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Close to the Edge

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Morning rush hour on the London underground and Laurie Bateman is on her way to work when she witnesses a terrible accident. The elderly gentleman next to her on the platform falls onto the tracks and is fatally injured. With the police uninterested, Laurie is drawn to investigate and soon finds herself breaking into the tube network in the dead of night searching for a clue dropped by the dead man, only to be pursued by two unknown assailants whom she narrowly escapes. But Laurie’s troubles are far from over and soon she loses her job, has her phone stolen and discovers her flat has been burgled and her flatmate assaulted. It takes her father to persuade her that everything might be connected. Laurie starts to dig deeper, unaware that as she gets closer to the truth, she is endangering not only herself, but also everyone she loves

312 pages, Kindle Edition

Published April 4, 2019

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Toby Faber

6 books6 followers

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5 stars
10 (7%)
4 stars
25 (17%)
3 stars
44 (31%)
2 stars
24 (17%)
1 star
37 (26%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 44 reviews
Profile Image for Selena Govier.
43 reviews1 follower
April 10, 2019
This book is a complete car crash! The action is totally implausible, characters are so ridiculous it makes you wonder if the author has ever met a woman! Every woman is portrayed as a complete idiot, reckless and emotional with absolutely no rational thought and swooning after men. In fact I wouldn’t be surprised if this was written by someone who lived in a cave all their life with no clue on how the world works! Or that he’s about 12 years old with no actual life experiences. So annoyed I wasted good reading time on this one, but I guess not every book can be good! The author needs to a tick to non fiction please!
Profile Image for Sarah.
2,552 reviews162 followers
March 14, 2019
As soon as I started reading this book I knew I was going to struggle to put it down and i did. Struggle to put it down that is.

Laurie is witness to a horrible incident with a man falling into the path of an oncoming train. What a horrible thing to experience. I don’t think anyone could walk away unscathed from witnessing such a thing. I’m not so sure though that I would go off investigating myself when the police are reluctant to believe it’s anything other than an accident/suicide.

What follows is a whole heap of intrigue and suspense as to what really happened and the strange things that are going on in Laurie’s life. Either way Laurie is determined to find out and has the reader routing her from behind, relishing the thought of what shocks and surprises are in store for us.

Close To The Edge is a riveting, page turner of a read that really does have you on the edge of your seat. There is a real sense of danger throughout the story and I couldn’t turn the pages quick enough to see how it was all going to end and the author doesn’t disappoint. Great read and look forward to more works of fiction by the author.

My thanks to Muswell Press for an advanced readers copy of this book. All opinions are my own and not biased in anyway.
75 reviews
April 9, 2019
If I could give this book no stars I would, I only finished to see how ridiculous the ending might be. Really stupid characters, that behave in ways that make no sense at all.
Profile Image for Marcel Haußmann.
693 reviews26 followers
September 22, 2020
Auf 869 - Die einzige Zeugin bin ich durch das Cover aufmerksam geworden. Nachdem ich dann den Klappentext studiert hatte, war klar, dass ich die Geschichte unbedingt lesen muss:

Ein ganz normaler Tag in der Londoner U-Bahn, bis sich ein Mann vor einen einfahrenden Zug wirft. Für die Polizei ist es Selbstmord doch Laurie ist sich da nicht ganz sicher. Der Mann wirkte glücklich und sie erinnert sich das er ein seltsames Objekt in der Hand hielt. Kurz entschlossen kehrt Laurie nochmal zum Unfallort zurück, um nach dem Gegenstand zu suchen und findet einen seltsamen Schlüssel. Kurz darauf rennt sie in den Tunneln der U-Bahn um ihr Leben...

Die Prämisse in den Tunneln der Londoner U-Bahn ist natürlich sehr verlockend, da man daraus einen wirklich tollen Thriller schreiben kann. Vor allem, wenn dann noch ein mysteriöser Gegenstand und ein Mord dazu kommt möchte man unbedingt wissen was da vor sich geht. Der Einstieg ist auch wirklich spannend gestaltet so das man gut in die Geschichte reinkommt und auch eine gute Verbindung zu Laurie herstellen kann.

