Review of “The Other Woman’s House” by Sophie Hannah

This book is the author’s sixth featuring detectives Charlie Zailer (a female) and Simon Waterhouse. The two are now married, although from what I can see of their relationship in just this one book, I have to wonder why. They don’t seem to know each other very well, they don’t have much in common, and aren’t even very physical. Nevertheless, they provide a bit of relief from the growing psycho-ness of the main characters, Connie and Kit Bowskill.

Late at night when Connie can’t sleep, she has taken to looking at real estate virtual tours – in particular, a house in Cambridge, where she and Kit have talked about moving. As she takes the virtual tour of 11 Bentley Grove, she sees a dead woman lying face down in a pool of blood in one of the rooms. She screams and runs for Kit, but by the time he looks at the tour, the woman is gone. Nevertheless, Connie is convinced a crime has been committed, and goes to the police.

From here, the books goes through more twists and turns than an amusement ride. It’s not entirely smoothly done, nor entirely realistic, but it definitely keeps you turning the pages.

Discussion: This book embraces its identity as a “psychological thriller” not only by having many convoluted developments to psych out the reader, but also by populating the story with some very deranged characters. Simon and Charlie, while not crazy, are more than occasionally annoying, and Simon even struck me as sadistic at times . . . and, okay, possibly crazy. Certainly he has a crazy mother. As does Connie. As does Kit. A few other crazy women inhabit the story, making one wonder if the author has some sort of gender issues going on.

The only characters I liked were the two witnesses to Simon and Charlie’s wedding: Charlie’s sister Olivia, and Simon’s co-worker Chris. But no one else in the book liked them, so I felt as if I were in the Bizarro World, with everything upside down.

Evaluation: In terms of likeable characters or plot believability, I wasn’t that taken by this story. If you have a great love of plot twists, however, the book won’t let you down in that regard.

Rating: 3/5

Published in the U.S. by Penguin Books, 2012

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15 Responses to Review of “The Other Woman’s House” by Sophie Hannah

  1. Sounded like a book with possibilities, but admit that I have a hard time enjoying a book with unlikable characters…..sorry this was so so

  2. BermudaOnion says:

    I’m bummed that you didn’t love this book because I feel in love with Sophie Hannah when I met her – I want all her books to be fabulous.

  3. I haven’t tried any of Sophie Hannah’s books yet. This one doesn’t sound like one to begin with.

  4. Well, I do have a weakness for deranged characters, so maybe..

  5. zibilee says:

    I read one Sophie Hannah book for book club,and ended up feeling like she manipulated the reader in order to serve her plot twists. It was a great book until the end, which really surprised me, and not in a good way! I haven’t had the heart to go back to any of her work after that last one.

  6. I’ve seen Hannah be compared to Tana French a couple of times, but by the sound of it I’d be better off reading Tana French first, right?

  7. Sandy says:

    I am in that same book club as Heather, and read that same book, and felt that way as well. I felt cheated and manipulated, and looking back at the plot, you could see all the ways she threw red herrings in your path. BUT. I did read it quickly. She does make you turn those pages.

  8. bookingmama says:

    I’d like to give a Sophie Hannah book a shot. Maybe I’ll start a different one first.

  9. Jenners says:

    I’ve never read this author … and now I realize I am getting her mixed up with Kristen Hannah. (Is that an author? Or am I confused again?)

  10. I just don’t think this is one that would grab me…..

  11. I do like twists and turns in a book as long as they are well done and realistic… I dont know where I would fall on this one.

  12. powerrangersfan1993 says:

    I just finished reading this book on Saturday. I have read one other Sophie Hannah book before this one and enjoyed it. But I find this book to be very confusing when reading it. I feel it took forever to find out what happened at the end of the book and who did it. I had a feeling it was the one character in it that was the killer.

    Jenners there is another author that is named Kristen Hannah.

  13. Beth F says:

    Bizarro World — ha! I’m happy to pass on this.

  14. stacybuckeye says:

    I guess I didn’t realize this was a series, but based on your review, not one I need to read.

  15. JoV says:

    Everyone seems to say the same thing about Sophie Hannah’s novels. Meh! is the word. I got one book “The other half lives” I’ll decide once and for all if the series is worth reading.

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