Notice by Heather Lewis #BookReview

CriminOlly thinks: The most disturbing book I have ever read. Devastating in its utterly convincing portrayal of everyday evil. 5/5


Text Review

Three elements combine to make Notice an incredibly bleak, difficult and disturbing book. In fact, I can’t think of a more disturbing one, and I’ve read a fair few.

Most obviously, the subject matter is horrible. The protagonist/narrator is Nina, a young woman who supplements the income from a nine to five job by selling herself to men she picks up at the local train station. One such customer takes her home to his wife and she stays with the couple for an extended period during which she takes part in increasingly degrading sexual acts. Nina forms a bond with the wife, who is complicit in these acts whilst also seeming to be a victim of her husband’s sexual aggression, and discovers that the couple had a daughter, whose clothes she is forced to wear. Once she escapes the house things, if anything, get worse.

Secondly, the book has a realistic feel that is rare in fiction of this kind. There are no flourishes, no moments that lift the reader out of the story. Instead, it’s told through a very simple first-person narration that is horribly compelling and completely convincing. The reader experiences everything that happens to Nina, with no filters or distractions. The events are often brutal but never excessive to the point that they feel unconvincing. I was left with the overwhelming sense that these things, as appalling as they are, are things that happen to real people every day. Nina’s voice is that of someone broken by the events they have endured and the impact of those events on their psyche.

Finally, and most chillingly of all, author Heather Lewis was herself a victim of abuse during her time as a teenage equestrian. Her first novel House Rules touches on this and her second novel, the mystery The Second Suspect involves an investigation into a crime very similar to that detailed in Notice.

Heather Lewis died of suicide in 2002. Notice was published posthumously.

Video Review

Book Details

Title: Notice | Author: Heather Lewis | Publisher: Serpent’s Tail | Pages: 198 | Publication date: 19th August 2004 | ISBN: 9781852424565 | Source: Self-purchased


As a young adult, she started to turn tricks in the parking lot of the local bar. Not because she needed the money, but because the money made explicit what sex had always been for her, a loveless transaction.

A sadist takes her home to replay family dramas with his beautiful wife, and she becomes hopelessly drawn into their dangerous web, and eventually, ends up in more trouble than she ever bargained for. Arrested and confined to a psych ward, a therapist is assigned to help her. But instead of treatment, they develop a sexual relationship, bringing her both confusion and revelation.


Content Warning: Rape, torture, psychological abuse, drug addiction

4 thoughts on “Notice by Heather Lewis #BookReview

Add yours

  1. Hey CriminOlly,

    Commented on your video but am also sending through here:
    Can you share where you were able to get a physical copy of this book? (Notice by Heather Lewis)
    I can’t find it anywhere, even as I live in a big city.

  2. Hi Chelsea – hopefully I’ve replied on YouTube as well, but in case I haven’t…I got my copy from eBay. I am in touch with the publisher though and am hoping they might publish a new edition soon

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