Book Reviews

House of the Hanged by Mark Mills

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List Price: £9.99


Paperback: 400 Pages.

Published: 07 July 2011 by HarperCollins

ISBN: 0007276915

EAN: 9780007276912

France, 1935: At the poor man’s end of the Riviera sits Le Rayol, a haven for artists, expatriates and refugees. Here, a world away from the rumblings of a continent heading towards war, Tom Nash has rebuilt his life after a turbulent career in the Secret Intelligence Service.

His past, though, is less willing to leave him behind. When a midnight intruder tries to kill him, Tom knows it is just a matter of time before another assassination attempt is made.

Gathered at Le Rayol for the summer months are all those he holds most dear, including his beloved goddaughter Lucy. Reluctantly, Tom comes to believe that one of them must have betrayed him. If he is to live, Tom must draw his enemy out, but at what cost to himself and the people he loves…?


3.0 Stars3.0 Stars3.0 Stars  by Anne

Creates an excellent atmosphere but the characters are not very well developed

It is the 1930s and Tom lives on the Riviera in a relaxed style which hides the fact that in the past he was a spy and heavily involved in Russia. When an attempt is made on his life he has to maintain the façade but also try to find out what is happening and prevent it affecting his friends and especially his beloved god-daughter.

I did think that this was elegantly written and that the era and the lifestyle were well created. I thought that Tom was an excellent hero - competent but flawed. I was less sympathetic with his attraction to the much younger Lucy which I thought was a bit creepy. I did find, however, that the melding of the two parts of Tom's life didn't really work for me. The intrusion of his past seemed far-fetched and it wasn't easy to imagine him moving easily from one part of his life to another. I think it might have helped if all the other characters hadn't been so cardboard and stereotypical.

I did enjoy this book well enough but I didn't think it worked particularly well. I thought that it needed to be tightened up a bit and the characters given some depth. In the end I really didn't care about any of them and their fate was unimportant to me. This is not a book that I will remember much about or that I will seek to reread.

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