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The Safe House

3.49  ·  Rating details ·  2,992 ratings  ·  150 reviews
Samantha Laschen, a doctor specialising in post-traumatic stress disorder, has moved to the Essex coast with her small daughter, Elsie, to escape the problems of her London life. Or so she thinks. Fiona Mackenzie barely survived the savage, murderous attack which left her parents dead. Now she is in need of sanctuary and the police see Sam as the ideal person to offer her ...more
Paperback, 322 pages
Published March 25th 2008 by Penguin UK (first published 1998)
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Average rating 3.49  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,992 ratings  ·  150 reviews

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Feb 08, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This thriller lacked the thrill for me. I didn’t feel any comradery for any of the characters, and lacked any connection at all. I wanted to keep going only to see whodunit. Even that was kindo of cr@#. Sometimes I wonder if I’d enjoy the physical book more than the audio, who’s to know? I couldn’t reconcile the love between the ones that were meant to have loved; nor the atrocities that were carried out by the horrible ones. I just didn’t get it!

The narrator was clear and smooth but
THE SAFE HOUSE by Nicci French started off strong with the discovery of the bodies of a wealthy husband and wife - Leo and Elizabeth MacKenzie. The couples daughter- Finn - is found upstairs away from the murders, suffering from a neck wound...but still alive.

Dr Samantha Laschen is a specialist of post-traumatic stress. She has moved from London to the countryside with her young daughter - Elise - not far from where the recent murders took place. Samantha's (Sam) plans for peace and quiet are put on hol
Oct 05, 2010 rated it did not like it
Shelves: popular-fiction
Incredibly boring book with cardboard characters who communicate with each other in dead serious, uninteresting dialogue. The story unfolds tediously slow, with a seemingly endless description of the main character's daily routines. Then Nicci French performs a hard to imitate trick: lots of highly unlikely elements and unrealistic events are added to the story, without making it more interesting! The ending is so bad that you get the impression that the authors had to meet their deadline and wr ...more
Jan 26, 2009 rated it it was ok
I love Nicci French books for the involving day-to-dayness of the books. This one got me like the rest but I absolutely hated the ending.
Aug 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 08, 2017 rated it liked it
I usually love Nicci French books and this one started off well. However about two-thirds in it descended into a bit of a quagmire for me and I didn't enjoy the ending. It almost became a non-ending. It also took a long while to get to the ending and this should have happened sooner in my opinion as it dragged on to no real purpose.
Jul 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars
A fast and easy read, with a not so surprising end with a surprising twist. As I see from the other reviews this is not one of Nicci French's best novels, but I enjoyed it enough so I'm looking forward to reading more of their novels.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kristi Thompson
Mar 18, 2009 rated it it was ok
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Dec 09, 2010 rated it liked it
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Jun 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
I'm always pleasantly surprised when I pick up a new read by a new author that I've never even heard of and my daring choice pays off. This book was a wonderfully suspenseful page-turner. I'm always rather uneasy with novels in first person (this one flip-flopped, but was primarily in first), but Nicci managed to do it in a way that wasn't overwhelming. The characters were well developed and interesting to tag along with. POTENTIAL SPOILERS: There were a few loose ends that I would've liked tied ...more
Nov 19, 2017 rated it it was ok
I've read other books by Nicci French and really enjoyed them, but this one was a struggle to get through as it really didn't hold my attention. It started well, then became dull as it just followed day to day activities with no real suspence. When things do start to happen again it's a sudden curveball and then back to fairly unexciting. If this had been my first book by this author I doubt I would have read more, but it was an anomaly as I normally enjoy their books.
Dec 07, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
I have now given Nicci French the old college try (two books). I'm done.

The book is not terrible. If I were in a plane on a tarmac for several hours, it would certainly help to pass the time. However.... The protagonist is unbelievable, and the 'twist' is visible from afar. This makes the final third of the book quite tedious.
Ana Silva Rosa
Mar 23, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2014
Beneath the Skin was really great so obviously, my hopes were too high. Oh well.

Elsie was really cute.
but the plot twist was predictable.
Aug 12, 2012 rated it did not like it
For some reason I couldn't get through this book, although I'm a real Nicci French addict. I found it predictable after having read some of the other earlier Nicci French novels.
Aug 17, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thrillers
A slow burner and an unsatisfactory ending.
Listened to in audio format.

The Safe House was written by husband and wife team Nicci Gerrard and Sean French.

