Related to: 'How to Hold a Grudge'

Julie Sarkissian blogs about the problems facing the protagnist of her debut novel, DEAR LUCY

Something's Wrong With Lucy - But What?

Lucy is different – that much is clear. She speaks like a child, doesn’t recognize social boundaries, flies into rages, and treasures rotten food. Her cognition is impaired, her vocabulary is very limited and she cannot read or write. But what – precisely – is wrong with her is left up to the reader. Lucy is the protagonist of my novel, DEAR LUCY, and from the first sentence of the book I ever wrote it was obvious that Lucy was cognitively different. The way Lucy describes herself is as “missing too many words.” Her mother calls her “difficult.” Readers of early drafts of the book had a few theories as to Lucy’s condition; autism, Williams Syndrome, Down Syndrome. But Lucy’s mother has kept her from going to school and Lucy has never seen a doctor. So in the fictional reality of the book there is no official diagnosis. But as the novel progressed I wondered – should I have one? I was torn. If Lucy was presenting enough symptoms to point to a real condition, was I ignoring the obvious not to fold that condition into my development of her character? Was it insensitive of me to allude to aspects of certain real, life-altering conditions but not assign a specific condition to Lucy? I worried about appropriating aspects of serious conditions without treating those conditions with proper respect and acknowledgement. And though any clinical diagnosis would probably not be explicit in the novel, I wondered if I would be ignoring an opportunity to bring attention to a real disorder when people asked me about Lucy’s condition, the way The Curious Incident of The Dog in the Night-time did for autism. On the other hand, I had concerns that if I chose a diagnosis for Lucy, I would be ascribing to her qualities that she wouldn’t have otherwise presented. Lucy had her own will over my writing and over the novel. I didn’t want to yoke Lucy’s expression by keeping her behavior and abilities consistent with a clinical condition. Accuracy would also become a critical issue if Lucy’s condition was named. Ultimately I chose not to diagnose Lucy, though I worry the artistic freedom provided by that decision comes at the price of being judged for being too liberal with my treatment of cognitive disorders. Now that publication is a few months away, I am apprehensive of how my treatment of Lucy’s cognitive limitations will be judged. I have yet to talk to a reader who has a learning different child, or works with learning different people, and that conversation is one I will be honored, and not a bit anxious, to have.

Hodder Paperbacks

Did You See Melody?

Sophie Hannah
Authors:
Sophie Hannah

Hodder & Stoughton

The Narrow Bed

Sophie Hannah
Authors:
Sophie Hannah

What if having a best friend was the most dangerous thing you could do?A killer that the police are calling 'Billy Dead Mates' is murdering pairs of best friends, one by one. Before they die, each victim is given a small white book... For months, detectives have failed to catch Billy, or work out what the white books mean. And then a woman, scared by what she's seen on the news, comes forward.Stand-up comedian Kim Tribbeck has one of Billy's peculiar little books. A stranger gave it to her at a gig she did a year ago. Was he Billy, and does he want to kill her? Kim has no friends and trusts no one, so how - and why - could she possibly be Billy Dead Mates' next target?This is the next chilling novel from the queen of psychological crime - a literary puzzle set to unlock the dark side of the mind . . .

Hodder & Stoughton

A Game for All the Family

Sophie Hannah
Authors:
Sophie Hannah

'One of the great unmissables of this genre - intelligent, classy and with a wonderfully Gothic imagination' - The Times He's not your son. It's not up to you to save him. But you have to try. After escaping London and a career that nearly destroyed her, Justine plans to spend her days doing as little as possible in her beautiful home in Devon.But soon after the move, her daughter Ellen starts to withdraw when her new best friend, George, is unfairly expelled from school. Justine begs the head teacher to reconsider, only to be told that nobody's been expelled - there is, and was, no George. Then the anonymous calls start: a stranger, making threats that suggest she and Justine share a traumatic past and a guilty secret - yet Justine doesn't recognise her voice. When the caller starts to talk about three graves - two big and one small, to fit a child - Justine fears for her family's safety. If the police can't help, she'll have to eliminate the danger herself, but first she must work out who she's supposed to be...

Hodder & Stoughton

Pictures Or It Didn't Happen

Sophie Hannah
Authors:
Sophie Hannah

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?

Hodder Paperbacks

The Telling Error

Sophie Hannah
Authors:
Sophie Hannah

Perfect for fans of Agatha Christie's mysteries, as well as Clare Mackintosh and Paula Hawkins, the ninth psychological thriller from Sophie Hannah is a literary mystery and a puzzle that's impossible to solve . . . 'Fiendishly clever' Sunday Express'Exceptional' Elle Knowing the secret will kill you.All she wanted to do was take her son's forgotten sports kit to school.So why does Nicki Clements drive past the home of controversial newspaper columnist Damon Blundy eight times in one day? Blundy has been murdered, and the words 'HE IS NO LESS DEAD' daubed on his wall - in red paint, not blood. And, though Blundy was killed with a knife, he was not stabbed. Why?Nicki, called in for questioning, doesn't have any of the answers police are looking for. Nor can she tell them the truth, because although she is not guilty of murder, she is far from innocent. And the words on the wall are disturbingly familiar to her, if only she could remember where she has heard them before . . .

