NetGalley Top Reviewer

NetGalley Top Reviewer
NetGalley Top Reviewer

Thursday, June 19, 2014

The Distance by Helen Giltrow

4.0 out of 5 stars Intricate plotting will intrigue thriller fans...

Who is Charlotte Alton? To most in London, she's a wealthy socialite seen at all the right parties, the theater and other functions. Behind the closed doors of her high security apartment, however, she's Karla -- and in that persona is extremely involved in the keeping of secrets and exchange of information. She's not afraid of the hard stuff - and ignores the question of right and wrong - as long as the client is vetted and the money is paid. She's been able to keep her double life hidden from those who hire or work on a case for her, except for one man to whom she shows her face. Simon Johanssen, a past client, has come to her with a case she can't refuse -- he needs to get into a high security experimental prison to kill a woman on the inside. Despite her ability to ferret out information, Karla can't seem to find anything about Catherine Gallagher and the reason the hit was ordered. Despite her concerns, she sets up the scenario for Johanssen and meanwhile tries to cover him and make sure that this is not a set up because Johanssen made a critical error in the past that someone wants him to pay for.

The narrative is told in several points of view and proceeds through the ensuing days of the mission with revelations and chills coming with every turn of the page. The tension builds as things start to unravel and Karla must insert herself into the operation to save this client. Who can she trust or is everyone involved acting with other motives? What is really going on? At times the complicated separate points become confusing and the reader definitely can't predict the twists and turns the story line takes, but it all comes together in slow reveals of deftly woven threads to create a satisfying conclusion that answers most of the questions. I can see where a sequel would follow.

If you like a good thriller without a sappy romance, if you don't mind quite a bit of descriptive violence, and if you want a unique female protagonist, then this is a book you can really sink your thinking mind into. I enjoyed it immensely and would recommend it. I also suggest you read it over the shortest period of time you can manage in order to keep all the characters and action straight!

Thank you to NetGalley and Doubledday books for the e-book ARC to review.

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