Chloe hasn’t had much luck with men, so when the enigmatic Tom saves her and her daughter, she may or may not fall the slightest bit in love with him. He dashes off again, and afterwards she decides she has to thank him, but instead of finding Tom she finds a woman called Nadine Caspian who warns her to stay away from him. He’s dangerous, she says: don’t tell him anything. Chloe thinks she probably should walk away, but, well, she doesn’t.
Pictures Or It Didn’t Happen was the first work by Sophie Hannah I have read, and I was inspired to pick it up when I saw a man before me in a library queue return some books by her, so I headed off to find her Quick Read (ok, so I already knew she had written one). Although I only gave this Quick Read 3 stars on GoodReads, I think I might try reading some of her others; 123 pages of large fonted text doesn’t exactly give you much to flesh out a novel, and I think with another subplot or two, this work would have been better, although it was a nice, short, quick read (puns!) and I finished it in a day.
Was it a crime, or a thriller? Not really. I was expecting more excitement and tension: the main plot wasn’t exactly to my liking. Lies? Sure, they can be exciting and can make for a good plot, but I didn’t really like how they were written in this book. I would love for Sophie Hannah’s other novels to be more blood-rushing.
Onto the characters. The protagonist, Chloe, seemed a bit slow on the uptake to me: I guessed whodunit way before her. She also didn’t really stand up for herself, which I didn’t take to. Lorna, her “best friend” was, to be perfectly honest, a bit of a bitch. If this had been a longer work, I would have loved for Hannah to sort out their friendship and explore Lorna more. Tom, the love interest, was an enigmatic, attractive character. He might have been a bit forward, and I think that if I had met someone like that in real life, I would have asked him to steady himself up! Another character I really liked was Simon, who comes in later in the story, because I think he was rather like me to be honest.
The romance aspect of this short was also something I liked. A love interest always gives readers something to root for, and it did once again in this case!
Finally, the ending of the novel (don’t worry, I won’t spoil it) was, whilst resolved, unsatisfying for me, personally. I felt like Hannah rushed the final page or two, and therefore it wasn’t my favourite ending ever. Even just an extra paragraph would have made it more satisfying.
Overall, I would recommend this to readers looking to try mystery/thriller books but aren’t sure. I like the Quick Reads series, but sometimes they are too short to be good for me. Still, it’s a nice little read and I’ll be trying more of Hannah’s in the future, I think.
TITLE: Pictures Or It Didn’t Happen
AUTHOR: Sophie Hannah
PUBLISHER: Hodder & Stoughton
YEAR OF PUBLICATION: 2015
NUMBER OF PAGES: 123
PERSONAL SOURCE: Borrowed from the library
Pictures Or It Didn’t Happen is a book read for the 2015 Reading Challenge: a book published in 2015.