Book Reviews

Book Review: A room swept white

This is the fifth thriller by author Sophie Hannah.
Helen Yardley, Sarah Jaggard and Rachel Hines are three women (among many others) who have all been charged with the murder of their children and while Helen and Rachel were convicted, they were later acquitted following revelations that the doctor, Judith Duffy, who testified against them in court was negligent and is being investigated for misconduct. The claims made were that the children weren’t murdered — it was cot death instead. In other words, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome — where an infant dies due to no known medical reason.
Fliss Benson is a TV producer who is given the job of producing a documentary on the stories of these women once her boss and a man who has been fighting for these women’s justice Laurie Nattrass suddenly resigns. The very same day she is told about the job, Fliss receives a card from an anonymous sender with four rows of four numbers…numbers which do not make any sense to Fliss.
Things take a turn for the worse when Helen Yardley is shot dead. And with her body is a card with four rows of four numbers. Exactly like the one Fliss received.
Who killed Helen Yardley?
What will the investigation of her murder reveal about her history — did she or didn’t she kill her children?
Why did Ray Hines accept to be part of the documentary only after Helen’s death and Sarah’s withdrawal?
Is Fliss Benson going to be the next to be killed?
Why does Fliss not want to produce the documentary in the first place?
And why is Laurie Nattrass so elusive?
To know this and so much more, you have to read the book.
Once again, it’s an intriguing thriller by Sophie Hannah which keeps you guessing. However, unlike her previous work, this book to me wasn’t as gripping. It wasn’t one where I stayed awake reading late into the night to find out whodunit. And in some areas, it seemed to be a bit disconnected. Having said that, if you are looking for decent thrills, go ahead and read this.
My rating:

Although ideally, I would like to say two and a half) only compared to her other books like Point of Rescue, The Other half lives, Little Face and especially Hurting Distance.

Until next time,
***This has been cross-posted at Bond with Books***

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  • Anbu
    23 February 2011 at 4:39 am

    I haven’t read any of Sophie Hennah’s books.. Good to know some woman writers writing thrillers also.. need to start reading one of her books to see whether I like her writing or not..

    Can you suggest the best book of her to start with? in thriller genre of course.. 🙂

  • Psych Babbler
    27 February 2011 at 2:05 am

    I would actually recommend reading them in order because there are some characters — the police — who are featured in all the books and if you don’t read it in order (which I didn’t) you actually find out some things that occurred in the previous books.

  • Avada Kedavra
    3 March 2011 at 2:15 am

    Never read any of her books. Will pick up one of them..
    Are they part of some series (ref your comment to Anbu) ?

  • Psych Babbler
    5 March 2011 at 6:20 pm

    The mysteries are all different Ava and the characters around which the mystery revolves are different. However, the detectives who are part of the county police force are the same. So while it’s not technically a series, in some way it probably is…

    Hope that made sense! 😛