A Room Swept White

Mass Market Paperback | August 2, 2011

bySophie Hannah

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International bestselling author Sophie Hannah creates a brilliantly sinister atmosphere in this psychologically and socially acute novel that explores the bond between mothers and their babies, the tragedies of crib death and infanticide, and the effect of incompetent pathologists.

Documentary producer Fliss Benson receives an anonymous card at work. The card has 16 numbers on it, arranged in four rows of four—numbers that mean nothing to her. On the same day, Fliss finds out she's going to be working on a documentary about miscarriages of justice involving crib-death mothers wrongly accused of murder. The documentary will focus on three women: Helen Yardley, Sarah Jaggard, and Rachel Hind.

All three women are now free, and the doctor who did her best to send them to prison for life, child protection zealot Dr Judith Duffy, is under investigation for misconduct. For reasons she has shared with nobody, Fliss has decided that this is her last project.

And then Helen Yardley is found dead at her home, and in her pocket is a card with 16 numbers on it, arranged in four rows of four...

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International bestselling author Sophie Hannah creates a brilliantly sinister atmosphere in this psychologically and socially acute novel that explores the bond between mothers and their babies, the tragedies of crib death and infanticide, and the effect of incompetent pathologists. Documentary producer Fliss Benson receives an anonymo...

Sophie Hannah is the author of seven internationally bestselling psychological thrillers published in twenty countries. The Other Half Lives was shortlisted for the 2010 Independent Bookseller’s Book of the Year Award. Little Face and Hurting Distance were longlisted for the Theakston’s Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award, and L...

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Format:Mass Market PaperbackDimensions:624 pages, 7.49 × 4.24 × 1.59 inPublished:August 2, 2011Publisher:Penguin CanadaLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0143177346

ISBN - 13:9780143177340

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Customer Reviews of A Room Swept White

Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from Plot that could be from Canadian headlines! I loved this cover - simple, plain yet the red balloon hints at something dark.... Ontario, Canada readers will be nodding their heads at Sophie Hannah's plotline, as it eerily mirrors recent headlines. Forensic pathologist Dr. Judith Duffy testified in many cases of SIDS or crib death, indicating that the death was not unexplained and the mothers had in fact murdered their children. Many cases are appealed and the women are released when it is found that Duffy's testimony is suspect and her expertise 'flawed'. Fliss Benson is a film journalist documenting the whole affair. One of the released mothers - the most vocal and outspoken - is found shot to death. A mysterious card with a set of 16 numbers is left with her body. Fliss also receives one of the cards in the mail. What do the cards mean? Is Fliss a target? What about the other released women? Sophie Hannah has crafted an incredibly detailed plot with tendrils reaching in many directions. Following the one you think might lead to a solution often leads not to a solution, but to more subtly dropped clues. It wasn't until the last chapters that I had a firm grasp on 'whodunit.' Fliss was an unusual protagonist. She's a study in opposites - strong and forceful one minute, unsure of herself and her talents the next. There are hints to something in her past that again slowly eked out until their relevance to the case are revealed. I found her internal dialogues quite funny. I wasn't aware that this was a series when I first started reading. The police team charged with investigating the case are recurring characters. I did feel a little out of the loop as there were references to the past. It looks as if there will be another in the series - some of the personal plot lines were left unfinished. I really liked the young female constable Charlie. Her relationship with the somewhat odd, but highly intelligent Simon seems to have provided much fodder for the subplots in previous books. The case and the crime are discussed in many different voices - journalist, filmmaker, victims, lawyers, police, witnesses and family - providing contrasting viewpoints on the same incident and offering lots of food for thought. A British author new to me and one I will read again.
Date published: 2010-09-03

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Editorial Reviews

‘When it comes to ingenious plots that twist and turn like a fairground rollercoaster few writers can match Sophie Hannah. Hannah’s complex and beautifully written tale kept me guessing right till the very last page.’ - Daily Express‘Hannah takes domestic scenarios, adds disquieting touches and turns up the suspense until you’re checking under your bed for murderers … it’s this real-life research that helps make it so convincing—and so unsettling.’ - Independent‘A perplexing thriller with intrigue and infanticide…. It’s a given that nothing will be as it seems in the latest psychological thriller from Sophie Hannah, who marries complex plots with crisp, conversational prose.’ - Marie Claire‘Enthrallingly complex…. A multi-stranded narrative that grips.’ - The Sunday Times‘Hannah is a master of intense psychological thrillers…. Full of twists and turns, and terrifying, too.’ - Heat magazine‘Sophie Hannah has quickly established herself as a doyenne of the “home horror” school of psychological tension, taking domestic situations and wringing from them dark, gothic thrills…. Combining probability theory, poetry and murder, this is a densely plotted suspenser with a coded puzzle that would grace a Golden Age mystery.’ - Financial Times‘The triumph of this novel is that it is not only a perfectly executed psychological thriller, but a pertinent meditation on society itself.’ - Guardian‘The title really sells it. It’s creepy stuff, which Sophie’s things often are, quite necessarily.’ - Tana French, Irish Times‘Sophie Hannah has a poet’s eye, and she creates characters and settings of closely observed complexity in her psychological mysteries.’ - Daily Telegraph‘Intriguing, unnerving and engrossing…. Hannah has timing down to an art. What she has created in A Room Swept White is more than a murder mystery. It is the most adept of psychological thrillers, in which—as with Hannah’s other novels—the psychosis lying just below the surface of the human personality is exposed…. A remarkable novel, and an adventure to read…. Undoubtedly a first-class whodunit that will keep you reading long into the night.’ - The Scotsman‘She writes beautifully, the narrative races along with the reader breathlessly trying to catch up and the subject matter is fascinating. This is her fifth psychological suspense thriller and, like the others, it’s destined for bestsellerdom.’ - Daily Mail‘Taut, ingenious.’ - Sunday Express‘Brilliantly pacy and penetrating psychological thriller.’ - Daily Mirror