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A Double Life

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3.37  ·  Rating details ·  4,263 ratings  ·  689 reviews
“A thrilling page-turner.” —Paula Hawkins, author of The Girl on the Train

“Breathtaking . . . As shocking as it is satisfying.” —The New York Times Book Review

A gripping, intense, stunningly written novel of psychological suspense from the award-winning author of Under the Harrow


Claire is a hardworking doctor leading a simple, quiet life in London. She is also the daughter
...more
Kindle Edition, 288 pages
Published July 31st 2018 by Weidenfeld & Nicolson
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Average rating 3.37  · 
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 ·  4,263 ratings  ·  689 reviews


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Debra
Apr 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley, edelweiss
3.5 stars

Thirty years ago, while Claire and her baby brother slept, a brutal attack took place in their home. An attack that left a young woman dead and their Mother injured. Claire's father's car was found abandoned with blood on the interior of the car. Her Mother, who was wounded in the attack, always stated that Claire's father was in the home that night. Her father's friends painted a different picture stating that Claire's father was innocent, and that Claire's Mother was the unstable one.
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Kaceey
2.5*
Sometimes a book can capture your attention immediately, grabbing you tightly from the start. Leaving you to fully expect a great read you can sink your teeth into. And sometimes, no matter how hard you try, you just cannot get that connection. Unfortunately, with this read I fell into the latter category.

Claire grew up having to shoulder the knowledge that her father may have been a killer. She hasn't seen or heard from him since she was a child. Is he on the run because he was guilty? Or i
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Tammy
Apr 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loosely based on the Lord Lucan case, A Double Life is told from the adult perspective of one of the surviving children who was in the house when her father murdered her nanny, beat her mother and vanished. How does such horror affect one’s life? In this instance, finding her father and desperately wanting to know the truth is an all consuming obsession. Claire, a physician living in London, is understandably a mess. Each time she is notified about a possible sighting of her father, she is tosse ...more
Linda
Evil transcends all privilege, all class, and all sophisticated personalities.

Flynn Berry presents a storyline based on a famous unsolved crime in the twentieth century involving Lord Lucan. Lord Lucan was to have killed their nanny and brutally attacked his wife. And he simply disappeared.

Spin the revolving stage and we meet Claire, a physician, who has a parallel background to the Lord Lucan unsavory story. As a child, Claire came upon the body of their nanny in a pool of blood in the kitchen.
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Marialyce
Jul 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: edelweiss
4 appealed to me stars
My reviews can be found here: https://yayareadslotsofbooks.wordpres...

This was the first Flynn Barry book that I have read and I truly have to say I will be back for more.

A horrendous murder has been committed, a well heeled father, Colin Spenser, has been accused, blood is later found in his abandoned car, and his children and wife are left to pick up the pieces. Colin, a Lord in the House of Lords, is suspected of murder and yet he is missing. Has he killed himself after
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Katie B
There was a simplicity aspect to the book that I really enjoyed. The author didn't try to make this an overly complicated mystery with so many twists and turns that end up hurting the story rather than enhancing it. The book itself is only around 270 pages so the story doesn't drag on and on as you are wondering what happened to the father who disappeared after a woman was murdered. Ended up finishing this in a day as it was an enjoyable read and I find it fascinating that the book was loosely b ...more
Dianne
I was a big fan of Flynn Berry’s “Under the Harrow,” so I was delighted to score an ARC of her newest book, “A Double Life.” The novel is loosely based on the real life mystery of Lord Lucan, a British peer who disappeared after being suspected of the brutal murder of his children’s nanny and the assault of his wife during an ongoing custody dispute. To this day, it is unclear if he committed suicide or escaped England with the help of well-placed friends. He has never been found.

In Berry’s tell
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Robert Blumenthal
I really enjoyed this thriller, though it definitely straddled the border between thriller and literary novel. In fact, I would think that some thriller fans might find this to be just a bit tedious for their taste. It is somewhat of a slow burn, though I found myself to be quite involved from early on.

It is based on the real life crime case of Lord Lucan, a British royal who was accused of killing his children's nanny and attempting to kill his estranged wife. He disappeared and no one knows fo
...more
Rachel
Flynn Berry's debut novel Under the Harrow was one of the more pleasant reading surprises I've had this year; I felt like I'd found a hidden gem that ticked all of my thriller boxes (atmospheric, dark, is more of a character study than a fast-paced page-turner). A Double Life just reinforced my appreciation of Berry's style. I can see where her books won't work for all thriller lovers, but they really work for me.

