Platform Seven

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Member Reviews

I've not read Louise Doughty before, but always heard about Apple Tree Yard, so I definitely was interested in this one. 
It was an interesting story from the beginning, and it was very well written. When I started, I was in awe of the writing, which we don't generally get this level in thrillers. I'd like to call it more of a literary thriller.
The story has also the feeling of spookiness, and supernatural. So, perfect read for October :) 
I really enjoyed Doughty's writing and the suspense. Read with interest and overall enjoyed this book a lot. 

Thanks a lot NetGalley and the publisher for this copy . in exchange for an honest review.
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Well, this was something a little different from my usual reads. We start in the wee small hours on Platform 7 of Peterborough railway station where a man debates his death. We cut to Lisa, a young woman who knows what he is about to do and is desperate to prevent him from carrying it out. She fails. This makes two fatalities on the same platform within the past 18 months. Lisa being the first. And so begins a rather strange tale, told by Lisa, about the impact that suicide has brought to those affected, as well as what has driven the deceased to take their own lives. In Lisa's case, her relationship with a coercive partner is highlighted and this throws up some doubt. Initially trapped within the bounds of the station, we follow Lisa as she starts to remember, at the same time as being able to leave the vicinity of the station as she follows certain people in order to understand both what happened to her and how it has affected and impacted on many people's lives, especially those of the children of the latest fatality.
This book contain so much more than I can ever touch on in a review. Mostly due to spoilers, but also due to the fact that each element follows the previous in such a way that to even hint at what is to come would ruin the impact that each so richly deserves if discovered as the author intends. 
Suffice to say that there are some quite hard hitting topics contained within the pages of this book. Some much more shocking than others but all handled in exactly the right way. 
Telling the story through the "eyes" of a ghost is quite a novel concept for me and it worked very well. Lisa's ability to sneak around and eavesdrop allowed her entry to places where other characters wouldn't have been able to go. Obviously her interaction was limited but this allowed the author to both build up and peel off layer upon layer until certain emotions were laid bare. 
As already mentioned, there were quite a lot of important topics mentioned throughout this book. Love, hate, isolation, loneliness, to name but a few. For me however, the sheer number of such topics included meant that their individual impacts were somewhat diluted. Maybe the author meant this to be as such but, for me, it meant that I was never quite satisfied with each as a separate entity, some things being a bit glossed over. But, when taken as a whole, the book worked well overall. 
It's a slow burn initially as there is quite a bit of scene setting but, having done that, the rest of the book flowed well and left me satisfied at its conclusion. If you are finding it a bit slow, please persevere, it is worth it in the end. My thanks go to the Publisher and Netgalley for the chance to read this book.
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I've never read Louise Doughty before, only seen Apple Tree Yard on telly. I pounced on the opportunity to read this though as I recognised the author, then I read the description of the storyline and was hooked from thereon.

An interesting angle for the storyline I thought and found it intriguing to see where this would go. I enjoyed it much more than I thought I would and would recommend this book with it's spooky twist.

The story goes in 2 directions, 1 being the people watching of Lisa Evans at Peterborough's train station and then 2 to the story of Lisa Evans and what brought her to be people watching at Peterborough Train Station.

You can't help but to be brought in to the story. I was eager to see how the book would end and it was a surprise to me but I won't say how as you'll have to read it to find out.
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The story starts off at Peterborough train station where Lisa watches as someone takes their own life. 
She knew what he was going to do as she has been stuck at the station since she died there. 
This is not really a ghost story as you are listening to Lisa’s thoughts throughout the book so there is nothing creepy about it. 
Lisa can’t move from the station so she becomes fascinated with some of the train station employees and transport police nearby. 
We learn about the lead up to her death and about her relationship with Dr Matthew Goodison. 
Parts of the book had me hooked but overall I just wanted to get to the part where we learn what happened on the night Lisa died. 
The other parts of the story didn’t really hold my attention. 
Thanks to Faber & Faber and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this book.
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Two deaths on Platform Seven. Two fatalities in 18 months - surely they're connected? 

No one is more desperate to understand what connects them than Lisa Evans herself. After all, she was the first of the two to die.

This is a ghost story and a thriller. Lisa tries to find out how she died and is picking up clues by eavesdropping on conversations, while becoming fascinated with some of the train station employees. Although the premise may seem unusual, in the hands of Louise Doughty it becomes a very well written gripping story.
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This is a very sad but quite beautiful story, centred on Peterborough Railway Station.  It is about the people who work at the station, their working and personal lives, narrated for the most part by a ghost. A lot of the book is a relationship drama detailing the life and events that led up to a thirty six year old woman becoming the ghost that haunts the railway station. 

