Tag Archives: erin kelly

He Said, She Said by Erin Kelly – a review

I was lucky enough to receive a copy of this via netgalley.

He Said, She Said focuses on Laura and her husband Kit. They are eclipse chasers, so basically they go round the world watching total eclipses. On one of these trips when they first meet, Laura sees what she presumes is a rape. Her and Kit are then called as witnesses, to testify against Jamie the perpetrator. He says that the sex was consensual, but Beth the victim states that it was rape. It’s his word against hers.  15 years later and Kit and Laura are in hiding. They are no longer friends with Beth, having changed their names and now live practically ‘off the grid’. However it’s clear that when Beth tracks them down, things are not going to end well.

I really enjoyed this book. It is told mainly from the viewpoint of Laura and switches between past and present easily. There were lots of descriptions of eclipses and weather but I found that interesting and felt it added to the stories atmosphere. This was not a fast paced novel but was more of a gentle story that unfolded whilst keeping the tension high. There were lots of twists and turns that kept my interest, and you were never quite sure who was telling the truth.

I did find both Kit and Laura a little annoying, clearly they were going to have secrets, all good characters in novels do. Yet you would think that for people in hiding they would be more inclined to be open with each other. However the story itself is good so I could overlook this and the ending was truly a surprise.

Erin Kelly is an author who manages to take a relatively mundane setting and turn it into something different. This isn’t a book that will necessary grab you by the throat straight away but it is one that after I finished kept me thinking. I have read a number of Erin Kelly’s books and would highly recommend them all.

 

 

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The Sick Rose by Erin Kelly – a review

I picked this book up on a recent trip to a fantastic bookshop in the middle of Helmsley. I had tried to buy this from amazon once before but I had obviously gone too click happy and had ended up with The Poison Tree instead (review here) That of course is one of the bonuses of a real bookshop, you know you are getting the right thing. Slightly confusingly though, at the same time I was reading this, my current audio book was another Erin Kelly, this time the Burning Air. Luckily I really enjoyed them both.

The Sick Rose centres on Louisa and Paul. Louisa is a gardener who is working on recreating a garden at an Elizabethan Mansion. Paul is a witness to a crime and is sent to the garden to hide until he has to testify. Both of them are hiding their backgrounds from those around them, and begin to form a relationship with each other.

This was an excellent book. I realise that I use the phrase ‘I couldn’t put down’ in nearly all of my reviews. I also realise that it is not strictly true as unless I’d had an unfortunate incident with some super glue of course I can put it down. However what I should say is, I didn’t want to put it down. 

The gradual unveiling of what had happened to Louisa as a naive rebellious teenage was really interesting. You could see from the outside it was all going to end in tears, but equally you can see how it’s the way the teenage mind works. Both characters had childhoods with little guidance and so they get caught up in things they don’t know how to get out of.

The way the two are drawn together despite their age difference is cleverly written, and by the end you really hope they will work out. Despite Louisa being older, she’s also the more naive having spent most of her life hiding from her past. Wheras Paul knows where things went wrong in his past, but was still powerless to stop it.

The final chapter of the book was something I didn’t see coming at all, and I thought the epilogue was a great addition. Often they can be seen as just a way of tying up lose ends, whereas this epilogue left me shocked.

I would definitely recommend this book, and if Erin Kelly is an author you haven’t yet tried, but are a fan of psychological crime novels I would urge you to try it (I’d also urge you to visit the bookshop in the centre of Helmsley if you are ever that way!)

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The Poison Tree by Erin Kelly – a review

I ordered this book online but for some reason I obviously clicked the wrong button (yes I know that’s why you should always check your order before pressing send but where’s the fun in that) so I was very disappointed when this arrived instead of the Sick Rose as I’d actually watched the Poison Tree on tv. Don’t get me wrong I enjoyed the tv show but I never normally like to read a book if I’ve seen it already as I think it ruins the enjoyment. However I had bought and paid for it so I was going to read it.
The book centres on Karen and flits between her current life with her daughter and husband, and the flashback scenes of her time as a student. After finishing University Karen gets caught up in the world of self absorbed, lazy Biba (I think the correct term is bohemian and carefree, but personally I think annoying and weird would be better) along with Biba’s brother Rex who live on their own doing very little. Unsurprisingly after Karen moves in with them things start to go downhill for her.
Despite my previous reservations at having seen the tv show I enjoyed this book. It took a little bit of getting into as I found myself at the start not always realising I’d skipped between present day and flashback. However once I got into it I thoroughly enjoyed it. Luckily for me having such a bad memory means I couldn’t fully remember the plot anyway so there were still some surprises. It does mean however that this book is actually harder to review than normal. I thought that bits of the plot were quite obvious, but that may have been because I already knew it. It was a pretty quick read, and although I thought it was a little slow in the middle I can imagine that if you didn’t already have an idea as to what happens then it may all have come as a bit of a shock.
I would say that this book is definitely worth a read and I’ll certainly read her other novels (as long as I remember to click the right button next time!)

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