This mysterious book was a perfect read snuggled up on my comfy sofa with a fluffy blanket over the recent winter weeks. Personally I found the sudden start to it all almost harder to get into than a slow build, but either way, once it gripped me, I couldn’t put it down.
Sophie Hannah’s latest novel, “Haven’t They Grown” starts on an intriguing point. There’s no spoilers in my review as always, I promise! After sneaking a look at an old friend’s new address years after a falling out, the main character is utterly bemused to find the two children, who should be in their teens, haven’t aged at all. From then on, she is determined to find out what is going on in that quiet street, and exactly what has happened to her old friend – and her children.
The Sunday Times hails it as “rivetingly original”, and I agree entirely. I’ve never read a book quite like this. There is no slow build up with this novel as mentioned above, simply instant blow by blow intensity, pulling you along in a current of information, twists and plot devices, all used to draw to a stunning, truly unique conclusion.
It is far from unusual for Sophie Hannah to write a captivating book, yet there is something about this one that makes it stand out from her previous works. There is a quality it has, maybe the fact it is so totally unique, that makes it something of a masterpiece. There is a need to solve the mystery from so early on that the curious actions of the lead character to get answers make total sense when in any other novel they would seem out of place.
Whilst this is a thriller and a mystery, there is something in this work for fans of almost any genre, a special skill Hannah has shown before. This will easily be a favourite of crime fiction fans this year, and the author has, once again, shown herself to be a force to be reckoned with in the category.
Thank you, as always, to Readers First, for this wonderful book, and to the publisher, Hodder & Stoughton, and to Sophie Hannah herself, for bringing this book into the world.