Unsere Protagonistin war mir direkt sympathisch auch, wenn sie ziemlich oft auf der Leitung steht und sich unbeabsichtigt in die unmöglichsten Situationen begibt. Vor allem ihre unerlässliche Suche nach der Wahrheit sorgen dafür das man sie ins Herz schließt und mit ihr mitfiebert.

Der Schreibstil von Tobey Faber ist flüssig und lässt sich gut weg lesen. Vor allem die spannenden Szenen sind wirklich intensiv geschrieben. Leider wird immer wieder das Tempo gedrosselt und die Spannungsmomente lassen teilweise zulange auf sich warten. Gegen Ende passiert dann auf einmal alles auf einmal und sie Spannung und Action steigen rasant an. Leider etwas zu spät in meinen Augen.

Insgesamt war ich gut von dem Thriller unterhalten, hier hätte man aber deutlich mehr draus machen können. Ich hätte mir ein bisschen mehr Spannung erhofft. Dennoch das tolle Setting, eine sympathische Protagonistin, ein interessanter Plot und ein fulminantes Ende gleichen das ganze wieder etwas aus so das ich 3,5 von 5 Sterne vergeben kann.
Profile Image for Kelly Van Damme.
647 reviews23 followers
April 10, 2019
I hate to say it but I didn’t enjoy this novel at all. It starts out pretty well, with an action-filled scene in the underground, but I did feel a little overwhelmed and unprepared, I had no clue what was going on. I decided to go with the flow, but I’m afraid it all went downhill from there and rather fast to boot. And I went from overwhelmed by the opening chapter to underwhelmed by all the others. I disliked the main character, Laurie, she had me rolling my eyes and sighing at every turn. She does the most stupid, brainless things, she’s abnormally invested in the accident she saw and in this guy she’s just met. The story is flimsy, predictable and simply beyond suspending disbelief, lots of events / actions make no sense whatsoever and all the characters are firmly two-dimensional.
This is the first The Pigeonhole read that had me enjoying the comments more than the so-called thriller.
Profile Image for Fay Flude.
614 reviews26 followers
April 10, 2019
This was such a disappointing and unbelievable read. It started off well with the unusual setting and a reasonable amount of tension, but like a runaway train, it sped up without any direction or control and came hurtling off the tracks in a chaotic mess of a storyline that just didn't add up, make much sense, or possess any credibility.
The detail about travelling the underground whilst the rails weren't live, and running through tunnels was painful and for me, very hard to imagine and understand.
I thought I was going to like this book at the very beginning but the whole thing collapsed. I've always avoided the London Underground and now I know why!
Profile Image for Pheadra.
622 reviews21 followers
April 10, 2019
This book was a disappointment after starting out with promise and a cracking speed. It personified women as stupid and reckless and whilst fellow book-club readers said it was reminiscent of a Mills and Boon novel, I cannot recall a single Mills and Boon book that exemplified the lead character as downright idiotic. The writing was average at best and the storyline went from showing potential to a ridiculous mess with none of the characters portrayed as credible. Deeply disappointing.
Profile Image for Clare.
985 reviews7 followers
April 10, 2019
I hate to give only one star, but I really REALLY struggled with this one. The female main character was so badly written that I wondered if the author had ever actually met a woman, and the storyline itself was all over the place. Implausible. I know it’s fiction, and I know books are allowed to stretch reality, but this seemed disjointed and all over the place. And the end third was just a rush with no realistic explanations. The only saving grace, was that I read this on The Pigeonhole, and my fellow readers made the best comments throughout!
Profile Image for Scott Young.
7 reviews
May 24, 2020
Thrilling book, many twists and turns and crazy situations the characters find themselves in, a must read
Profile Image for Mary Picken.
723 reviews19 followers
April 19, 2019
Close to the Edge begins with a fast forward chapter and the following chapters consider what happened in the run up to those events, before returning to the present day.

