Review: The Telling Error by Sophie Hannah

November 7, 2014 in Book Reviews, Crime, Fiction, Psychological Thriller

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: The Telling Error by Sophie HannahThe Telling Error by Sophie Hannah
Genres: Crime, thriller
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher

All she wanted to do was take her son's forgotten sports kit to school.

So why does Nicki Clements drive past the home of controversial newspaper columnist Damon Blundy eight times in one day? Blundy has been murdered, and the words 'HE IS NO LESS DEAD' daubed on his wall - in red paint, not blood. And though Blundy was killed with a knife, he was not stabbed. Why?

Nicki, called in for questioning, doesn't have any of the answers. Nor can she tell the police the truth, because although she is not guilty of murder, she is far from innocent. And the words on the wall are disturbingly familiar to her, if only she could remember where she has heard them before...

This is the first Sophie Hannah novel I’ve read, and I have to say that I did really enjoy it. Nicki Clements is a wife and mother. When her son forgets his PE kit Nicki sets off to deliver it to him at school. However on the journey she finds that traffic is being stopped by the police, and one of those policemen is him. She doesn’t want to see him, can’t face him after what happened and so she does a u-turn and takes a long way to the school.

It turns out that the police were questioning people about the murder of newspaper columist Damon Blundy, and by performing that u-turn she has caught the attention of the police. Desperate to avoid getting into trouble with the police, and to keep her secrets hidden from her husband, Nicki lies to the police. It’s this lie, this error, that further focuses the police’s attention onto her.

First things first, this is a clever book. I like the way the story builds. The unanswered questions accumulate, and as a reader I found myself trying to piece it all together. I failed by the way. However, I found Nicki Clements to be an incredibly irritating character. Obviously she is meant to be on edge, nervous of being found out and this comes across well. It’s just I felt like there were almost too many unanswered questions about her, and reference was being made, repeatedly, to these ‘things’ she had done. Of course there are two sides to this, building up the curiosity, the reader’s mind going into overdrive trying to figure out Nicki’s secrets, but I think there’s a point when it becomes too much and I felt that with the character of Nicki.

That said, I really enjoyed the mystery of the book. I loved the way it was structured, with some of Blundy’s articles included, as well as the email correspondence of other characters. We don’t ever meet Blundy but by reading his articles we start to see some glimpes of his personality and I think that’s a really clever addition.

Despite feeling irritated by Nicki I couldn’t put this book down; I had to know the answers! Once I finished the book and had the answers I then reflected upon the story and realised just how well crafted this novel is. It’s a good read, and when I got passed the phase of wanting to punch Nicki in the face, I enjoyed it.

Thank you to Bookbridgr for sending over a copy of this book for our consideration. All opinions expressed are entirely our own and completely honest.