Thursday, December 8, 2016

"The Fantastic Book of Everybody's Secrets" by Sophie Hannah

The Fantastic Book of Everybody's Secrets
by Sophie Hannah

The Fantastic Book of Everybody's Secrets is currently on tour with Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours. The tour stops here today for my review, an excerpt, and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.

A collection of ingenious suspense stories from one of today’s most acclaimed novelists in the genre.
Everybody has their secrets, and in Sophie Hannah’s fantastic stories the curtains positively twitch with them.
Who, for instance, is the hooded figure hiding in the bushes outside a young man’s house? Why does the same stranger keep appearing in the background of a family’s holiday photographs? What makes a woman stand mesmerised by two children in a school playground, children she’s never met but whose names she knows well? And which secret results in a former literary festival director sorting soiled laundry in a shabby hotel? All will be revealed ... but at a cost.
As Sophie Hannah uncovers the dark obsessions and strange longings behind the most ordinary relationships, life will never seem quite the same again.

Click below to read an excerpt. Please note the book has been re-issued with a new cover.

Praise for the Book
"I don't usually read short stories, but I loved all of the author's crime fiction novels, so I just had to read this. These stories are amazing...incredibly well written, suspenseful and thought provoking. The subtleties are brilliant, as are both the dialog between characters and the description of the characters' thoughts. I always felt like I could understand and relate to each character. I can't recommend this book highly enough." ~ Book Addict
"This is a book of short stories that will surprise you and catch you totally unaware. Each story seems to be innocent enough, until you discover someone's secret. Once that happens, you see everything through a different lens. Each story is very well-written, as well as being suspenseful and thought-provoking. My favorite of the collection was 'The Octopus Nest,' which is very impressive. From the first sentence, you can feel the terror building....but you'll never see the final twist coming!" ~ Teresa Kander
"I do not particularly like short stories but these are excellent, not all of them Sophie's trademark 'crime thrillers,' just great character and story plotting. The first story, The Octopus Nest, is so breathtakingly good, it made the succeeding stories seem slightly pallid at first, but after the distance of a day or so from The Octopus Nest they regained their justifiable brilliance :)) So if you react to The Octopus Nest the way I did, you might want to wait awhile to catch your breath before going on to the others." ~ J. Stainbrook
"I have to agree that if I could give this book 100 stars I would. I feel like each story is jewel in itself and I'm continually amazed that I'm drawn into each one. This book is incredibly well written and each story is so different from the next. By far my favorite Sophie Hannah book yet!" ~ Maverick

My Review

By Lynda Dickson
This is a collection of ten short (albeit quite long) stories. I haven't read them all yet, so this review is for the first four stories.
In "The Octopus Nest", Claire and her husband discover a mysterious woman in all their holiday photos taken over the last ten years. But not all is as it seems. The ending will shock you.
In "Friendly Amid the Haters", our narrator deals with incompetence at every turn - until she reaches her breaking point. Just how far can things go over a stained carpet?
In "We All Say What We Want", Tom finds it impossible to say what he actually feels, but what would happen if he did? Did you ever wonder what "cc" and "bcc" on emails stand for? You'll find out in this story!
In "The Fantastic Book of Everybody's Secrets", Tamsin is compiling and editing a book of secrets, but what is her motivation? Not all narrators can be trusted to provided an unbiased account of their actions.
This last story appropriately provides the title for the collection, as all the stories have a bookish theme and feature people who have secrets of their own. The writing is excellent, the pace is brisk, suspense is maintained throughout, and the author makes some clever observations of human behavior. With their tongue-in-cheek humor and witty, sarcastic banter, these stories had me laughing out loud at some points, had me cringing at others, and left me shocked at their conclusion.
I look forward to reading the rest of this collection.

About the Author
Sophie Hannah is the New York Times-bestselling author of numerous psychological thrillers, which have been published in 27 countries and adapted for television, as well as The Monogram Murders, the first Hercule Poirot novel authorized by the estate of Agatha Christie.

Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win one of five ebook copies of The Fantastic Book of Everybody's Secrets by Sophie Hannah (US only).