Anyone who is a fan of psychological mystery/thrillers by such authors as Ruth Rendell or Minette Walters is sure to enjoy "Hurting distance" by Sophie Hannah. This is the second title I've read by her and they keep getting better! The author had SO many loose ends that I couldn't imagine how she would resolve the storyline. However, she tied everything together flawlessly. Quite a feat!
The novel's title is explained on page 80 which states: "The people you love are within hurting distance, close range. Strangers aren't."
The novel begins with Naomi Jenkins who is fearful for her lover when he doesn't show up at their weekly rendevous site. She is certain that he would never not show up without first letting her know. She becomes so upset that she reports the matter to the police. They interview the man's wife who insists that he is fine and visiting friends in Kent. Then when the police won't follow the matter further she changes her story and says that he raped her and must be found at once! The police view her as very unreliable as she keeps lying to them and changing her story.
This is just the tip of the iceberg, as the back story of the policewoman Charlie Zailer becomes an integral part of the plot. The novel is told alternately by Naomi and Charlie Zailer, so the reader gets a two-sided view of the plot development. Convoluted, but in a brilliant way, Sophie Hannah manages to keep all of her ducks in a row and has written a complex novel of obsessive love, betrayal and damaged psyches.