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Monday, 15 May 2017

‘He Said/She Said’ by Erin Kelly.

Published by Hodder & Stoughton,
20 April 2017.
ISBN: 978-1-444-79715-2 (HB)

Who do you believe?

Lizard Point, Cornwall 1999, and in the aftermath of an eclipse Laura and Kit stumble across a brutal attack. The woman's face is contorted with fear. Laura is absolutely sure about what she saw, and later, in a panic, she tells a little white lie - a lie that results in her and Kit living fear, hiding their identities. Sixteen years later, as the next eclipse draws near, Laura must confront the fallout from what she saw that day in the darkness. Confessing will devastate her marriage, keeping the secret could prove fatal.

But all secrets, sooner or later, must come to light.

A new novel from Erin Kelly is always one to savour, and I had been looking forward to her thriller He Said/She Said for months. And I was not disappointed.

The story moves backwards and forwards from the eclipse in 1999 to 2015 when Kit is planning to travel to the Faroe Islands chasing another eclipse. I love a book that informs me, so I enjoyed learning about the different stages of an eclipse. It also served as a metaphor for light and dark, good and evil, dark and light, the moving of the truth from one side to another, the transition between what we thought we knew and what we eventually learned. 

He Said/She Said explores difficult subjects – an assault and its effect on victim and perpetrator, the judicial system and all its flaws – Erin Kelly leads us through these minefields with a sure and steady hand, she wears her research lightly.

The book is a masterclass in slow burning tension, with an original plot (as Kelly always has) and her all too human characters are beautifully drawn - unreliable, unpredictable and who, in a doomed attempt, try to control their lives. He Said/She Said is beautifully constructed, with plenty of twists and misdirection. It is involving, thoughtful and, of course, entertaining. It kept me guessing until the brilliant end.

One of my best books of the year.
Reviewer: Mary-Jane Riley

Erin Kelly is a freelance journalist and lives in North London with her family. The Poison Tree was her first novel.

Mary-Jane Riley wrote her first story on her newly acquired blue Petite typewriter. She was eight. It was about a gang of children who had adventures on mysterious islands, but she soon realised Enid Blyton had cornered that particular market. So she wrote about the Wild West instead. When she grew up she had to earn a living, and became a BBC radio talk show presenter and journalist. She has covered many life-affirming stories, but also some of the darkest events of the past two decades. Then, in true journalistic style, she decided not to let the facts get in the way of a good story and got creative. She wrote for women's magazines and small presses. She formed WriteOutLoud with two writer friends to help charities get their message across using their life stories. Now she is writing psychological suspense, drawing on her experiences in journalism. The Bad Things by Mary-Jane Riley was published by Harper Collins/Killer Reads. Her second book, After She Fell, also published by Killer Reads in April 2016.  To read the review of Killer reads click here

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