Title: Haven’t They Grown
Author: Sophie Hannah
Page Count/Review Word Count: 346
All right, so here we have another one of Sophie Hannah’s thrillers, and while I guess you could say that she does a pretty good job of things, I’m not convinced that she does any better than any other thriller writer. In fact, I’m starting to wonder whether I even like the genre.
The hook here is pretty good. Our protagonist goes back to sneak a look at someone she’d known 12 years ago, and she discovers that the kids don’t look a day older. It’s an interesting start, and it kind of forces you as the reader to keep on going until the end just to find out what’s happening. If you’re anything like me, you’ll also have a bunch of theories which might explain it.
The problem is that, for me at least, the rest of the book doesn’t deliver on this early promise. The characters are also pretty unlikeable too, which is standard for a thriller but which has always been a turn-off for me. I find it difficult to care too much about the action when I think the characters deserve whatever they get.
Having said that, I can’t give this any less than a 3.5/5 because that’s my default rating for a professional quality book. Hannah is a competent writer and does a great job with her characterisation and plotting, and even if it didn’t entirely hit the mark for me, I think that’s more to do with my personal preferences as a reader than Hannah’s skills as a writer.
I also think I enjoyed it more than I enjoy Hannah’s Waterhouse and Zailer series, which are more like police procedural crime novels than generic thrillers. And if you like thrillers and you’re interested in the setup for the book, I think you’ll probably want to pick this one up and give it a go. It might not be great, but it’s good enough to keep you reading it.