Monday, 22 May 2017

He Said / She Said by Erin Kelly @mserinkelly @HodderBooks

In the hushed aftermath of a total eclipse, Laura witnesses a brutal attack. She and her boyfriend Kit call the police, and in that moment, it is not only the victim's life that is changed forever. 
Fifteen years on, Laura and Kit live in fear, and while Laura knows she was right to speak out, the events that follow have taught her that you can never see the whole picture: something, and someone, is always in the dark.

He Said/She Said by Erin Kelly was published in hardback by Hodder on 20 April 2017.

There is no doubt that Erin Kelly is one of the best authors of psychological, twisty, surprising stories out there. She is incredibly talented and He Said/She Said is, in my view, her best book to date.

This is not an easy read, but it is completely and utterly gripping. My weekend flew by whilst reading it, everything that I'd planned to do went out of the window, as I sat and read, and read, and read.

Told by two voices; Laura and Kit, over fifteen years, moving back and forth with ease, the structure is perfect. The reader meets a young couple, madly in love and just starting out on their life journey together. Free and easy, they are educated, bright and wholly believable. Kit has inherited a love of 'eclipse chasing' from his father, and in 1999 they travel to Cornwall, with Kit's twin brother and his partner to witness the eclipse.

It is this trip that changes everything that they'd planned. When they stumble upon a young woman face down in the mud and a man on top of her, Laura has to act. This is not an act of love, this is an act of violence, and Laura is determined that he will not go unpunished. Her choice of words whilst testifying in the witness box ... just a couple of words .... impact on so many, and for so long.

Fifteen years later, Kit and Laura are paranoid and scared. Their lives, their identity and their future is scarred by that act in Cornwall all those years ago. As Kit leaves for the Faroe Islands for yet another eclipse, heavily pregnant Laura is left at home, with her fears and her memories.

What follows is a clever, immersive and ambitious story that pulls the reader right into its heart, and doesn't let go. Characters that are created with such skill, a story that weaves around so quickly that you begin to feel dizzy. Plus an intelligent and well researched insight into the minds and feelings of those people who chase the eclipse all over the world.

I didn't expect the ending! It crept up on me and felt like a blinding punch between the eyes, turning everything that I'd believed in upside down. Clever clever writing, incredible plotting and faultless narrative.

Erin Kelly's writing is razor sharp. He Said/She Said is a story that preys on the mind and raises questions that are very difficult to answer. Shocking and tense, this is a stunner!

My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review.

Erin Kelly is the author of the critically acclaimed psychological thrillers The Poison TreeThe Sick Rose and The Burning Air. In 2013, The PoisonTree became a major ITV drama starring MyAnna Buring, Matthew Goode and Ophelia Lovibond. It was a Richard & Judy Summer Read in 2011, and was longlisted for the 2011 CWA John Creasy (New Blood) Dagger Award. The novel has been translated into eleven languages. The Ties That Bind was her fourth novel, and was followed in August by Broadchurch: The Novel, inspired by the first season of 2013's mega-hit ITV series. 

She was born in London in 1976 and grew up in Essex, read English at Warwick University and has been working as a journalist since 1998, writing for newspapers including The Sunday Times, The Sunday Telegraph, the Daily Mail, the Express and The Mirror, and magazines including Red, Psychologies, Marie Claire and Elle. She lives in north London with my husband and daughters.

For more information about Erin Kelly and her books, see her website, : she also has a Facebook author page, and you can follow her on Twitter @mserinkelly

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