The Safe House began with the cleaner finding the dead bodies of Leo and Elizabeth McKenzie. Their daughter Finn had been stabbed in the neck and was barely clinging to life.

Psychiatrist Dr Sam Lachen and her daughter Elsie had recently moved from London to the country. Sam was due to start a new job in a hospital setting up a unit treating PTSD. ...more
Aug 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've had a binge of re-reading Nicci French written prior to the Frida Klein series. 'The Safe House' is one of the best of these, if what you are looking for is a plot with some complexity and murder which does not instill too much fear. This is not to say that it is dull read, quite the reverse. But, unlike my having to read the end of 'The Land of the living' because of my unbearable fear around the middle of the novel, 'The Safe House' can safely be read as it should be.

The protagonists are
Vicky F
Apr 27, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: favourites
The Safe House was an unexpectedly good read, it was one of the books that was read due to a distinct lack of anything else grabbing my attention.
The language was simple and the plot easy to follow, a simple read for anyone interested in the murder mystery genre.
Not a page turner in the sense that its unputdownable, but an exciting read nonetheless.
Not the best read I've ever had but by no means the worst!
Worth a read!
Beth (bibliobeth)
Dec 16, 2012 rated it liked it
A decent enough story from the husband and wife writing team that is Nicci French. Making my way through the backlist and enjoyed this much more than The Memory Game. Looking forward to the next one!
Kristine Walker
Aug 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
We learn the significance of the title near the end of this novel where we're given a surprise that few readers will have anticipated. The author has left clues for us along the way, but if you're like this reader, you'll have looked for them and missed them. A trauma counsellor is asked to take in a victim who has just witnessed the murder of her parents. Young Finn Mackenzie is quiet when she first arrives, but she and Dr. Lauschen soon become friends while the local police ostensibly search f ...more
Sep 12, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: crime
The Nicki French shelf at the library always seems generous, so I picked up a random book for a taste.

Thoughts: it was slow at the start, where is the ‘thriller’... ? So slow, I abandoned and read another book.
Picking up where I left off, I’m pleased to say this book did get better. Things start to happen in the last third.

The main protagonist is hard to like. The situation seems improbable. The ending did not satisfy my appetite.

On the basis of this, I wouldn’t rush to pick up another
Oct 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
Stars: 3,5

I liked the book a lot. The writing style is nice and the plot unravels slowly. If the ending was more complete I would have given it 4 stars. I get the end, but I feel like it isn't really finished. And yet it is. Perhaps it is the wish that in books everything gets solved and that just doesn't always happen. Still, it's a good book.
Julie (J.P.) Pardy
Aug 25, 2017 rated it it was ok
Very bland is all I can think to describe this. By the last few chapters I really didn't care how it ended. I had already figured out most of what I needed to know, just lacked the care to know more. I did like the other book I read from this author very much so this was a little disappointing.
Adrian Royce
Nov 11, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: thriller
I almost abandoned this to start another novel until about 2/3 through the plot starts to come together quickly. If the notion of the "Safe House" is actually only in our minds, the author combination of Nicci and French achieved this very well. However about half way through one can easily guess who the culprit is and compared to Nicci French's other novels that seemed a bit disappointing.
May 13, 2019 rated it liked it
well i quite enjoyed this apart from the unsatisfactory end.... what was all that in the park with x and elsie about and what was that phone number, if it was one.

does anyone ever answer these questions?
Feb 16, 2017 rated it did not like it
Definitely the worst book I've read written by Nicci French. Usually I really like their books, but this one was a bad thriller in every way: it wasn't exciting, no reason to read on, very predictable and an open ending (that last one is subjective, I just really don't like open endings).
Jan 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
more of a 3.5 the story in theory is very good, I wouldn't say it was a thriller though. Started off really well, the writing style is lovely and easy to read, though charectors needed more. Plus lots of loose ends that needed tidying up.
Nov 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
A typically good read from Nicci French. I disliked the child of the main character, but I think I was intended to. In fact I didn't really like any of the main characters. Disappointed with the ending. Overall though it was sinister and had an excellent plot twist.
Amy Leveque
Nov 15, 2018 rated it it was ok
The writing at times was terribly confusing.
So many questions went unanswered.
The general story idea to me was exciting but i felt it was just rushed and put on the shelves without any love. Disappointed.
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Fiction Fanatics: July 2018 - The Safe House 6 18 Jul 24, 2018 06:17PM  

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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.
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