Platform Seven

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 31 Oct 2019

Member Reviews

This book is almost set back to front. You know that the main character is dead and you think you know why. However, as the book unfolds, you learn that it's not all it seems. This thriller keeps you on your toes. It did take a few chapters to get going, but if you persevere, you are rewarded. Lisa, the main character is a sympathetic young woman and you feel sorry that she's dead. I did feel that the ending was a little unrealistic in that she was running away from Matty as if she thought he would cause her serious physical harm. I'm not sure if I believe that she would have gone into the railway yard in real life. However, it was an interesting read from an interesting perspective.
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In the first chapter you get the feel of the book. It gripped and chilled me to the core. The description in Doughty’s books is fantastic and really felt the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. 

The detachment in the first few chapters was wonderful storytelling! I loved how Doughty evoked my emotions as she tells the story through the eyes of the ‘character’. 

A great read that was somewhat unique. The only reason I gave it four stars was because I found it repetitive at times but overall a great story.
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Why is Lisa hanging around Peterborough Station - she’s dead, shouldn’t she have “moved on” to the next stage?  This is mainly told by her ghost self but we also learn how she got to be in this situation, after falling for the “good” doctor, Matty, who isn’t really what he seems.  It is annoying how once strong women find themselves turning into wishy washy “yes dears”.  I thought there was too much emphasis on the minor characters, the people who worked at the station, so I skim read those sections.  Despite that I loved the book and the idea of basing it in a railway station of all things!  It was captivating, amusing and sad and I was sorry to reach the end.
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Weird, atmospheric and unlike anything you've read before, this is a strange novel. It is from the point of view of a ghost, someone you know nothing about at the beginning, but revealed over the course of the novel. We discover first how she died, then we gradually are told the reasons why she is confined to Peterborough station, until she isn't anymore. While she waits at the station she observes the comings and goings of the staff and the commuters as they go about their business. There is something odd about platform number severn though, something isn't quite right, something there seems to draw the lonely and the sad.

Our ghost is kind of in love with one of the workers at the station, she follows him and suddenly is able to leave the station, after so much time of being trapped within station confines it is weird that she is able to waft out. This is the beginning of our ghost, who turns out to be Lisa Evans, discovering who she is and why she is there.

It is all so strange, the story is wafty just like our ghost, everything is opaque and vague. I found it was a little bit slow in the middle but it is certainly clever and something completely different to a standard crime novel. It's melancholic feel is disturbing.
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I did receive an ARC of this from NetGalley but I ended up listening to the audio book version from my local library. I absolutely loved this book, I was listening to it at every chance I got. The novel opens with the spirit of a woman lingering in a train station watching people and noticing the ones who seems drawn to Platform Seven – she feels a connection to them. As the novel goes on we go back in time and we see Lisa in the period before her death and find out what happened to her and why she is still haunting the station. I found this book so beautiful, it is stunningly written and I was completely invested in Lisa’s story. It took me to places that I wasn’t expecting and it explores some very prescient issues in our society today. I think this is my favourite of the books I’ve read by Louise Doughty to date and I highly recommend it.
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Having read Apple Tree Yard & enjoyed it I was expecting a lot from Platform 7. Platform 7 was completely different, but even better.

It is set around platform 7 of Peterborough station with a suicide. The story is told by the ghost of a girl whose body was also found off the track of platform 7 & also recorded as a suicide and she tells the story of what lead up to her death.

The story is gripping. You are pulled entirely into the life of the ghost and what has happened to her. Louise Doughty also very cleverly pulls in other characters from the station & the latest suicide.

A very novel concept, a real page turner & has encouraged me to read more by this author.
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An interesting concept novel following ghost Lisa as she's stuck on Peterborough station. An uncomfortable read.
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I’ve seen the cover of this book in shops and been drawn to the eeriness and darkness of it. That coupled with the synopsis helped bump it up my ‘to read’ pile, and I am delighted to say that I wasn’t disappointed. 

The setting is one that most of us can easily imagine. A dark deserted railway station in cold weather that is in no way inviting. The scene has been the setting for two fatalities, but what led these people to meet their end in a desolate and lonely place?

The book focuses on the story of Lisa Evans, the first of the fatalities, as we go back in time to look back over her life and her final days. But there are also a number of secondary characters who are also cleverly woven into the story. 