Loosely based on the Lord Lucan case, A Double Life follows Claire, whose father mu
...more
Michelle


She said she heard noises coming from downstairs so she went to see what they were. When she reached the landing she found her estranged husband with a length of pipe outfitted with tape.
He attacked her forcing his fist down her throat.

He said he was walking past the house when he witnessed the fight. He came in to aid his wife and the burglar ran away.

The evidence
Although his DNA is present at the scene of the crime and blood is found in his car 70 miles away there is no DNA underneath her fi
...more
Susan
Jul 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This novel is based on the disappearance of Lord Lucan. However, although it is inspired by a real-life event, the characters are fictional and events are told from the point of view of Claire, a thirty four year old doctor in London. Claire started life with another name, and another life, until her father fled the country.

This novel looks at the aftermath of a crime and how it affected Claire and her young brother. Very few people know the truth about Claire’s real identity. Opening up to oth
...more
Terri
Feb 14, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The 7th Earl of Lucan was a British aristocrat who tried to murder his wife, accidently murdered the nanny, while his young children slept upstairs. This was headline news in 1974. After the murder, he then disappeared, never to be seen again and his body was never found. The author, Flynn Berry, inspired by the real-life case, does a very good job in imagining just what his children and wife went through after the horrifying ordeal. It is a thrilling story and I applaud the writer on her under ...more
Cheryl
Claire is a London physician living under an assumed identity. Time and again she finds herself disappointed when police tell her that their new search to find her missing father has not yielded any results. Twenty six years ago, while Claire and her brother were asleep upstairs in their London home, her father brutally murdered Claire’s nanny and then attempted to murder her mother. He fled the scene and was never apprehended. But Claire is determined to find her father and then discover the tr ...more
Nicole Chinnici
The blurb for A Double Life isn’t particularly vague or misleading, and yet, this book wasn’t what I expected. I think I’d been anticipating more of a spy novel of sorts, whereas this was closer to literary fiction full of mystery and suspense. But it was a thoroughly absorbing story that I enjoyed reading immensely.

With a carefully constructed plot taking place in present day with flashbacks to fill in the backstory, this story unfolded at an even pace, revealing just enough to keep the reader
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Susan Johnson
This is apparently based on the real life story of the disappearance of Lord Lucan. I have never heard of the story before but it didn't interfere with reading the book. Claire was a young child when someone broke into her home, killed her nanny and brutally attacked her mother. Her mother fingered her father, a Lord, who disappeared that night. He had been helped by his well placed friends and was never heard of again.

It's been 26 years and Claire has never stopped looking for him. She looks
...more
Glen
I won this book in a goodreads drawing.

A tale set in England. Years ago, an English peer murdered his maid and ran off. No one ever able to find out where he went. For years the man's wife looked for him, but got no cooperation from the man's friends.

Now it's years later, and her life all but ruined ( well, middle class) the man's daughter infiltrates his world and finds him fairly easily.

Unlikable characters, and a mundane plot.
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Rene Denfeld
Jul 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was lucky enough to be sent an arc of this remarkable novel. A Double Life is more than a taut thriller that will keep you poised at the edge of your seat. It's a deeply considered examination of women, violence, class, privilege, and memory. While the background of the characters was new to me—an upper class London family—the theme of a daughter searching for information about her violent father resonated, and I was captured by the story and pitch perfect prose. ...more
Liz Barnsley
Aug 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
loved Under the Harrow so I was excited to read this and it did not in any way disappoint.
I love how Flynn Berry creates and breathes life and soul into a character- in this case Claire, whose father killed her Nanny, attempted to kill her Mother then disappeared seemingly into thin air…
There is such an atmosphere here as Claire researches and travels , takes care of her brother, goes into a kind of life catatonic state every time the police believe they’ve caught up with her errant Father . I l
...more
L.A.
Feb 25, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love Flynn Berry books! "Under the Harrow" was absolutely one of her best!
In each of her books, the narrator is on a mission to solve a crime while trying to understand the situation and study the people effected or involved. She always captures her readers with the technique and in depth super sleuthing as if they are involved in the search.
This is a chilling psychological thriller that looks at how children's healing can be stifled when exposed to a tragedy in the family. Claire and Robbie
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Elaine
Aug 07, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
A Double Life is a dull tale about Claire, a doctor and traumatized woman still struggling with the violence her father inflicted on her family over two decades ago.

** Minor spoilers ahead **

Based on a true crime case from 1970s London, Claire's father was accused of murdering the nanny and brutally assaulting his wife.

He absconded the country with the help of his privileged, entitled friends.

