land of the living


Nicci French

Michael Joseph £16.99hbk

Feb 2003

Reviewed by Brigette Colwell

This isn't a comfortable read. The reader is drawn into the immediate torment of the central character, Abby Devereaux ly who wakes into a nightmare scenario that we all perhaps fear but which is her reality. One over which she has no control - in the dark, bound, gagged and hooded, powerless, with no recollection of how or why she should be in this situation. We, the readers, share her struggle to make sense of why she is there, why was she 'chosen' and how she copes. I am loath to say more about the plot - to do so will cheat prospective readers of this book of the tension, the psychological and physical 'hell' that Abby experiences as she attempts to understand and take control of her situation.
A fanciful notion perhaps, but such is the quality of Nicci French's writing, her insight and understanding of relationships, it is impossible not to get drawn into Abby's situation, to the extent I had no choice but to read it in one sitting - finally closing the book in the early hours of one very dark, cold morning! Nicci French is a relatively new author for me - I was lucky enough to borrow The Red Room from a friend. This was an instant hit for me, I wasn't disappointed, from the first to the last line of this novel I was hooked.