Book Review: Did You See Melody? by Sophie Hannah

Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton

Publication date:  August 2017

After observing to the trickling tap of evidence and following the flow of the accidental intervention, I’m afraid to say I wasn’t entirely swept away by the torrent of intrigue I had been expecting.

The theme for this book IS a terrific idea. I can’t deny the mystery surrounding Melody and her distinctive toy called Poggy (half pig, half dog) captivated my attention because it did, very much so. I craved the answers, but I’m thoroughly ashamed to say I began skim reading to find them – which is something I never, ever do.

Whether that’s due to the pure combo of unfortunate coincidences from day one of Cara Burrows arrival at the five star Arizona resort, the punishingly long excerpts from TV reports, and the particularly annoying guest who morphed into an excitable amateur detective in the unofficial ‘Did You See Melody?’ investigation, I genuinely couldn’t say.

Let’s put such trifling details into perspective though, as this story has all the juicy ingredients of a compelling story line and the ending itself offers yet another intriguing puzzle to ponder – yep, I had to read the last couple of pages twice just so I could process it!

And yet this review is one of the more difficult I’ve ever tried to write. To be completely honest I’ve been in two minds whether to publish my thoughts on the blog after struggling to convey this book’s positive / negative balance. On reflection I can only conclude it’s more a case of the reader (myself) clashing with the writing style rather than anything to do with the plot, as I’m more than happy to rate it a solid 3/5 well deserved stars for that alone.

What I’d really like to know is: have YOU seen Melody yet? I’d be interested to hear from anyone who has… #ISawMelody

Rating:  3/5

(My thanks to the publisher for providing a copy of this title via Netgalley. I’m grateful to have been given the opportunity to read it and provide this unbiased review.)

(Courtesy of Amazon UK)

Pushed to breaking point, Cara Burrows abandons her home and family and escapes to a five-star spa resort she can’t afford. Late at night, exhausted and desperate, she lets herself into her hotel room and is shocked to find it already occupied – by a man and a teenage girl.

A simple mistake on the part of the hotel receptionist – but Cara’s fear intensifies when she works out that the girl she saw alive and well in the hotel room is someone she can’t possibly have seen: the most famous murder victim in the country, Melody Chapa, whose parents are serving life sentences for her murder.

Cara doesn’t know what to trust: everything she’s read and heard about the case, or the evidence of her own eyes. Did she really see Melody? And is she prepared to ask herself that question and answer it honestly if it means risking her own life?


(Courtesy of Author’s website)

Sophie Hannah is an internationally bestselling writer of psychological crime fiction, published in 32 languages and 51 territories.  In 2014, with the blessing of Agatha Christie’s family and estate, Sophie published a new Hercule Poirot novel, The Monogram Murders, which was a bestseller in more than fifteen countries.  In September 2016, her second Poirot novel, Closed Casket, was published and became an instant Sunday Times top ten bestseller.

In 2013, Sophie’s novel The Carrier won the Crime Thriller of the Year Award at the Specsavers National Book Awards.  Two of her crime novels, The Point of Rescue and The Other Half Lives, have been adapted for television and appeared on ITV1 under the series title Case Sensitive in 2011 and 2012.

Sophie has also published two short story collections and five collections of poetry – the fifth of which, Pessimism for Beginners, was shortlisted for the 2007 T S Eliot Award. Her poetry is studied at GCSE, A-level and degree level across the UK. From 1997 to 1999 she was Fellow Commoner in Creative Arts at Trinity College, Cambridge, and between 1999 and 2001 she was a fellow of Wolfson College, Oxford. She is forty-five and lives with her husband, children and dog in Cambridge, where she is a Fellow Commoner at Lucy Cavendish College.


13 thoughts on “Book Review: Did You See Melody? by Sophie Hannah

  1. Interestingly, I loved the character that you hated! She was my favourite! I admit to skipping the TV transcripts though – which turned out to be a mistake because I missed the clue that would have revealed whodunnit! x

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m with others – these are the hardest to write review wise and I struggle too when I feel my reading just doesn’t mesh with the writing and it’s how you find your way out of it I guess…sometimes I just don’t post if it’s not a review copy, though I know that’s the cowards way out (making you braver than me!)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Not at all! I was very undecided but eventually I went with my gut as I always try to include books on the blog that I rate 3/5 or above. So, this one made its appearance as it DID have things going for it, although I have avoided copying in both the author and the publisher as that would have been unfair in my opinion.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I agree Wendy, I have the hardest time writing 2& 3 star reviews. I don’t always include 2 star ones in my blog but I will put them in goodreads. However I don’t usually write any review if I can’t find at least 1 postitive thing to say. I can understand your thoughts on this one especially if you found yourself skimming. Hopefully your next read is better!

    Liked by 1 person

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