Kind of Cruel (Simon Waterhouse & Charlie Zailer Series #7) [NOOK Book]


“Kind, cruel, kind of cruel.” Amber thinks it’s just nonsense, a side effect of being hypnotized for the first time. But when she’s arrested for a brutal murder two hours later, those four words are the key to clearing her name… if only she could remember where she’d seen them.

Amber Hewerdine suffers from chronic insomnia. As a last resort, she visits a hypnotherapist, doubtful that anything will really change. Under hypnosis, Amber hears ...
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Kind of Cruel (Simon Waterhouse & Charlie Zailer Series #7)

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“Kind, cruel, kind of cruel.” Amber thinks it’s just nonsense, a side effect of being hypnotized for the first time. But when she’s arrested for a brutal murder two hours later, those four words are the key to clearing her name… if only she could remember where she’d seen them.

Amber Hewerdine suffers from chronic insomnia. As a last resort, she visits a hypnotherapist, doubtful that anything will really change. Under hypnosis, Amber hears herself saying, “Kind, cruel, kind of cruel.” The words awaken a vague memory, but she dismisses the whole episode as nonsense. Two hours later, however, Amber is arrested for the brutal murder of a woman she’s never heard of, and the only way she can clear her name is by remembering exactly where she’s seen those words.

Kind of Cruel
is the latest page-turner in Hannah's Zailer and Waterhouse mystery series, and will enthrall Hannah’s ever-growing readership.

Beware of Psychological Knives

by Sophie Hannah

Researching my seventh psychological thriller, Kind of Cruel, I realized I was psychologically illiterate. The plot of Kind of Cruel involves hypnotherapy, and I'd never been hypnotized. I was planning to go for one session, but the hypnotherapist took one look at me, decided I was a little on the screwed-up side, and signed me up for fifteen sessions of "hypnoanalysis." I quickly became aware that, dysfunctional as I undoubtedly was, I was far from fluent in the language of psychological dysfunction. I'd fancied myself an expert, and yet I didn't know how to recognize a textbook narcissist, or an emotional energy vampire. I didn't know what enmeshment was, or codependency, or emotional incest syndrome, or enabling, or triangulation. So, while I wrote Kind of Cruel, I simultaneously read lots of books with titles like Healing the Shame That Binds You, Trapped in the Mirror, and Toxic Parents and How to Survive Their Hurtful Legacy. (I had to hide that last one when my nearest and dearest visited, for obvious reasons!) All of these books were fascinating, and they taught me a lot. For forty years, I realized, I'd done my best to make myself understood from a position of psychological illiteracy. I'd relied on phrases like "Whenever I'm with her, I feel as if I'm suffocating" and "There's something kind of off about him." Suddenly, I had a whole new vocabulary at my disposal. I could identify people who posed a psychological threat, and I often found that I knew the right word for the threat they posed.

Imagine if we could all recognize a codependent narcissist as easily as a knife. If someone runs at you holding a knife, you're immediately aware of the danger. You have the concepts and vocabulary you need. You think, "Knife—help—imminent, hideous death!" and you run. Also, you can be confident that the police will be familiar with the language of physical threat and understand the implications of "He came at me with a knife." Everyone knows what a knife is, means, and is called. Same with a bomb. If someone lobbed a bomb at you and you thought, "What a pretty round thingie," and didn't run away, you'd get blown up. That's the situation most of us are in, psychologically. Say to the world at large, "He came at me with enmeshment," and you'll meet with baffled looks. Most of us don't know what that and other such terms mean, and I'd guess that a lot of people suspect they mean nothing, that American shrinks have made them up. As a skeptical Brit, I firmly believe that this is not the case. I've known enmeshment in Edinburgh, codependence in Coventry, narcissism in Newbury, triangulation in Truro. Okay, I've altered details for the sake of alliteration, but the point is still valid. This isn't something that applies only to people in L.A. From Dagenham to Doncaster to Dundee, diagnosis is the key. Believe me, nothing scares off a damaged and damaging psyche as quickly or efficiently as the threat of diagnosis.