Hodder Paperbacks

The Carrier

Sophie Hannah
Authors:
Sophie Hannah

***WINNER OF THE SPECSAVERS NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FOR CRIME THRILLER OF THE YEAR 2013***He swore he was a killer. The truth was worse.An overnight plane delay is bad.Having to share your hotel room with a stranger is worse.But that is only the beginning of Gaby Struthers' problems.Gaby has never met Lauren Cookson before. So how does Lauren know so much about her? How does she know that the love of Gaby's life has been accused of murder? Why is she telling her that he is innocent? And why is she so terrified of Gaby?If you loved Gone Girl, you'll find this chilling domestic thriller impossible to put down.

Hodder & Stoughton

The Sophie Hannah Collection 1-3

Sophie Hannah
Authors:
Sophie Hannah

The first three novels from bestselling author and queen of psychological suspense, Sophie Hannah: LITTLE FACE, HURTING DISTANCE and THE POINT OF RESCUE.Little FaceShe's only been gone two hours.Her husband David was meant to be looking after their two-week-old daughter. But when Alice Fancourt walks into the nursery, her terrifying ordeal begins, for Alice insists the baby in the cot is a stranger she's never seen before . . . Hurting DistanceThree years ago, something terrible happened to Naomi Jenkins - so terrible that she never told anybody.Now Naomi has another secret - the man she has fallen passionately in love with, unhappily married Robert Haworth. When Robert vanishes without trace, Naomi knows he must have come to harm. But the police are less convinced, particularly when Robert's wife insists he is not missing . . .The Point of RescueSally is watching the news with her husband when she hears a name she ought not to recognise: Mark Bretherick.Last year, when Sally's work trip was cancelled at the last minute, she decided not to tell her husband that the trip had fallen through. Instead, she booked a week off work and treated herself to a secret holiday. All she wanted was a bit of peace - some time to herself - but it didn't work out that way. Because Sally met a man - Mark Bretherick. All the details are the same: where he lives, his job, his wife Geraldine and daughter Lucy. Except that the man on the news is a man Sally has never seen before. And Geraldine and Lucy Bretherick are both dead . . .

Hodder & Stoughton

Something Untoward: Six Tales of Domestic Terror

Sophie Hannah
Authors:
Sophie Hannah

Six short tales of chilling suspense from bestselling author Sophie Hannah, plus an exclusive extract from her new psychological thriller, THE CARRIER, coming out in February 2013.

Hodder & Stoughton

Kind of Cruel

Sophie Hannah
Authors:
Sophie Hannah

When Amber Hewerdine consults a hypnotherapist as a desperate last resort, she doesn't expect that anything much will change.She doesn't expect it to help with her chronic insomnia . . .She doesn't expect to hear herself, under hypnosis, saying words that mean nothing to her: 'Kind, cruel, kind of cruel' - words she has seen somewhere before, if only she could remember where . . .She doesn't expect to be arrested two hours later, as a result of having spoken those words out loud, in connection with the brutal murder of Katharine Allen, a woman she's never heard of . . .

Hodder Paperbacks

Lasting Damage

Sophie Hannah
Authors:
Sophie Hannah

The unnervingly good sixth psychological thriller from bestselling crime writer Sophie Hannah, not to be missed for readers of Clare Mackintosh and Paula Hawkins.'Jaw-droppingly assured' Daily Express'A first-class whodunnit' Scotsman Don't go into the other woman's house . . . It's 1.15 a.m. Connie Bowskill should be asleep. Instead, she's logging on to a property website in search of a particular house: 11 Bentley Grove, Cambridge. She knows it's for sale; she saw the estate agent's board in the front garden less than six hours ago.Soon Connie is clicking on the 'Virtual Tour' button, keen to see the inside of 11 Bentley Grove and put her mind at rest once and for all. She finds herself looking at a scene from a nightmare: in the living room, in the middle of the carpet, there's a woman lying face down in a huge pool of blood. In shock, Connie wakes her husband Kit. But when Kit sits down at the computer to take a look, he sees no dead body, only a pristine beige carpet in a perfectly ordinary room . . .

Hodder Paperbacks

A Room Swept White

Sophie Hannah
Authors:
Sophie Hannah
Hodder Paperbacks

The Other Half Lives

Sophie Hannah
Authors:
Sophie Hannah

The fourth psychological suspense novel from the phenomenal word-of-mouth bestselling Sophie Hannah. A must-read for fans of Clare Mackintosh and Paula Hawkins. 'Utterly gripping' The Times'Thrilling' Sunday TelegraphWhy would anyone confess to a murder that never happened?Ruth Bussey knows what it means to be in the wrong and to be wronged. She once did something she regrets, and her punishment nearly destroyed her. Now Ruth is rebuilding her life, and has found a love she doesn't believe she deserves: Aidan Seed. Aidan is also troubled by a past he hates to talk about, until one day he decides he must confide in Ruth. He tells her that years ago he killed someone: a woman called Mary Trelease.Ruth is confused. She's certain she's heard the name before, and when she realises why it sounds familiar, her fear and confusion deepen - because the Mary Trelease that Ruth knows is very much alive . . .

