Once again, Dunant does not fail to impress me with her suspense writing. While I love her historical fiction debut ('The Birth of Venus'), I've been equally impressed with her earlier suspense novels ('Mapping the Edge', 'Snowstorms in a Hot Climate') and am eager to dive into the Hannah Wolfe mysteries.
This novel had me on the edge of my seat -- wondering just how it was going to end. Bits and pieces of it are graphic; at times I cringed as I was reading it. However, as with 'Mapping the Edge' I found myself eager to keep reading to find out what would happen next and concerned for hte protagonist's well-being. Put on some Van Morrison, kick off your shoes and curl up with a good read (this book).
From Publishers Weekly
There's a lot of showy exposition about the complicated ebb and flow of sexual power and violence, but, in the end, this thriller is about cheap thrills. Dunant, author of the popular Hannah Wolfe mystery series (Under My Skin, 1995, etc.), tells the story of Elizabeth Skvorecky. Recovering from a bad split with her live-in lover, Lizzie hunkers down in her London mansion to translate a trashy Czech police thriller. At first she resists the tale, internally railing against its images of mutilated female torsos and women chained up as dogs. But she gradually discovers that the misogynistic violence has "burrowed its way under her skin." In fact, it makes her hot. Meanwhile, someone appears to be infiltrating her home: CDs are disappearing, possessions are moved and then the manuscript of her translation is smeared with ketchup. Her vindictive ex? A ghost? When Lizzie awakens one night to find a stranger perched on her bed clutching a hammer, she seduces him proactively and is unexpectedly, and disturbingly, aroused. But when she learns that a serial "hammer rapist" is amok, she stops congratulating herself for surviving and begins stalking her stalker, baiting him with throbbingly sadistic chapters ostensibly translated from the Czech thriller but which, in fact, she has written herself to spook the prying rapist. Dunant "quotes" long passages of both the porn thriller and Lizzie's addenda, and then dismisses them as "total crap." Presumably, Lizzie is somehow empowered by writing bad porn, but we're certainly no better for reading it. Ultimately, it's hard to distinguish between what Lizzie writes and the ill-conceived, poorly disguised appeal to prurience Dunant has penned.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Alone in her London house, Elizabeth is trying to piece her life together again after a bitter split from her boyfriend of seven years. Her only companions are a thriller she is translating, her music and her cat. It seems like things just might be fine, but they are not.
This is one of the best mystery/suspense novels I've read. It's my first contemporary book by Sarah Dunant. She's talented in both historic and contemporary novels.
This one is a real psychological thriller...hard to put down and it's hard to tell if Lizzie is crazy or not. Dunant is a great writer. Enjoyed the book alot while watching out the window for any prowlers!
Though I almost lost interest about 1/4 the way through, the book kept me just hooked enough to continue on - and made for a very interesting read. I was surprised by this book - which is something of a rarity. Her writing style keeps your attention, and makes for a great quick read. As an airplane book - I highly recommend it. It captured my attention and made the flight go much more quickly.
I think Sarah Dunant is a terrific writer, and she immediately draws me into whatever scene she is creating. This book was a total surprise, though, as it was even more intense. Towards the latter half, it was really keeping me on the edge of my seat. I couldn't read it without making sure the door was locked!
It was rather brutal, but absolutely fascinating. Kept me in total suspense till the final pages.
I read this book with my hair standing on end. Until I got to the middle of the book, I had a ton of questions regarding ghosts, intruders, split personalities, and whatever else I could come up with. The truth came out and then I understood. I still was nervous over what would happen and how the whole book would end. I dont want to let any spoilers out so I will say if you like to be on edge and reading until your eyes cross with being tired, read this book. I curious about other books by this author.