What did I enjoy about the book? I found it very easy to imagine the scenes, particularly those set at the station. It is a backdrop that as a commuter I have visited frequently, and whilst reading the book (and since), when I go to a station it takes on another dimension as my imagination comes to life either remembering the book, or creating imaginary scenes of my own. It’s certainly made waiting for delayed trains less boring!

I felt drawn to Lisa as a character, and felt like I wanted to know her story. I wanted to get to know her, and I recognised some of her characteristics and some of the behaviours of those in her life that I guess resonated with me and made me more emotionally invested. 

I enjoyed following the book as it took shape, twisting and turning through events not only in Lisa’s life, but the other characters too. I really enjoyed the way the author was able to describe people, their thoughts, their feelings and what was happening around them. It felt like it could be real, and it kept me engrossed throughout.

There was stuff I saw coming, some that I didn’t, and the mix of this kept me wondering and unsure of what I thought I had guessed. 

Cleverly written, fast paced and compelling…I loved it and will be looking out for more of Louise Doughty’s work!
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I am afraid I didn't enjoy this book, try as I might,just not for me.I found it too weird.I did try.
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When a man jumps in front of a train from Platform seven at Peterborough station it seems like a simple suicide.  However this is the second death at the station in 18 months and surely the two must be connected.  Desperate to find the truth is Lisa Evans, that's because she was the first to die and hers was not a suicide.
There is a really clever idea here, a woman investigates her own death and as her memory returns the reader sees the psychological torment she is put through prior to the tragic event.  I really wanted to love this book but I couldn't.  It feels so pedestrian in places, Lisa isn't very loveable and sometimes the writing is very cliched.
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To be honest this book leaves me with mixed feelings. 
At first I thought I would be adding it to my did not finish pile, but then just as I was about to give up on it I felt it picked up. 
However at several points throughout the book I felt it had unneccessary detail. Parts of the main storyline were well written though. 
All in all I'm not crazy about the book, I found the ending lacking in something.
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The story opens in a hauntingly described Peterborough train station on a very early winter's morning.  A lone man makes his way into the station heading for platform seven, the furthest one from the station night staff.  It seems sure what he has come to do and the description of his lonely and final walk to the platform is extremely well done.  Unknown to him and indeed to anyone, he is being watched.  This is all being witness by our main character and narrator Lisa Evans.

Lisa is also here at this early hour as she is trapped within the boundaries of the station and can not leave, for Lisa is a ghost who walks the platforms of Peterborough train station day and night, observing passengers and following staff as they all go about their daily lives.  Lisa is trapped at the station as just under 2 years she was also hit by a train and died here.  She has little memory of who she is or how she came to have been killed by the train.

I thought this was a very imaginative read yet firmly anchored in the real world.  The idea of using a ghost to tell her story works wonderfully well, yet at the same time she moves within the life of the living, watching their day to day movements throughout the station.

The book isn't all set in the world of the paranormal as we also meet a wonderful set of other characters who work/use the station and learn of their own back stories and current lives.  One of these is a young man who uses the station whom Lisa spots one day in a clearly distressed and upset state.  She connects with him and forms an instant 'crush' if you like, thinking of him and looking out for his return.  One day she ends up following him and somehow this concern for him allows her to be able to leave the station for the first time since her death.  This triggers elements of her memory to return and the story then follows her in the time leading up to her death living with her domineering boyfriend Matthew, a doctor at the local hospital.

It also follows some of the other characters and their lives outside of the station.

I really enjoyed this book.  It was a fascinating read, and even though it deals with issues such as suicide, death, and domestic abuse it was moving and insightful rather than too sad or depressing.  It talks of the subject of 'gas-lighting' which I hadn't heard of before and found myself looking this up.  It handles the parts involving the domestic abuse very very I thought, making the interactions between Lisa and her boyfriend seem so subtle from Lisa's point of view yet screamingly alarming to the outsider.

I liked the way the author brought the other characters into the story with how the deaths effects and involves them and also the way she touched on how the death of a loved one can have long term consequences other than grief.  The other characters are all interesting to read about and gives the book a nice outlet into other lives away from that of the main story line.

I 'loved' the ending, although that really doesn't seem the right word to use! But I thought it finished the book excellently with the answers to Lisa's death all dealt with but without being too neat and tidy.

