Jane's Reviews > The Point Of Rescue

The Point Of Rescue by Sophie Hannah
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's review
Sep 11, 2012

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This is the fourth Sophie Hannah novel I have read; I started with the most recently published novel, Kind of Cruel, after hearing her discussing it on the radio. After I started reading it, I became aware that it was clearly the most recent instalment of a series about the Spilling CID team, so I decided to go back to the start and read the novels in order.

The Point of Rescue is the third novel in the series, and (not including Kind of Cruel)it is the first one that I have read where I have been more or less satisfied with the ending. It seems clear that Hannah's endings are improving as the series goes on, as Kind of Cruel had a perfectly satisfactory conclusion.

The basic story of The Point of Rescue surrounds Sally Thorning, a married mother of two who had a brief affair with a man she believed to be called Mark Bretherick. When Mark Bretherick turns up on the news as the husband of a dead mother and daughter, Sally realises that this man and the man with whom she had an affair are not the same person. This begins a thrilling sequence of events that involve murder, possible suicide, and kidnap.

The narrative of the novel alternates between the first person narration of Sally Thorning, and the third person narration detailing the police work. These chapters are interspersed with a series of diary entries, written by the murdered woman. All of Sophie Hannah's novel use this way of telling the story. It allows the reader to understand what the protagonist of the story (in this case, Sally Thorning) is feeling, but also gives us an insight into the police investigation. Hannah allows her police officers to become part of the story, and in turn is able to make their stories into a series.

Talking of the police officers, it is not always easy to like the CID team who work on these cases. Charlie Zailer and Simon Waterhouse are an awkward couple, while Gibbs, Sellers and Proust are irritating. Kombothekra is probably the most likable character, but even he has his faults. As I mentioned, I have read four of Hannah's books so far, and it seems that Simon is always the one who cracks the case, and he always seems to do so alone, maybe sharing some information with Charlie in order to organise his thoughts better.

Having said all this, I very much enjoyed it, and the ending was definitely an improvement to the preceding novels. Although, as in those other novels, it takes a rather large coincidence in order for the right people to come into contact with each other in order for the story to take shape, this time it takes much less suspense of disbelief for the reader. The story builds steadily until it finally comes to a conclusion, and there is a lot of satisfaction in finding out not just who the culprit it, but why he chose to do the things he did.
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