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Creator / Sophie Hannah

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Sophie Hannah is an author of crime/psychological fiction, mostly famous for her Spilling series based in the UK, though she has released several stand-alone novels as well. The Point of Rescue and The Other Half Lives have both been adapted for television and The Carrier won the Crime Thriller of the Year award. In 2014, she was authorized by the estate of Agatha Christie to write new installments in the Hercule Poirot series. The first, The Monogram Murders, was released in September of 2014 to rave reviews. She has since released three Poirot novels as of 2018.

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Her Spilling series:

Stand-alone novels:

  • The Orphan Choir
  • The Superpower of Love (2002)

Her contributions to the Hercule Poirot canon:

  • The Monogram Murders (2014)
  • Closed Casket (2016)
  • The Mystery of Three Quarters (2018)

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Tropes that appear in the Spilling Series:

  • Abusive Parents: All over the place.
    • Proust is revealed to be one in The Carrier.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: Simon Waterhouse. He is incredibly uncomfortable with people crying, doesn't like to eat in front of people (he makes an exception for Charlie in The Other Half Lives), tends to be an unusually good intuition in cases, often becomes uncomfortable or defensive on the subject of sex. Charlie herself describes him as 'weird, frigid and socially inept', but she still loves him.
    • There's also Laurie in A Room Swept White, and Tim in The Carrier, although Tim's odd behavior is at least partially explaine via his Abusive Parents and Domestic Abuse from Francine.
  • Bad Boss: Giles Proust, known by his inferiors as The Snowman.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: A lot between Charlie and Simon. Even after they get married.
  • Break the Haughty: Happens occasionally to Simon, but Naomi from Hurting Distance and Gaby from The Carrier both go through this.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: A downplayed example, but Charlie is very insecure in her relationship with Simon, particularly whenever Alice Fancourt is mentioned. She often asks him if he thinks other women are pretty (The Telling Error) or gets jealous if Simon pays special attention to female witnesses (such as Amber in Kind of Cruel), even though she knows that Simon being Simon, he wouldn't notice anyway.
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  • Dark and Troubled Past: Very often, especially Aidan in The Other Half Lives, but appears in Hurting Distance, Kind of Cruel and The Carrier as well.
  • Deadpan Snarker: A lot of characters, particularly Charlie. The Snowman also has a number of withering quips at his disposal.
  • Do Not Call Me "Paul": Charlie hates being called Charlotte, and Connie from Lasting Damage refuses to go by her full first name, Catriona.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: For Sam Kombothreka, it's "Stepford", coined by Sellars and Gibbs after they got annoyed by his polite persona.
  • The Glorious War of Sisterly Rivalry: Charlie and Olivia. Charlie even briefly cuts Olivia off after Olivia begins an affair with Gibbs during Charlie and Simon's wedding in Lasting Damage, but they reconcile by the end Kind of Cruel.
  • Grumpy Old Man: Proust, very much so.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Simon. He's often described as overbearing and arrogant about his abilities, but he does genuinely care for Charlie and he usually pulls a Big Damn Heroes in his cases, notably in Hurting Distance and The Other Half Lives.
  • Love Martyr: Both Naomi and Gaby have elements of this, but they grow out of it over the course of Hurting Distance and The Carrier, respectively.
  • Kavorka Man: Sellars is described as a fat lech, but it doesn't stop him from being married with a mistress on the side, and his inability not to flirt with any pretty woman he passes. Gibbs constantly mocks him for it.
  • Mama Bear: Amber Hewerdine from Kind of Cruel, even though Dinah and Nonie aren't her biological children.
  • The Napoleon: Gibbs, although with some Character Development over the series, he seems to be growing out of this somewhat.
  • Nice Guy: Sam is the most consistent example in the series.
  • Operation: Jealousy: One that has very far-reaching consequences for Charlie, when she briefly dates someone to make Simon jealous when she thinks he's in contact with Alice Fancourt from Little Face.
  • Opposites Attract: Olivia and Gibbs.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Sam and Simon.
  • Silk Hiding Steel: Sam Kombothekra is an unusual male example- he's very polite, helpful and dislikes being involved in confrontation, but he's noted to be an effective police officer and serves as Simon's The Lancer for a while.
  • Sir Swears-a-Lot: Charlie and Gibbs probably take the cake, but Amber gets in on the act as well.
  • Straw Feminist: Sondra Halliday, the radical feminist columnist in The Narrow Bed. It's suggested that there is a sympathetic Freudian Excuse driving her beliefs and actions, and that once you trim away the self-righteousness and misandry she has a bit of a point at times. But nevertheless, she's pretty clearly presented as unhelpful, condescending, unnecessarily confrontational, hypocritical and ultimately blinkered, and that her narrow and dogmatic view of the situation presents harmful and potentially dangerous consequences. She's also completely wrong about, among other things, the killer being a man.
  • Those Two Guys: Sellars and Gibbs, although as of Lasting Damage, Gibbs begins to get his own subplots that revolve around his affair with Liv.
  • Title Drop: Very often, especially in Kind of Cruel and The Carrier.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Charlie and Olivia Zailer. One's a Police Sergant, the other is a journalist obsessed with fashion. There's also Dinah and Nonie from Kind of Cruel.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Gibbs becomes considerably less of a dick over the course of the books, which ironically seems to have been spurred on by cheating on his wife with Olivia.
  • The Wonka: Simon is considered to very weird and antisocial by pretty much everyone, but the Spilling police won't fire him because he's just too damn good.
  • Wouldn't Hit a Girl: Simon; even though he used to have an infamously violent temper, Charlie notes he's never hit her, even when she deliberately presses his Berserk Button.
  • Yandere: Pops up a couple of times in her novels, especially in Lasting Damage and The Other Half Lives.
  • Your Cheating Heart: Everyone knows that Colin Sellars has a mistress, except his wife.
    • Gibbs begins cheating on Olivia midway through the series. In The Narrow Bed, they even get married in secret.
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