A quite original story, so heartbreaking that I actually found it quite difficult to read at times, about relationships (not just of the romantic variety), life and, of course death. An excellent read but, despite the little flashes of wry humour, it might be a good idea to have some tissues handy.
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I really wanted to love this book.  The premise is right up my street - a ghost trying to solve the mystery of her own death.  Although I enjoyed the back stories of the railway station staff they were far too prevalent and boring for me (ukeleles?). I ended up skipping most of the book as it was far too much like chic lit which is really not my thing.
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The ghost of Lisa Evans is confined to Peterborough train station, having been killed by a train 18 months before. When Lisa witnesses a man fall from the edge of platform seven into the path of an oncoming train she is desperate to understand the connection between them, and to remember who she was and what exactly happened to her.
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Many may be familiar with Louise Doughty as the author of Apple Tree Yard, which was adapted into a 4 part series on @bbcone. I neither read the book or watched the series so had no idea what to expect from this author! But I was pleasantly surprised. There’s a LOT explored in this novel - friendship, death, family, suicide, childhood and domestic abuse, the immigrant experience, loneliness, coercive and toxic relationships, and of course, Peterborough, where the novel is set. It’s hard to summarise my thoughts on a book that covers so much, but the one thing that is explored that had me absolutely GRIPPED were the sections where Lisa describes her relationship with her doctor boyfriend. How Doughty portrays the gradual manipulation and gaslighting of Lisa is incredibly well done. The sections focusing on this were very tense and unsettling - I couldn’t put it down.
I admit, I was dubious about the story being narrated by a ghost, but actually it kind of works! I also wondered how Doughty was going to end a novel where the main character is dead and things clearly can’t be all ‘happy ever after’ but I think she manages quite a sensitive and moving finale.
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I also thought that setting the novel in Peterborough was quite interesting. The boundaries of where Lisa is able to explore is well described throughout and many place names are mentioned. This might be a good one to read if you’re from or live there. Then you can tell me if it’s all accurate!
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Thank you to @faberbooks for the advanced copy on @netgalley.
Platform Seven is published on 22nd August.
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Platform Seven starts as a quasi-ghost story, before branching out into a mystery story. I enjoyed the earlier sections more, as Lisa observes the living uncovering information, but once we get into a long recounting of her life and relationship, and of those around her, the pace drags and the sense of mystery is gone - the inevitable is apparent from an early stage, and the inexorable journey to get there is dragged out. Doughty writes convincingly of a toxic relationship, but it’s neither an interesting or enjoyable read, or a emotionally engaging one. I found the unnecessary and extraneous detail irritating at times - there’s practically a beer advert towards the end (Jaipur, a lovely beer to be fair)..


Having said all that,  i hope some readers recognise their own relationships in the central duo and find the strength to seek help and leave a manipulative and coercive partner. If just one person acts as a result then it’s worthwhile..

This will be a success, but it just didn’t work for me i’m afraid.
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This has been on my TBR list since the day it was announced and it did not disappoint. I started reading this on an afternoon plane journey but it should be read on dull days or even better at night when the atmosphere would be just right.

It centres around Portsmouth train station where two suicides have taken place in eighteen months from the same platform. Our narrator, Lisa, is the second of these and is trying to unravel the mystery surrounding the events leading to her death.

As much as the subject matter and most of the novel is dark, the writing and likeable main character make it very readable. There are some time jumps back and forward but these are easy to follow and there are several engaging secondary plot lines. The point of view narrative is quite unusual which made me hesitant to start, not to worry though because you settle in quickly and the reader builds a connection with Lisa.
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This is a chilling and deeply unsettling novel. A blend of ghost story and thriller. 
This is a compulsive read with excellent descriptions. It’s sensitive in its handling of emotionally upsetting issues. 
This is an emotional engaging read. A very good book
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I enjoyed this book for a number of reasons. I loved the completely unique perspective, which I've not experienced in this genre before. I loved the writing style and the descriptions were perfect, very easily capturing the environment of a train station, and the emotions of humans. I found it a slow read because I was a little bored in some places, but overall it was enjoyable and something different.
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When I tried to explain this book to my partner, the only way to describe it was: 'it's really weird but really good'. Platform Seven is a unique book, not only because it is told from the perspective of a ghost, but because it reads like a coming-of-age story, as Lisa follows her past in order to release her spirit. We watch her watch herself, watch her understanding develop. Through the relationship with Matty, with her parents, the united front who always irritated her, with her friends and colleagues and alone in her flat, her thoughts and feelings as the years seemed to rush by.

Platform Seven is a gripping, winding tale of life, death, and the space in between, the space where we find love and truth and ourselves.
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This is the first time I have read this author and I thoroughly enjoyed the story, the writing style and the unusual aspect it was written from.

