Author, Book review, crime/thriller, England, Fiction, Publisher, Sarah Dunant, Setting, Time Warner Books

‘Transgressions’ by Sarah Dunant


Fiction – paperback; Time Warner Paperbacks; 375 pages; 1998.

Sarah Dunant’s Transgressions was a spur-of-the-moment purchase thanks to Amazon’s “Your Recommendations” which, I have to say, can be slightly dodgy at the best of times (I wish I’d never bought books on PhotoShop or Adobe InDesign for the office because I am constantly BOMBARDED with recommendations to buy more of the same, even though I’ve ticked all the right boxes to say “Please don’t use this purchase as a basis for a recommendation”).

But I digress . . .

This book is a thriller (recommended by Amazon, I am sure, due to my previous purchase of the odd Nicci French novel or two), but it’s unlike any thriller I’ve read before. Yes, there are some VERY scary moments and some edge-of-the-seat scenes that had me wanting to read late into the night. But — and it’s a BIG but — the story was slightly weird, in places the writing seemed contrived and in others the line between sex and porn became blurred. I can’t say I enjoyed the book, but it was a pacey and sometimes terrifying read, so I guess I couldn’t ask for too much more.

The story centres around Elizabeth, who makes her living translating books from Czech into English. She has recently broken up with her long-time boyfriend and finds herself rattling around the big house they once shared in suburban London. Strange, quirky things begin to happen in the house that disturb her because she can’t quite work out whether they are really happening or whether they are a figment of her imagination.

The fear factor goes up a few notches when Elizabeth wakes up in the middle of the night KNOWING that an uninvited guest is in the house. It’s HOW she deals with this intruder that readers may find disturbing . . .

Transgressions seems a very fitting title for this weird and slightly seedy book. It’s not the best thriller I’ve ever read, but by the same token it’s not a bad read — just a strange one . . .