Cover image for Killing me softly : a novel of obsession
Killing me softly : a novel of obsession
French, Nicci.
Personal Author:
First U.S. edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Mysterious Press, 1999.
Physical Description:
360 pages ; 24 cm
General Note:
Originally published: London : Michael Joseph, 1999.
Format :


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Central Library FICTION Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks
Central Library FICTION Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks
Newstead Library FICTION Adult Fiction Open Shelf
Grand Island Library FICTION Adult Fiction Open Shelf
Orchard Park Library X Adult Fiction Open Shelf
Williamsville Library FICTION Adult Fiction Open Shelf
Julia Boyer Reinstein Library FICTION Adult Fiction Open Shelf

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Damage meets Into Thin Air in this spellbinding novel of a forbidden love turned into a dangerous obsession that drives a woman to impulsively abandon her old life and marry a charismatic stranger.

Author Notes

Nicci French lives in Northern England.

(Publisher Provided) Nicci French is the pseudonym used by husband-and-wife team Nicci Gerrard and Sean French, who write psychological thrillers together.

Nicci Gerrard was born in Worcestershire, England on June 10, 1958. She received a first class honors degree in English literature from Oxford University. She taught English literature in Sheffield, London and Los Angeles before founding Women's Review, a magazine for women on art, literature and female issues. Later on, she worked at the New Statesman and is currently working at The Observer.

Sean French was born in Bristol, England on May 28, 1959. He received a first class honors degree in English literature from Oxford University and became a journalist. In 1981 he won Vogue magazine's Writing Talent Contest and worked as their theatre critic from 1981 to 1986. During that time, he was also deputy literary editor and television critic at the Sunday Times, film critic for Marie Claire, and deputy editor of New Society. Before becoming a full-time author, he wrote write columns for the New Statesman. He has written both novels and non-fiction books.

They were married in October 1990. In 1995, they started work on their first joint novel. The Memory Game was published in 1997 and was followed by numerous other works including The Safe House (1998), Killing Me Softly (1999), Beneath the Skin (2000), The Red Room (2001), Land of the Living (2002), Secret Smile (2003), Catch Me When I Fall (2005), Losing You (2006), Until It's Over (2008), What To Do When Someone Dies (2009), and Sunday Morning Coming Down (2017).

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Alice Loudon, a nice British girl, has an ordinary but happy life: by day, she works as a research scientist; at night, she goes home to considerate boyfriend Jake. Alice is content with her friends, lover, and lot in life--until she locks eyes with a handsome stranger while walking to work. When she leaves the office, he is there, and she willingly goes back to his flat, where they make love before even exchanging names. Alice's relationship with Adam soon becomes a two-way obsession, and she leaves Jake to marry the mysterious mountaineer. As Alice begins to find out about Adam's murky past, she becomes determined to discover who she really married. On the surface, Alice's actions might seem far-fetched, but credit French's compelling prose for making them seem not only understandable but necessary. Obsession is a common theme in thrillers, but French injects it with new life in this roller-coaster ride of a story. --Jenny McLarin

Publisher's Weekly Review

A critically acclaimed, bestselling British author (The Memory Game), French makes her American debut with a stunning novel of sexual obsession. Alice Loudon has a wonderful boyfriend, Jake; a nice apartment in London; good friends; and a satisfying job as a research manager in a pharmaceutical company. On her way to work one morning, she locks eyes with a handsome man dressed in black, and cannot get him out of her mind. Later that day, she finds him waiting for her and she plunges into an affair of such intensity that she leaves Jake, neglects her friends and her health and even puts herself in great danger. "Sex had never been like this. There had been indifferent sex, embarrassing sex, nasty sex, good sex, great sex. This was more like obliterating sex." Alice's new lover, Adam Tallis, is a mountain climber and a hero. Guiding an ill-fated expedition to the top of a Himalayan mountain, he risked his life to save over half the climbers (although five people died). He seems perfect, but he reveals little about himself; he never laughs; and sometimes he inflicts physical pain on Alice during sex. Despite the shocking revelations of a woman who claims to be his former lover, Alice marries Adam. Soon she cannot ignore other frightening signals: mysteriously threatening notes and incessant phone calls from someone who never speaks. After she meets several more women from Adam's past, she pieces together his secrets, and sees his overwhelming love for her in a more sinister light. With lucid and limber prose, French delves into Alice's thoughts as skillfully as she describes the London setting. The pacing is swift and the dialogue sharp and realistic. The story's thematic device is a cleverly imagined redoubling: the physical and psychic risks of mountain climbing parallel Alice's journey towards a perilous sexual summit. "It had begun in rapture and finished in terror,'' reads a line near the end of the narrative. Every decade or so a psychological thriller appears that graphically recounts an intelligent woman's willing sexual subjugation; this gripping novel joins that group. Literary Guild, Doubleday Book Club and Mystery Guild featured alternates; film rights to Montecito Picture Company. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Alice abandons everything, including her devoted boyfriend, when she spots mountain climber Adam Tallis. But then hints of his dangerous past start to surface. French is a British journalist whose last book was a best seller in her homeland. The publisher will issue all her novels here, and movie rights for this one have already been sold. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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