Hodder Paperbacks

The Point of Rescue

Sophie Hannah
Authors:
Sophie Hannah

Agatha Christie fans will love Queen of Crime Sophie Hannah's third stunning psychological suspense novel. Also perfect for fans of Clare Mackintosh and Paula Hawkins.'Addictive' Marie Claire'Irresistible' GuardianIt began with an affair. And ended in murder.Sally is watching the news with her husband when she hears a name she ought not to recognise: Mark Bretherick. Last year, a work trip Sally had planned was cancelled at the last minute. Desperate for a break from her busy life juggling work and a young family, Sally didn't tell her husband that the trip had fallen through. Instead, she booked a week off work and treated herself to a secret holiday. All she wanted was a bit of peace - some time to herself - but it didn't work out that way. Because Sally met a man. Mark Bretherick. All the details are the same: where he lives, his job, his wife Geraldine and daughter Lucy. Except that the man on the news is a man Sally has never seen before. And Geraldine and Lucy Bretherick are both dead . . .

Hodder Paperbacks

Hurting Distance

Sophie Hannah
Authors:
Sophie Hannah

The second stunning thriller from queen of psychological crime, Sophie Hannah, perfect for fans of Clare Mackintosh and Paula Hawkins.'Superbly creepy' Guardian 'Rivetingly original' Sunday Times Sometimes love must kill before it can die. Three years ago, something terrible happened to Naomi Jenkins - so terrible that she never told anybody.Now Naomi has another secret - the man she has fallen passionately in love with, unhappily married Robert Haworth. When Robert vanishes without trace, Naomi knows he must have come to harm. But the police are less convinced, particularly when Robert's wife insists he is not missing.In desperation, Naomi has a crazy idea. If she can't persuade the police that Robert is in danger, perhaps she can convince them that he is a danger to others. Then they will have to look for him - urgently. Naomi knows how to describe in detail the actions of a psychopath. All she needs to do is dig up her own troubled past . . .

Hodder Paperbacks

Little Face

Sophie Hannah
Authors:
Sophie Hannah

The first extraordinary psychological suspense thriller from internationally bestselling author Sophie Hannah. Not to be missed for readers of Clare Mackintosh and Paula Hawkins'Terrifying' Scotsman'Ingenious' Sunday TimesIt's every mother's nightmare . . .She's only been gone two hours.Her husband David was meant to be looking after their two-week-old daughter. But when Alice Fancourt walks into the nursery, her terrifying ordeal begins, for Alice insists the baby in the cot is a stranger she's never seen before.With an increasingly hostile and menacing David swearing she must either be mad or lying, how can Alice make the police believe her before it's too late?

Christine Wilding

Christine Wilding's (Kent, England) books on CBT have sold over 50,000 copies. She holds a postgraduate diploma in CBT from the University of London, is an accredited member of the British Association of Counselling, is a member of the steering committee set up to develop guidelines for the treatment of depression within the NHS, and is in-demand as a leader of CBT-based training courses.

Clare Hunter

Clare Hunter has sewn since she was a child. She has been a banner-maker, community textile artist and textile curator for over twenty years and established the community enterprise NeedleWorks in Glasgow. She was a finalist of the Aesthetica Creative Writing Award with a story published in its 2017 Annual. She was also a recipient of a Creative Scotland Award in 2016. She lives near Stirling in Scotland. Threads of Life is her first book. www.sewingmatters.co.uk, @sewingmatters

Clover Stroud

Clover Stroud is a writer and journalist writing for the Daily Mail, Sunday Times, Daily Telegraph, and Conde Nast Traveller, among others. She lives in Oxfordshire with her husband and five children.

Daniel Tammet

Daniel Tammet is an essayist, novelist and translator. He is the author of Thinking in Numbers, Embracing the Wide Sky, and the Sunday Times bestseller Born On A Blue Day. Tammet is Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA). He lives in Paris.

James Arthur

In December 2012, Middlesbrough born James Arthur won the X Factor and his debut single Impossible became the biggest winner's song of all time. After a two year break, in 2016 James made a triumphant return with his single Say You Won't Let Go which went on to become a smash hit around the world, reaching No. 1 on the Official UK Singles Chart, No. 1 on the Radio Airplay Chart in the USA, and picking up over 1.5 billion sales and streams globally. The album Back From The Edge followed, topping the Official Albums Chart in the UK, with global sales of over 1 million. Earlier this year, James was nominated for two awards at the prestigious BRIT Awards 2017 and went on to sell out multiple tours worldwide. Back to the Boy is James' first book. For more info on James, check out www.jamesarthurofficial.com.