He Said She Said by Erin Kelly

He Said She Said by Erin Kelly

He Said She Said by Erin Kelly is the ultimate in thriller fiction. I really could not put this book down. Each section I read had so many twist and turns that I genuinely did not see coming and the best bit…having one of the protagonists as completely unreliable. The novel flits between Laura and Kit’s viewpoints from 1999 and 2015. I’ll try and summarise as best I can.

Laura and Kit are two young lovers who are obsessed with ecplises. The pair travel to Cornwall, one of the best places in the world to see 1999’s eclipse. Laura travels down a day later than Kit and he along with his twin brother Mac have a hot drink stand running at a festival.

Laura notices a purse lying in the grass and follows a trail to the owner, who is found face down in the dirt with a man on top of her. The police are called and Jamie the attacker is arrested on suspicion of rape. Beth, the victim doesn’t say anything when questioned by police. Laura struggles to believe what she’s witnessed. Was it really rape?

The trial takes place in Cornwall, Jamie’s family are incredibly wealthy and do everything they can to try and get their son off the hook. But money cannot save him when Laura tells the court that Beth was shouting ‘no’ during the assault – a lie.

Beth befriends Laura and Kit but becomes too friendly, constantly in their flat and causing struggles between the couple. When Laura tells Beth to back off, Beth leaves the flat. A few weeks later broken glass is put through the letterbox and a fire breaks out in their flat. Meanwhile Beth is getting threats sent in the post from Jamie for the lie she told in court.

The pair decide to start a new life with a new identity to avoid Beth but Laura constantly lives her life in fear.

But halfway through the book we hear Kit’s version of events. Kit knew Beth before Laura found her being raped because he slept with her the night before the attack. The friendship Beth then strikes up the Laura puts him on edge so he was the one who put glass though the door and set fire to the flat to make it look like Beth did it.

When Kit is out of the country, in 2015, Beth tracks down the pregnant Laura thanks to a social media post from Kit detailing his travel plans for the year’s eclipses. Beth tells Laura than Jamie is now out of prison and has broken his wife’s jaw – he’s been abusing his wife for years. This is the information they need to put Jamie back behind bars. The novel’s climax is Jamie holding Beth and Laura hostage but one of them doesn’t make it out alive as Kit bursts into the flat and Laura find some out the real truth of Kit and Beth’s relationship.

I loved this novel, it had me hooked from the off. I could easily see this being turned into a film or tv adaption. I’m definitely going to read more of Erin Kelly’s novels if this is what I can expect.

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The Witchfinder’s Sister by Beth Underdown

The Witchfinder’s Sister by Beth Underdown

I bought The Witchfinders Sister by Beth Underdown on a bit of a whim. With post wedding blues and a negative bank balanace to boot I was after a bargain. Even reading the blurb I was slightly unsure if I would like the novel but thought I’d give it a chance seeing as I love anything set in history.

Alice Hopkin’s husband sadly dies and she returns home to her brother. Feeling fragile and lost, Alice is carrying her late husband’s child, tragically she’s lost many children before birth previously, so is understandably feeling worried about what might happen now.

Her brother, Matthew felt Alice’s husband was too lowly a match so Alice conceals the preganancy from her brother (tragically she does loose the baby). Matthew though is far too preoccupied to notice. He is obsessed with finding witchcraft in the community and torturing, sometimes innocent, women.

The book is haunting and Matthew’s obsession and dark behaviour is linked to his traumatic first few days of life where is falls into a fire.

For me, the plot wasn’t strong enough and detailed enough to keep me hooked, I wish Alice and Matthew were both developed more as characters and to make more of an impact the narrative could have been made even darker.