Laurie Bateman is working in London as a PA/Assistant at a financial services company in Mayfair. Originally from Somerset, she’s come to London after the death of her mum, something that still dwells on her mind. That’s why she notices when a man at on the Tube platform smiles at her and indicates by way of a gesture that she has a smudge on her nose. Seconds later he has gone from the platform and onto the tracks below; he is dead.

The Police are considering it a suicide, but Laurie can’t put him out of her mind. She keeps thinking about him; remembering small details of their brief, silent interchange. She remembers that he had something in his hand just before he went, but that it wasn’t in his hand when she later saw the body lying there.

Soon she is sure he wouldn’t have smiled at her that way if he was going to jump and she is drawn to investigate. Feeling alone and somewhat bereft she is glad to meet a handsome chap who listens sympathetically to her story and offers to help her find what it was the man was carrying. Before long, they are creeping into the into the tube network in the dead of night. Not the cleverest of moves, perhaps, and so it proves when she and her new boyfriend are ambushed by two thugs.

After a narrow escape, Laurie has only just begun to recover when further troubles befall her. A series of seemingly unrelated unpleasant incidents start to build up into a picture of very real trouble.

Returning home to Somerset, Laurie continues her research and investigations, helped by her flatmate and her father, not realising that she has stumbled onto a truly despicable series of crimes that could put everyone she loves in jeopardy.

Toby Faber’s novel is redolent with the kind of detail and atmosphere of London’s Tube network that both feels realistic and would also put you off ever travelling by tube again. His plot is rooted in the financial world, but his antagonists come straight from the world of East End gangsters.

In a fast moving, action fuelled thriller, where dead bodies abound and torture comes as second nature (though not terribly graphic, gruesome enough), and the danger is all too palpable. The plot, while really interesting, does however require quite a suspension of disbelief, and some of the characters’ actions seem too far-fetched to ring true.

I really liked the whole idea of this book and I enjoyed the pace and the key plot elements, but I found that the actions of some of the main characters sometimes made me want to scream and throw things at them.

Verdict: Close to the Edge is an easy and pretty enjoyable read, even if not quite for me.
603 reviews24 followers
April 14, 2019
There’s not too much I can say about this book that is positive. I read this via the Pigeonhole app and most of us were in agreement how ludicrous the plot was and how badly written it is. A women, Laurie, witnesses a man fall (or is he pushed??) in front of an underground train,noticing as he does so that he is holding something, possibly a key, in his hand. Whilst the police believe this to be suicide, Laurie for some reason I can’t fathom decides to investigate for herself. So begins the most ridiculous storyline that involves a ‘chance’ meeting with Paul who seems strangely very interested in what Laurie witnessed. There are midnight shenanigans underground searching for this missing key, not to mention getting chased by a couple of thugs, and to top it all her dad and flat mate Jess becoming involved which results in two dead bodies that are conveniently forgotten about. I won’t say any more in case there are other readers who still wish to read this despite the poor reviews but the dialogue at times was so atrocious it made me almost give up. I had absolutely no interest in what happened towards the end as the whole thing was simply farcical. Sorry to write such a scathing review but the author should stick to publishing and not writing!!
Profile Image for Jen.
1,199 reviews62 followers
April 26, 2019
I was immediately drawn to the story. I've travelled on the underground many times, seen the scrum during busy commuter, hours and often thought about just how easy it would be for someone to lose their footing, perhaps get too close to the edge of the track at the wrong time and then about the potential for what could and would happen next. It's not implausible if, thankfully, relatively rare. What Toby Faber has done with Too Close To The Egde, is take this fear, this absolutely possible scenario, and kick it up a notch, taking central character Laurie Bateman and dumping her right in the middle of a fight for her life.

