Title: The Carrier
Author: Sophie Hannah
Page Count/Review Word Count: 438
I’ve read quite a few of Sophie Hannah’s thriller novels by this point, and this is one of the better ones that I’ve come across, although I still felt as though there was something intangible and difficult to quantify missing from it.
It’s also a little bit harder to summarise the plot here, because it’s a little confusing. It starts out with a woman trying to catch a flight home from Germany and ending up stuck sharing a hotel room with a fellow traveller, and it quickly spirals out of control from there.
We’re dealing with a guy who’s facing a murder charge and who says that he didn’t have a motive, something that the cops aren’t too happy to just let lie. Instead, they’re investigating further to try to figure out what happened, and there’s a chance that it wasn’t him who committed the murder in the first place.
If that sounds confusing, you should probably avoid this one, because that’s the simple version of what’s going on here. In fact, even though I’ve read a few of the other books in this series, I still occasionally struggled to track what was going on and who was who. But perhaps that’s my fault as a reader.
The good news is that there’s also a lot to like here, from cracking characterisation to pretty solid plotting, even though you could argue that the latter is a little over-the-top. Hannah does a pretty good job of things here and is able to tell a story that ticks all of the boxes when it comes to a thriller, but I don’t think there’s anything particularly innovative that’s going to blow your mind.
That doesn’t mean it’s not worth reading, but I’d probably only recommend it to people who are die-hard thriller readers who can’t get enough of the genre. You’ll also like it if you’ve read Hannah before and enjoyed it, and you won’t if you’ve read her and didn’t like it. I’m looking at you, Charlie Heathcote.
I think for myself, I got the most out of this as a writer, because there were a few tricks that she used that I want to put to work for myself. Hannah is a super talented writer no matter what genre she’s turning her attention to, which is why she’s been able to win a bunch of awards for her poetry. At the same time, this doesn’t read like a pretentious book that a poet wrote as an experiment in prose.