I'm currently reading Healing the Child Within. Partly as research, and partly because I'm still only at kindergarten level when it comes to diagnosing psychological dysfunction. One day, I hope, I'll be an expert!

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Hannah’s addictive seventh psychological thriller featuring husband-and-wife Det. Constable Simon Waterhouse and Det. Sgt. Charlie Zailer (after 2012’s The Other Woman’s House) explores the differences between feelings and memories. Insomniac Amber Hewerdine’s visit to a hypnotherapist in Silsford, England, leads to her involvement in the investigation of the murder of Katharine Allen, a primary school teacher. At the crime scene is a piece of paper with the enigmatic words of the title. Oddly, the police decide to treat Amber not as a suspect, but almost as a colleague. An earlier murder, by arson, of Amber’s best friend, raises the tension. Readers will begin to wonder how much of what the characters say can be believed. As Amber notes, “A connection in my mind isn’t the same thing as a connection in the real world.” The key to the mystery involves divining the meaning of the words on the piece of paper. A creepy subplot involves some of the most evil mothers in contemporary fiction. (Aug.)
Library Journal
With this seventh psychological crime novel starring Det. Simon Waterhouse and Sgt. Charlie Zailer, Hannah breaks out in hardcover—about time, since she's been winning awards and selling around the world. The premise is typically Hannah-creepy. Upset when arson kills her best friend and still puzzled about the unexplained disappearance and sudden reappearance of four of her family members one Christmas, Amber Hewerdine undergoes hypnotherapy, uttering words that lead to her arrest for murder. Her words: "Kind, cruel, kind of cruel."
Kirkus Reviews
British writer Hannah, who specializes in psychological thrillers, continues her series centered around two married police detectives, officers Simon Waterhouse and Charlie Zailer. Amber Hewerdine visits a hypnotherapist seeking help sleeping at night. Although a skeptic, she's been suffering from insomnia for so long that she's desperate for a good night's sleep. While there, the acerbic Amber meets Zailer, a police officer who is halfheartedly trying to quit smoking. Through a confusing series of events, Amber says several odd things to the hypnotherapist, including the words, "Kind, Cruel, Kind of Cruel." Those words have special significance to both Waterhouse and Zailer since their imprint was found on a pad of paper discovered at the murder scene where Katharine Allen, a primary teacher, was discovered bludgeoned to death. Waterhouse immediately sees the significance of Amber knowing this unreleased detail and has a fellow officer bring her in for questioning. Amber has a strange past of her own: Her best friend, Sharon, was killed in a fire, and she has custody of the woman's two small daughters, who escaped the blaze. Add to this a peculiar extended family, an odd night that took place in a rented house and another fire, then mix in some bizarre police work, and you'll get Hannah's sometimes-confusing, overly complex tale. Part of the problem is that Hannah peoples her story with unlikable characters: The police officers spend most of their time stomping around, name-calling and screaming about office politics and their personal lives. Back and forth shifts in time and the multiple narrators may confound and alienate readers.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781101615508
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 8/6/2013
  • Series: Simon Waterhouse & Charlie Zailer Series , #7
  • Sold by: Penguin Group
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 448
  • Sales rank: 99,542
  • File size: 913 KB

Meet the Author

Sophie Hannah
Sophie Hannah is the author of seven novels and is also an award-winning poet. Her new Hercule Poirot mystery, the first to be sanctioned by the Agatha Christie estate, will be published in September 2014. She lives in Cambridge, England, with her husband and two children.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 8, 2013

    I am about 3/4 through this book and I find myself avoiding read

    I am about 3/4 through this book and I find myself avoiding reading it because I don't want it to end!! The characters in this book are well-developed yet mysterious. The story is multi-layrered, and chapters alternate between characters, past and present. As you are reading there are three different mysteries that keep you captivated as small details are revealed. This book interested me from the first page when the author discussed memories and how we alter them with each re-telling of them, creating more of a story than an actual memory. If you enjoy psychological thrillers then you will thoroughly enjoy this book. This is by far Sophie Hannah's best yet!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 2, 2014

    Love it


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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 25, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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