The book is not the fastest thriller, no all action heroes at play here, but the pacing works perfectly for the story that unfolds. Laurie is an everyday character, very much in the wrong place at the wrong time. She suffered a great loss as a young child, one which affected the rest of her life, and one which makes her all the more curious about the man who she sees fall in front of the tube train. The way in which the author has depicted her reaction is believable, her anxiety completely understandable. She is someone I warmed to very early on, even if it was very quickly obvious that she makes some very questionable life choices, ones which had me rolling my eyes and getting a little frustrated at her seeming naivety.

I read the book in stages, something which actually worked very well with the action broken down over a matter of days. Each day saw new questions brought forth, suspicions arising and the tension slowly building. There are moments in the book which get the pulse racing, the scenes in the underground tunnels after dark, and the terror that Laurie and her father are subjected to as they dig further into the life of the victim especially notable. These scenes end in very surprising ways, and you may have to go with the flow a little, but it does make you start to wonder what would you have done under the same circumstances?

Toby Faber has really managed to set the scene for readers, from the claustrophobic nature of the underground, to the open space and freedom of the countryside around Laurie's fathers home. He has taken a very plausible situation, keeping it for the most part grounded in reality, but twisting it slightly to add a layer of mystery and intrigue. The tension is just right, not over played, and you learn very quickly that if something seems too good to be true, then it probably is. The polished narrative means that you also experience the highs and lows of Laurie's mood, her jubilation when she achieves something, her depression when it all goes wrong, and feel her fear when she is under attack. It all makes for a quick and entertaining read.
133 reviews6 followers
June 26, 2019
A great start to an exciting thriller, a young woman is being chased through the underground at night. With fast paced action I had high hopes for this thriller but unfortunately that's where it ended. A very irritating main character who didn't have any likliness to any woman I know, confused how I was supposed to feel for her.
A plodding plot to reveal the back story, then a slow plod along mystery which was, I thought, written for young adults, then the atrocious attack scenes that were just cringe.
I feel that I received a very early draft copy where only the first few chapters had been edited, which is a shame as I think there was a good idea there it just needed depth of characters, better language and some reason to want to find out what was going on.
Thanks pigeonhole for letting me read.
Profile Image for Di Paterson.
342 reviews11 followers
April 10, 2019
This book started off really well, and I had high hopes for it, but it went totally downhill after the first couple of pages. The plot became increasingly more implausible. The characters were just ridiculous, and in the end, I finished it purely because I had to see how the author was going to wrap it up. Badly, is the answer. Just too pat, with no growth in any of the characters. Don't waste your time. It's neither electrifying, nor thrilling, as the blurb will have you believe, just plodding. My thanks to my fellow readers and, The Pigeonhole, who made the experience bearable with all their comments along the way.
593 reviews6 followers
May 12, 2019
Hmm, this was okay, a story about a woman who witnesses a death on the Underground and then various ‘random’ things happen. It was nice reading a book about parts of London I know well but as a consequence I guessed the answer to one of the plot points pretty quickly. Some of the characters actions weren’t always that believable and some of violence felt a bit gratuitous, in that in some books that level of violence is to be expected because it’s that sort of book but this story did not present itself as seeming to be that way, so the violence, which was largely sexual assault related, seemed, like I said, gratuitous.
Profile Image for Sue Jenkins.
206 reviews6 followers
April 10, 2019
What began as a promising storyline turned out to be a huge disappointment. The whole plot was far fetched and incredible and the main character was portrayed as a complete idiot....surprising when she was a supposedly educated woman from a similar family background. I read this with Pigeonhole and was continually waiting for things to get better; unfortunately they got worse! The best part was reading the comments of other readers along the way! I am glad I did not pay for this book, as it was one of the worst I have read for a long time! Sorry!
6 reviews
April 22, 2019
I’m mindful that authors put a lot of time and effort into writing books so I feel unkind rating it with 1 star. This book started promisingly but a few chapters in it started to be implausible. I’m happy to stretch my imagination in books but it has to have some credibility. The plot was far fetched, the lead character was an insult to the female sex and it is beyond belief that three such ordinary citizens would not have involved the police. I hope these reviews don’t put the author off writing again.
Profile Image for Izzy.
37 reviews1 follower
July 16, 2022
I really didn't enjoy the book. I was so tempted to put it down and abandon it at times but thought I would keep going in the hopes it would improve. t didn't and it ended without any real conclusion. The book started off well but as time went on it became clear that there was no real plotline and the entire thing was underwhelming.