Claire is consumed with discovering her father's whereabouts, an obsession that has her leading a
...more
Roman Clodia
Aug 08, 2018 rated it liked it
It was domestic violence. There was nothing uncommon about it, nothing mysterious. A woman is murdered by her partner two times every week in this country. Eight a month, more than a hundred a year. No one would have cared about my father, no one would know his name, if he hadn’t had money

This feels like a book confused by its own identity: part of it wants to be saying something serious about the links between class privilege and violence against women; the other half keeps remembering that
...more
Deb
Feb 03, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Just another book where the author keeps jumping back and forth in time. That is getting old.
Jen
Aug 09, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loosely based on a true crime, A Double Life introduces us to Claire. As a young child, her nanny was killed and her mother attacked in a shocking act of violence. Her fathers car is found abandoned with bloodstains on the seat but has vanished into thin air. Fast forward 30 years and we see Claire as an adult. The police come to see her to let her know that there has been a sighting of her father. This sighting doesn't pan out, as has happened for her entire life. Frustrated, Claire decides to ...more
Erika
Jun 03, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Thanks to Netgalley for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

2.5 stars. At 20% this was in danger of being a DNF for me but by 25% it got a little better, enough so to keep reading. I found the flashbacks to be presented in a very confusing way. I would be well into the flashback and just generally confused about what I was reading before I even realized it was a flashback. I also thought there were a lot of character names past and present to keep track of and that added to the co
...more
Jerrie (redwritinghood)
I received this ARC on #netgalley in exchange for my review. I love Flynn Berry’s writing and her first book, which was not your typical thriller/murder mystery. This book has a lot of that same intensity without the usual ploys - until the ending. Twenty-six years after a murder, a woman is looking for her father, who disappeared after the crime and is believed to have committed it. She assumes a fake identity and engages in her own detective work to find him. Ironically, she engages in a lot o ...more
Melissa
I received a copy of this from Netgalley in exchange for a review.

Flynn Berry’s first novel was like stepping into an inviting pool that seemed shallow, finding yourself over your head, and then taking pleasure in submersion. These days I’m drawn less and less to psychological thrillers with unreliable narrators who may or may not be the real killer or in a coma or an alcoholic blackout at a given moment or whatever, but Under the Harrow never struck me as quite fitting into that category and, u
...more
Nikki (Saturday Nite Reader)

The build-up and suspense author Flynn Berry created in the beginning through three-quarters the way through this book was incredible. After finishing a chapter and wanting to see what would happen next, the next chapter would flashback in time and I knew I would have to wait to find out. This format kept me turning page after page.

Claire is in her early thirties and hasn’t seen her father in twenty-six years. He may still be out there in the world and she can’t rest easy knowing this. He disapp
...more
Julie (JuJu)
Aug 12, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arcs
3.5 ⭐️‘s. I was intrigued by the fact that the book was loosely inspired by one of the most notorious unsolved crimes of the 20th century—the Lord Lucan case. It was well written and interesting, but I didn’t care for the way it jumps between present and past, without warning at times. But it held my attention enough to make me curious about the details of the actual case.

The story is told by the POV of the daughter—Claire—who is obsessed with finding her father. She is now a doctor, leading a
...more
Linda Strong
3.5 Stars

Claire's father has been missing almost 30 years. He disappeared after committing a brutal crime against her mother and her mother's friend. Claire's mother survived to tell people that her husband had done this. Her father's family disputed it.

Her father's car was found abandoned a short distance away, but he disappeared. Over the years there have been sightings, but it was never her father. The theory is that his family somehow smuggled him out of the country.

Claire is tired of not kn
...more
Robin Bonne
I struggled to finish this one. The characters were written with a lot of depth, however I never found them to be interesting. Every few pages my mind wandered away to think about work, my dogs, other books I am reading, what’s new on Netflix; my attention kept getting distracted.
It wasn’t a terrible read, but I probably won’t remember the plot in a few weeks.
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Flynn Berry is the author of A Double Life, which will be published in July 2018, and Under the Harrow, which won the Edgar Award for best first novel. Under the Harrow has been translated into sixteen languages and was optioned for television by Paramount. Flynn is a graduate of Brown University and the Michener Center, and was a Yaddo fellow.

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“He said he’d decided to think of the attack as he would, say, a bicycle accident. What would my life have been like if I’d made that decision.” 0 likes
“There's a relief in knowing the truth-- a completion, a block finally dropping into place -- but I'm also so stricken it hurts to breathe, and weeping, my face hot, my hands clutching my stomach. I'd thought there might still be a way out of this. A notch in the circle through which all of us, even him, could escape.” 0 likes
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