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Did You See Melody? by Sophie Hannah
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Did You See Melody?

by Sophie Hannah

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This was a fast read, with enough twists to keep my interest. After running away from her family in England, Cara Burrows becomes involved in a mystery at an Arizona luxury resort when she is accidentally assigned to a room which is already occupied. After being kidnapped herself, she learns enough about the mysterious girl she saw in the room to help police and FBI solve an old case. ( )
  terran | Oct 12, 2017 |
Cara has run away from her home because she is pregnant and her husband and older children don't seem too thrilled. She's taken a big chunk of the family savings and gone to an exclusive resort in Arizona. On her first night, jet lagged, Cara is given the wrong room key and disturbs and man and a child. Over time she hears rumours and pieces together that the child is Melody Chapa who disappeared, presumed murdered, seven years ago.

I know that Sophie Hannah is a very popular author and to be honest for the first half of this book I could see why. Cara is an irritating protagonist but I can imagine she appeals to a certain type of reader. My biggest issue was that whilst the set-up was perfectly entertaining in a superficial way, the action in the last third of the book seemed to get sillier and sillier. This left me wondering why Hannah is so well thought of. Reviews elsewhere seem to suggest that this is not one of her better books - I certainly hope so! ( )
  pluckedhighbrow | Oct 11, 2017 |
Cara Burrows travels from Hertford, England to Phoenix, Arizona to spend some time at Swallowtail, a posh five-star resort. After the front desk clerk accidentally sends her to an already-occupied room, she finds herself thrown into a mystery surrounding a supposedly-dead child named Melody Chapa. Her death, at the age of seven, made her the most famous murder victim in the nation and put her parents behind bars for he murder.

But what if Melody isn’t dead?

Despite the poetic writing and the elegant descriptions, readers may find it difficult to relate to a story with no likeable characters, far too many improbable occurrences, and plot points that don’t stand up to even the most innocuous scrutiny.

Most of the characters are either self-absorbed or aggravatingly annoying [or both] and lack the ability to draw the reader into the narrative. As a result, despite the promising premise for the story and the exquisite writing, readers are apt to come away disappointed. ( )
  jfe16 | Sep 18, 2017 |
Keep Her Safe by Sophie Hannah is a recommended thriller.

Cara Burrows runs away from her home and family in England for an expensive resort and spa in Arizona. When the clerk mistakenly gives her a key to a room that is already occupied by a man and a teenage girl, Clara is upgraded to a bungalow. The next day Cara overhears another guest claiming to have seen the mysterious Melody, a girl whose parents were convicted of her murder seven years earlier. Then detectives come to halfheartedly investigate the sighting. Cara decides to get online with the spa-provided tablet and research the story of Melody Chapa.

While reading about the case of infamous American murder victim, Cara suspects that the teenage girl she saw and heard the first night, in the room she mistakenly was given the key to, was Melody. She discusses her suspicions with Tarin Fry and her daughter, Zellie, along with the staff. She asks to see the detectives, but disappears before she can tell them what she saw and heard.

Keep Her Safe is entertaining when the backstory of the Melody Chapa case is discussed. The theories and investigation of the case combined with the occasional excerpts from the writing by some unnamed girl hook you into the mystery. However, you also have to suspend a whole lot of disbelief to keep reading and believing in the plot. It helps that Hannah is a good writer so there aren't technical flaws. There are other flaws.

The reason given for why Cara ran away from her family to a place she couldn't afford was unbelievable. Really. You're going to think there must have been more to it, but there isn't. And, honestly, it made me respect her less as a character. The whole paying a stranger to hold her cell phone for her was ridiculous/stupid. The plot is kind of silly. Bonnie Juno is a joke. Allowing only local cops, resort management, Juno, and guests to meet and talk about the sightings of Melody and the disappearance of Cara and another person was implausible. And, yet again, the character of Tarin Fry is a florist from Lawrence, Kansas. Really? (Novelists, please stop pointing at a map and deciding that Lawrence, KS looks like a good place to have an unlikable character live. I'm starting to get a complex about this. Please consider some other places in fly-over territory.)

I'm recommending Keep Her Safe because I read it to the end and was entertainer by it, even when there was a wee-bit of eye rolling over some of the details.

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of HarperCollins.
http://www.shetreadssoftly.com/2017/09/keep-her-safe.html
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2126695221
https://www.facebook.com/shetreadssoftly/ ( )
  SheTreadsSoftly | Sep 17, 2017 |
This is the first time I had the pleasure of indulging in a Sophie Hannah novel, Did you see Melody was a brilliant piece of fiction.
Drawing the reader in and turning everything upside down so the reader doesn't know her up from down, or left from right.
It was brilliantly executed, a tale expertly woven to intertwine multiple strings and bind them together to make perfect sense.
We have Cara Burrows an English lady currently trying to get away from what she conceives her family to be, totally selfish.
Catching a plane and heading off to this glorious Five-star resort. Cara is thrust headfirst into a bizarre set of circumstances that leave her floundering for the truth and the answer to the question did she see Melody?
I loved the way we had a story on top of a story, as in Cara trying to forget her own problems by concentrating on the enigma that is Melody's story.
The tongue in cheek humour was awfully amusing and I found myself chuckling quietly to myself.
There was also a great variety of interesting secondary characters that I loved.
Did you see Melody was definitely an engrossing page turner and I read this book very swiftly.
As for the ending, well not going to give it away, so let's just say I loved the twist.
So in conclusion, fantastic bit of fiction, a real thought provoking read that begs the question, right or wrong how far would you go if you believed you were doing the right thing for someone you love.
So pleased to have received a free e-copy of Did You See Melody and this is my own honest opinion.

https://www.beckiebookworm.com/
https://www.facebook.com/beckiebookworm/ ( )
  carpathian1974 | Jun 6, 2017 |
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