Laurie is a totally unbelievable character and the fact she fell for Paul like that is nonsense. I guessed the twist as soon as he appeared. It felt like the writing was rushed.
Profile Image for Stefanie.
166 reviews3 followers
March 1, 2022
For the first 30% I could not really understand the bad reviews, it seemed to be a fast paced thriller set in my favourite city.
After that it got into chaos, characters behaving not like real people, the story confused and full of unanswered questions. The solution of the case was a good idea but the way this was written... A man with the right network/contcats wants to write a book about stupid women and they go and publish this no matter what?
One star because it"s about cycling in London...
April 13, 2019
Feel terrible for rating this book with only 2 stars, but I genuinely didn’t like it. There was something very wrong with the timing, I don’t understand how this could be missed by the author, proofreaders and publisher.
If I take a few steps back and look at the story, it could have been a great one, but the way it was told was terrible. I’m not saying I could do better, because I can’t write at all, but I would have handled the story differently. Of that I’m sure as hell!
Sometimes I got just too many unnecessary details, doing nothing to the story, not even giving some beautiful descriptions, and sometimes I really missed some information.
Profile Image for Vicky Cornelius.
97 reviews
April 10, 2019
This book started off with great promise - the mystery of why a woman was in the underground at night, what was she looking for and who was after her. Sadly, after that first chapter it was all downhill. The characters weren’t believable as humans at some points. The events happening were unbelievable. The weighting was meh at best.
Profile Image for Gail Wylde.
679 reviews14 followers
April 10, 2019
Extremely disappointed with this book. It started off well and then went downhill at an alarming rate. I cannot even say I liked any of the characters, Dad had promise in the beginning then he went a bit silly. Not for me, sorry!
Profile Image for Christine Rennie.
2,024 reviews9 followers
April 10, 2019
I read this book via Pigeonhole in 10 staves and enjoyed reading it.
This isn’t the best book I have read this year but it was easy reading. I think it was at times very unrealistic and unbelievable and the storyline could have done with some realistic characters and stronger storyline.
Profile Image for Tracy.
277 reviews20 followers
April 14, 2019
This is very unusual for me...I think this is my first one star review!

The most annoying thing about this book, apart from the characters, their behaviour, the plot and the execution, is that the premise is actually really, really good, but it falls flat just about everywhere else.

The women are all ridiculous, skittish and dreaming so much of butterflies and love hearts that they ignore obvious danger and villainy and just wander around causing havoc and putting everyone in danger. The ending is the most unsatisfactory ending to a book I think I've ever read.

I don't like to give bad reviews, but in this case it's unavoidable.
Profile Image for Stephanie.
201 reviews1 follower
April 10, 2019
This got off to a tense start but unfortunately rapidly became totally unbelievable and just did not live up to the initial excitement. This was not helped by the fact that none of the characters were credible either.
Profile Image for Barbara.
367 reviews4 followers
April 12, 2019
The book started well but went rapidly downhill. Some of the scenarios were totally beyond belief and the ending stretched credibility to breaking point. I read this book courtesy of the Pigeonhole and the best thing about it was reading the comments from fellow readers.
2 reviews
April 17, 2019
Really interesting book! If you like crime books, does the job well! If you like the tube, you will be amazed! There are good plot twists which takes you off guard. As a bonus, naughty sex scenes make the book very “exciting”
Profile Image for Kim Slaney.
81 reviews
May 11, 2019
I actually enjoyed the book, not the best I’ve read. Some of the story was unbelievable but the journey underground was interesting. Research about the underground is evident. Thanks to pigeonhole for letting me read this.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 44 reviews

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