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Friday, 2 March 2012

‘Kind of Cruel’ by Sophie Hannah

Published by Hodder & Stoughton,
16th February 2012.
ISBN: 978-0-340-98069-9

Amber Hewerdine does not sleep, has in fact suffered from insomnia since the death of her best friend Sharon who was killed in an arson attack.  Amber has temporary custody of Sharon’s children Dinah and Nonie, and is hopeful of formally adopting them. To try and unlock whatever is buried deep in her subconscious that is stopping her from sleeping, Amber decides to consult hypnotherapist Ginny Saxon. Her first session with Ginny Saxon brings to the fore the Christmas  Amber spent at Little Orchard with her husbands family. Just what did happen to Jo, her husband Neil and their two children when after renting a huge house for Christmas inviting all the family, mothers, sisters, they just weren’t there Christmas morning – they had just disappeared

Also at that first session she meets Sergeant Charlie Zailer, sitting outside Ginny Saxon’s house.  The words, - ‘kind, cruel, kind of cruel,’ surface during her session with Ginny. Where did they come from?  Did she 
pick them up from Charlie Zailer? Wherever they came from, within a short time of uttering them Amber is arrested for the murder of a woman she has never met.  Who is Katherine Allen?  Amber is desperate to unlock the memories that will help her understand, but the mind can block out memories if they are too dark, or too painful – just what is Amber hiding?

The premise of this book is memory and false memory.  As we go through life we build up memories, but are they a truthful recollection of the event. How often do we recall something with a friend and discover that their memory of the event is different from yours!  It has certainly happened to me.  I can recall looking in amazement and saying it wasn’t like that, but my friend is adamant that it was.

This is a tantalising mystery, where everything is beyond your grasp.  Just as you think OK yes, you realise that it is not so.  Eventually you question everything, except that this is a facinating book from an exceptional talent.
Lizzie Hayes

Sophie Hannah  is the author of six internationally bestselling psychological thrillers, Little Face, Hurting Distance, The Point of Rescue, The Other Half Lives, A Room Swept White, Lasting Damage. Sophie has also published five collections of poetry. Her fifth Pessimism for Beginners was shortlisted for the 2007 TS Eliot Award. Her poetry is studied at GCSE, A-level and degree level across the UK.
From 1997 to 1999 she was Fellow Commoner in Creative Arts at Trinity College, Cambridge, and between 1999 and 2001 she was a fellow of Wolfson College, Oxford. She is thirty-nine and lives with her husband and children in Cambridge, where she is a Fellow Commoner at Lucy Cavendish College

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