Don’t Love Him. Don’t Trust Him. Don’t Say I Didn’t Warn You…

“Would you trust a complete stranger?

After Chloe and her daughter Freya are rescued from disaster by a man who seems too good to be true, Chloe decides she must find him again to thank him. But instead of meeting her knight in shining armour, she comes across a woman called Nadine Caspian who warns her to stay well away from him. The man is dangerous, Nadine claims, and a compulsive liar. Alarmed, Chloe asks her what she means, but Nadine will say no more.

Chloe knows that the sensible choice would be to walk away – after all, she doesn’t know anything about this man. But she is too curious. What could Nadine have meant? And can Chloe find out the truth without putting herself and her daughter in danger?”

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Born in 1971, Cambridge based author Sophie Hannah is probably best known for her series of crime novels featuring the police detectives Charlie Zailer and Simon Waterhouse – two of which have been made into television series under the title “Case Sensitive”.

Sophie Hannah
Sophie Hannah

For the 2015 Quick Reads campaign – which aims to promote reading amongst adults who wouldn’t normally read by producing stories from big name authors that are shorter and less complex than their usual novels – Hannah has written “Pictures Or It Didn’t Happen”.

Chloe Daniels is overjoyed when Tom Rigbey rides to the rescue, literally, when she accidentally leaves her daughter Freya’s sheet music in her car on the way to an audition for a part in a musical.

Despite her best friend Lorna’s advice, Chloe is desperate to track Tom down and thank him. Receptionist Nadine Caspian tries to warn Chloe off Tom but won’t go into detail, and Chloe is rather reluctant to be put off.

Whilst Chloe is getting carried away with her thoughts, Lorna asks her friend Charlie Zailer and Charlie’s husband Simon Waterhouse to get involved.

It’s not long before Simon has everything worked out – is Tom, as Lorna suspects, far too good to be true? Or is there an altogether less expected answer to the mystery?

Clearly this was unlikely to be as satisfying a read as Hannah’s previous Zailer / Waterhouse stories, at just 123 pages and slightly larger than normal typeface, and that proved to be the case. I personally am looking forward to a full length follow-up to last year’s excellent “The Telling Error”, which was the ninth book in the series proper.

Sophie Hannah
Sophie Hannah

That said however, and bearing in mind the initial purpose of this book, it does the job admirably. There is enough detail and description to keep things interesting, without too many distractions or red herrings, and a decent enough mystery and resolution to make reading this worthwhile…

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