I was originally drawn the to novel because Peterborough Station is somewhere I have changed trains numerous times and close to where I was brought up and lived so I was intrigued.

Lisa, who is a ghost, narrates the story.  At four o’clock in the morning a man makes his way to platform seven, which is the furthest away from all the night staff and out of vision.  Lisa sees him and tries to stop him from jumping under the train.

This isn’t merely a ghost story though.  It is a dark, unnerving (at times) analysis of lives and how they intertwine as well as the secrets people hide.  The depths of love, abuse and family life are carefully explored with no holes barred.  I found it a gripping read and will definitely be seeking out others by this author as ‘Apple Tree Yard’ is highly rated as well.

Thanks to NetGalley, Faber and Faber Ltd, Faber & Faber, and Louise Doughty for my ARC in return for my honest review.

Excellent read and highly recommended.
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I’d like to thank Faber & Faber Ltd and NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to read ‘Platform Seven’ by Louise Doughty in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.

It’s 4am at Peterborough Railway Station and apart from the night staff on duty the only person there is a middle-aged man sitting at the end of Platform 7.  It’s perfectly clear to the young woman who’s watching him that he’s decided to end his life and although she tries to stop him he walks straight through her and throws himself onto the railway line.  She knows how he feels as she did the same herself but it’s only when she witnesses his actions that it unlocks memories of herself before her own death.  

I thought the descriptions were well-written of Dalmar and Tom working at night at Peterborough Railway Station, and PC Akash Lockhart the only British Transport police officer on duty, and the manner in which they were affected by the actions of the man.  The idea was different to have the ghost of Lisa Evans as the narrator of the story but as I carried on reading the story seemed to slow down and I found it hard to continue, eventually giving up half way through.  I apologise to Louise Doughty that unfortunately it just wasn’t the sort of story I enjoy though I’m sure I’ll be in the minority.
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As soon as i saw this on here, and read that premise , i was so excited! reading that made me so instantly intrigued about how this would go and what it would entail. And what i discovered what such an interesting and though provoking story, which i loved every minute of.

Like previous book i had read and loved Apple tree yard, and i was drawn into the story straight away. This is so much more complex of a story that i first did think it would be, full of different characters lifes and paths they went down.  Also it covers some really heavy subject matter, done in such a brilliant way and made for some really tense reading, but i was just so engrossed.

I liked how it was split into parts, each one comprising of a few chapters, and ending on a cliffhanger which each time made me so eager to read on and find out answers.  I really liked the main character and her narrative all the way through, hearing all her thoughts and feelings was just so interesting and added such emotion to the story. 

What interested me also was just the fact that it wasn't just a thriller, it had so much more to it, and so many layers to the story and the way it was told.  It's a psychological thriller, but with domestic, family and supernatural big elements playing parts too.  It made for such an engrossing and gripping read that i didn't want to put down.  The way that the author is so descriptive of everything just makes you feel like you know the places like the back of your hand, it's all so familiar. 

As mentioned this does cover heavy subject matter also, these parts were tense to read but i felt they were very important to have here , and covered really well!. 

I highly recommend this book to anyone who loved previous books by this author, or just to anyone who loves a more complex and layered thriller.
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I really enjoyed the beginning of the book,when we were in the station,and the characters were being revealed.
When we took a step out of the station and looked back on Lisa's life,for me it lost that thing that made it different. I didn't enjoy it quite so much.
Interesting in parts,but also too slow in other parts.
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I was a little concerned, when I started reading Platform Seven, that a tale narrated by a dead woman might be a bit gimmicky. Would the voice of a ghost make it as insubstantial and things that go bump in the night silly-creepy? Surely not, I reasoned, given Doughty's record. Well, I'm glad to say that I need not have been concerned. In fact, Lisa is one of the strongest voices I've encountered in literature in a very long time.

Platform Seven, far from being a Halloweeny ghost story, is actually a devastating and incredibly sensitively drawn tale about love, loss and the creeping hell of being in an abusive relationship. Some of it is uncomfortable to read, but it is necessary to do so. So many 'thrillers' use domestic abuse as a plot device with no real understanding or empathy; Doughty steers clear of titillation and cliché to inhabit the mind of the victim, to devastating effect.

The other theme here is loneliness and isolation. From the railway worker living alone in a dreary bedsit to the dead who cannot interact with the living, it's a commentary on the way lives are lived in the sidelines, in the shadows. And it's deeply affecting stuff.

This is an incredible, moving book that I'm not sure I will ever forget. Beautiful.

My thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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This was a really slow starter, I took till about 30% to get into it and see where it was going. But then, wow, a really chilling and sad thriller. Well worth a read.
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A really well written mystery book. With a real difference this book is really good and I really enjoyed it. Because it was so different from all the other books out there.
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