The Fantastic Book of Everybodys Secrets – Sophie Hannah

I had wanted to get this book since Polly had picked up a copy for her beach holiday and been very tempted but I am not normally great with short stories (other than Sherlock Holmes) as a rule, something that I want to change. However I found this in Oxfam and you cant go wrong with a brand new book that’s only just out in pristine condition for 99p can you? Plus its recycling and giving money to charity, I must do a post on the best charity and book shops round my way sometime. Sorry I digress.

This was the book I started on my last night in Philadelphia (yes the holiday where I took too many books) and was the book for my flight back, I needed something entertaining that would take my mine of the fact I hate flying and I was in a tin can 30,000 feet above earth. Did it do the trick? Indeed it did.

Sophie Hannah predominantly writes new crime thrillers and poetry which I haven’t read yet (did you know that her mother is the author Adele Geras?) yet you could see both of these reflected in this collection of dark twisted tales. Her prose has a rhythm and natural flow and she manages to say a lot in a paragraph, also the plotting of these short stories I thought was excellent none of them seemed too long or too short they were just right.

‘The Octopus Nest’ is a very dark tale that won Hannah several awards and you can see why, the twist isn’t until the very last paragraph and is genuinely creepy. Other tales feature obsession, jealousy, envy and madness. I don’t want to give too much away so I shan’t waffle on much more. This is an incredibly accomplished and entertaining collection of stories and made me run out and get her crime novels, one of which I must read soon. It was also the perfect book for escapism, I completely forgot I was in the plane, and have enjoyed reading it a home since I have come back. I might yet be converted to short stories, I will have to try some other collections at some point, if anyone has any recommendations please let me know.

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Filed under Review, Short Stories, Sophie Hannah, Sort of Books

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