, #1)
  • Hurting Distance (Spilling CID, #2)
  • The Wrong Mother (Spilling CID, #3)
  • The Other Half Lives (Spilling CID, #4)
  • A Room Swept White (Spilling CID, #5)
  • Lasting Damage (Spilling CID, #6)
  • Kind of Cruel (Spilling CID, #7)
  • Pictures Or It Didn't Happen (Spilling CID, #8.5)
  • Woman with a Secret (Spilling CID, #9)
  • The Next to Die (Spilling CID, #10)
“You know how I feel about Occam’s Razor. The simplest answer isn’t usually the right one. Devious and unlikely is everywhere.’ ‘You ought to launch your own theory: Occam’s Beard, you could call it.” 3 likes
“No, thanks,’ said Sam, who had never understood why he often refused drinks he would have liked to accept.” 3 likes
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