The only other book from this author I have read is her well known Apple Tree Yard but following this one I will certainly look at reading more.

Thank you to the publishers Faber and Faber for a copy of this book via Netgalley.

Platform Seven was released in Hardback on August 22 2019 and will be available in Paperback April next year.
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This book was fast paced. Hard to put down. It flowed well and it was very well written. It caught hold of me and had me hooked from the start . I was literally on the edge of my seat reading this book.
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If you favour sinister and creepy ghost tales then Platform Seven by Louise Doughty is a must-read! 

 On Platform Seven at Peterborough Station, England, in the early hours of a terribly cold November morning, a man makes his way to an isolated part of the station, thinking himself entirely alone as he walks purposefully to the edge of the platform. He is observed by the ghost of Lisa Evans, a woman in her thirties who had herself committed suicide there eighteen months earlier, but she is unable to intervene and prevent the tragedy that ensues. What follows is basically an account of the aftermath of the man's suicide as various people attempt to cope with what they have seen.

Unusually, the story is narrated by Lisa's ghost, who becomes a "spirit guide" throughout the novel. Through her, the reader eavesdrops on conversations and is party to the innermost thoughts of various characters, especially a young man called Caleb on whom she becomes fixated. Gradually, the reader learns more about Lisa, her former life and the reason she is trapped in Peterborough Railway Station. As she makes desperate attempts to communicate with the living, there's a dramatic change in her circumstances. 

In this character-driven tale of love, obsession and possession, every page was filled with unsettling, unnerving foreboding and I was beguiled and completely engrossed. For many readers, a tale complete with emotional abuse, loss, vulnerability, manipulation and ruthless exploitation would be too much, but in Louise Doughty's grip I was rewarded with a tense, well drawn character study. 

Platform Seven was an extremely unusual take on a modern ghost story. All of the people in the novel were believable, each with their own identities, concerns and flaws. None were  perfect but most tried to do the best they could for themselves and for others which gave them a sense of authenticity and genuineness.

I thoroughly enjoyed Platform Seven and felt that by the end Lisa had come to terms with her fate. The conclusion was neat and for me, there were no loose threads. Louise Doughty is definitely a magnificent story-teller and her descriptions were amazing; I could tell that she possesses an immensely vivid imagination.
 
Although this was a dark, unsettling read in places, it was also a strong, uplifting, almost spiritual tale which was ultimately, very rewarding. I would certainly recommend it to readers who want a very different take on the usual psychological thriller. 

I received a complimentary digital copy of this novel, at my own request, from Faber & Faber via NetGalley. This review is my own unbiased opinion.
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*3 Stars*

Copy kindly received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I only found some parts of this book interesting.
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This is quite an unusual novel, told from the perspective of Lisa who is dead. She haunts Peterborough Railway Station after dying there in an apparent suicide. As the story develops, we learn about the coercive relationship she was in with Matthew, and what really happened on the night of her death. 
I almost gave up on this book due to the very slow pace, but am glad I persevered. I really enjoyed way the story unfolded, and felt the writing was exceptional when detailing how Lisa became controlled by Matthew. I do feel that the book could be improved be reducing the amount of storyline surrounding Lisa as a ghost though.
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Addictive, compelling and a very very good read - I would wholeheartedly recommend this book. The issues it raises - of coercive control and domestic abuse are really important and here they are handled extremely well and with real empathy. I have not read any of Ms Doughty's otehr books, but I will be seeking them out now. Thanks very much for the ARC
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Platform Seven is a ridiculously addictive thriller. A fresh story that kept me guessing, written from the perspective of the deceased in question. I loved every page of this novel and highly recommend it to fans of thrillers who love a dose of creepy thrown in.
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Thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was very different and it asked to be read quickly  and with enthusiasm. 
The characters were very good and really created a feeling of empathy.   It was a while into the story before you realised what exactly was going on, but once established the “whys” and “wherefores” we’re slowly revealed. What a great book. 
I will enjoy reading more by this author
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Comes with a major CN for intimate partner violence & coercive control. The optimistic note to the ending was very welcome after what for me was a tough read. It’s beautifully written and grapples with some important stuff, as her previous books have also done, but I would avoid if you find these themes triggering.
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