by Claire North


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Touch is the electrifying new thriller from the author of The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August.

He tried to take my life. Instead, I took his.

It was a long time ago. I remember it was dark, and I didn't see my killer until it was too late. As I died, my hand touched his. That's when the first switch took place.

Suddenly, I was looking through the eyes of my killer, and I was watching myself die.

Now switching is easy. I can jump from body to body, have any life, be anyone.

Some people touch lives. Others take them. I do both.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316335928
Publisher: Orbit
Publication date: 02/24/2015
Pages: 432
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.60(d)

About the Author

Claire North is a pseudonym for Catherine Webb, a Carnegie Medal-nominated author whose first book was written when she was just fourteen years old. She went on to write several other novels in various genres, before publishing her first major work as Claire North, The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August, in 2014. It was a critically acclaimed success, receiving rave reviews and an Audie nomination, and was included in the Washington Post's Best Books of the Year list. Her most recent novel, Touch, was also in the Washington Post's Best Books of the Year, in 2015.

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Touch 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
cloggiedownunder More than 1 year ago
“Problem with moving into a new body, you never quite know where it’s been.” Touch is the second novel by British author, Claire North. The entity known to his/her/its enemies as Kepler has been around for quite some time. And Kepler is not the only entity of this type: a ghost who can move from body to body by touch. Carefully done, this can happen with minimal disruption to lives; of course, long term hosts will find their lives much changed, although Kepler tries to leave them significantly better off. But just as Kepler is settling into a mutually beneficial arrangement with Josephine Cebula, she is shot and killed in a Turkish Metro station, by a gunman who is clearly watching for where Kepler will go next. Who is trying to kill Kepler, and why?    This is a fast-paced thriller that spans over two centuries, and at least three continents. The plot is highly original, taking several turns before reaching a spectacular climax at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. North gives the reader characters who will charm or, in some cases repulse. Their flaws and foibles are realistic and may well have the reader wondering about their own reaction to this sort of immortality. Their dialogue is natural, and the banter between Coyle and Kepler is often snappy and amusing. North gives a whole new meaning to the concept of “estate agent”, and her description of the chase through the museum conjures the image of a Mexican wave. This latest offering by Claire North is clever and often funny, and readers who enjoyed The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August will not be disappointed. Quite brilliant! With thanks to Hachette and TheReadingRoom for my copy to read and review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I liked "Fifteen Lives" better, but this was engaging and fun to read, too.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An interesting premise thtat went on approximately 75 to 100 pages more than needed to make it point.
AudiobookReviewer More than 1 year ago
Touch by Claire North details the life of a character, well more so, a consciousness that goes by the name of Kepler.this consciousness has the ability to jump from body to body, overtaking that persons will and movements while it embodies them. It is a “ghost” and can move from person to person at will, but only with a touch of bare skin and the first jump only being catalyzed by a traumatic event. But then his latest skin, Josephine Cebula, is assassinated and not just because Kepler is wearing her skin, but because of a plot that Kepler spends the rest of the book trying to unearth to avenge her. This work is very well written and extremely descriptive. You live in the moment with this character and remember its past jumps spanning the entire world over, centuries over even. The writing itself is fantastic, and I found the narration to be all in good. Peter Kenny jumps very well from his own native British accent, to those of a Southern Bell and Turkish woman flawlessly. This work by North is truly touching and it gives a whole new meaning to the song “Under My Skin.” I could listen to this book over and over again, never once to put it down. It’ll change the way you see the human soul and consciousness, making you think deeper than just the superficial. Audiobook provided for review by the publisher. Please find this complete review and many others at audiobookreviewer dot com [If this review helped, please press YES. Thanks!]
Bibliotropic More than 1 year ago
Kepler is a ghost, transferring from body to body by a touch, flitting from one person to another and leaving them with no memories of the time when someone else was in control of their body. Kepler has been around for centuries, sometimes inhabiting a host for years, sometimes only a few mere seconds. This is how it’s always been, until one day everything changes, and Kepler is being hunted by a group that wants to eliminate ghosts and their takeovers. Only it’s not quite as simple as all that, and there’s a larger mystery afoot. For all that pains are taken to leave Kepler’s original gender out of things, to me, Kepler reads as very much male. I can’t quite put my finger on why, and possibly I’m dead wrong, but that’s how the character came across to me. Very little is said about Kepler’s origins, only their mode of dying, and that heightens the mystery and leaves you with no concrete answers by the end. And what I love is that it doesn’t really matter. Kepler is Kepler. Even by their own definition. Kepler is whoever is being inhabited at that moment. Male or female, it makes no difference. There is no preference. It seems to be quite similar for many of the other ghosts that are encountered through the novel, too. I like that notion, that gender is a thing that ceases to mean anything after numerous decades and numerous hosts have passed. When you can jump into any body and live whatever life you choose, having one hard-and-fast gender that you must be for any length of time does seem a little bit too rigid a notion to keep around for long. North did wonders with expressing that without saying it outright, or trying to beat the reader over the head with the idea. The mystery itself, of who is behind the attempted assassinations of ghosts (for ghosts can actually die if their host bodies die and there’s nobody else to jump to), is interesting, though for all that there are assassination attempts, the book isn’t a very action-heavy book. There are a few scenes, yes, but most of the novel involves discovery and contemplation, with plenty of flashbacks for context and to keep the reader jumping around almost as much as Harry August did. It’s not quite as nonlinear as that, but it does have a large number of flashbacks, all of which do provide wonderful context and backstory and flesh out the characters and the situation a lot, and the way North handles it is skillful and deft, so while it may be a little tough for those used to more linear stories, I find that it works very well to tell numerous branches of a long story that are all coming together at pivotal points. All this is why even when the plot slowed down or got a little too tangled in itself for a while, I loved Touch. It’s a fascinating exploration of character, of what people can do when they’re given the chance to live forever and lead any kind of life they want, from any point, so long as they can find the appropriate person to take over and be. The writing is beautiful, the story intricate, the characters endlessly fascinating. It questions what we accept as normal and forces us to bend our minds around an entirely new viewpoint. Utterly amazing, and well worth reading for anyone who wants to submerge themselves in a unique and powerful story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Enjoyed how the story unfolded and the perspective given beyond gender
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved this. Wonderful. Original.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fabulous book! Continually engaging Beautifully written
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wonderful book that I will reread again in a few year and again a few years later.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One star is even too much of a rating to give this book! I only wish I could get my money back! I could only force myself to read to page 173 and I just simply gave up. Don't waste your time or money!