On the eve of a solar eclipse, a couple forced into hiding discovers that they can no longer run from their past in this taut psychological suspense novel.
In the summer of 1999, Kit and Laura travel to a festival in Cornwall to see a total eclipse of the sun. Kit is an eclipse chaser; Laura has never seen one before. Young and in love, they are certain this will be the first of many they’ll share.
But in the hushed moments after the shadow passes, Laura interrupts a man and a woman. She knows that she saw something terrible. The man denies it. It is her word against his.
The victim seems grateful. Months later, she turns up on their doorstep like a lonely stray. But as her gratitude takes a twisted turn, Laura begins to wonder—did she trust the wrong person?
15 years later, Kit and Laura are living under assumed names and completely off the digital grid: no Facebook, only rudimentary cell phones, not in any directories. But as the truth catches up to them, they realize they can no longer keep the past in the past.
From Erin Kelly, queen of the killer twist, He Said/She Said is a gripping tale of the lies we tell to save ourselves, the truths we cannot admit, and how far we will go to make others believe our side of the story.
About Erin Kelly
Erin Kelly was born in London in 1976 and grew up in Essex. She read English at Warwick University and has been working as a journalist since 1998.
She has written for newspapers including The Sunday Times, The Sunday Telegraph, the Daily Mail and the Express and magazines including Red, Psychologies, Marie Claire, Elle and Cosmopolitan.
I’ve read two of Erin Kelly’s books, The Burning Air and The Poison Tree, both ages ago but they left memorable impressions on me. The blurb for her new one is quite mysterious but I like the sound of it.
In this thrilling gothic suspense debut by Sara Foster in the tradition of Rosamund Lupton and Sophie Hannah, a young mother searches Yorkshire's windswept moors for the truth behind her husband's mysterious disappearance.
THE ANSWERS ARE HIDING BENEATH THE SHADOWS
When Grace’s husband, Adam, inherits an isolated North Yorkshire cottage, they leave the bustle of London behind to try a new life. A week later, Adam vanishes without a trace, leaving their baby daughter, Millie, in her stroller on the doorstep. The following year, Grace returns to the tiny village on the untamed heath. Everyone—the police, her parents, even her best friend and younger sister—is convinced that Adam left her. But Grace, unable to let go of her memories of their love and life together, cannot accept this explanation. She is desperate for answers, but the slumbering, deeply superstitious hamlet is unwilling to give up its secrets. As Grace hunts through forgotten corners of the cottage searching for clues, and digs deeper into the lives of the locals, strange dreams begin to haunt her. Are the villagers hiding something, or is she becoming increasingly paranoid? Only as snowfall threatens to cut her and Millie off from the rest of the world does Grace make a terrible discovery. She has been looking in the wrong place for answers all along, and she and her daughter will be in terrible danger if she cannot get them away in time.
‘There was something beautiful about this place, she thought – in daylight, the raw, untouched vista had the power to stop your mind for a moment. Here, you didn’t have to look up to see the sky, it came right down and met you, ever present beyond the ceaseless shifting of color, clouds, and light.’
I was intrigued by the gothic feel to the summary and loved the writing itself…‘The answers are hiding beneath the shadows.’ I was sold; however, despite the fact that the idea and concept was there it ended up falling flat.
The main character, Grace, was hard to gauge emotionally and was very hard to like and understand. This is a woman who lost her husband, Adam, a year prior and has just now decided that she needs to go back to their cottage to look for clues regarding his disappearance, because it simply doesn’t make sense that he would up and vanish without a word. The way she acted the majority of the time was that she had moved on it and the loss of her husband wasn’t impacting her day to day life as much anymore. I took this to mean that after a year she’s been able to work her way through all the emotions and has come out on top, which is understandable; however, just as soon as someone talks about Adam or some new clue pops up regarding him she immediately goes into meltdown mode so fast I’m surprised she didn’t give herself whiplash.
A lot of other things didn’t add up like how she felt about their cottage and the village itself. She came back to the cottage in order to clean it out and potentially sell it so she could have enough money for her to provide for her 15 month old child. As the novel progresses there isn’t an explanation regarding her change of mind but all of a sudden she starts talking about the cottage/village with a whole new attitude as if she never intended on leaving in the first place. And then there was the obligatory new male in her life, Ben, who ends up offering his assistance in fixing up her cottage to sell it. It’s one thing in a story for the main character to fall for someone or trust them so completely after only a short period of time, but when she’s leaving her child with him as she runs off to go track down some clue about the missing husband? Yeah, I’ve got a problem there. There were several other details that had me cringing but I won’t detail them all.
The mystery itself lacked a much needed suspense… halfway through I found myself wondering when something was going to happen since there didn’t seem to be any build-up that hinted that it was actually leading up to something big. Plus there were the little ‘paranormal’ tidbits like the mysterious clock that stops at 3am, the doors that shut by themselves, the fact that the main character is reading Rebecca throughout the whole story, and the constant ghost stories surrounding the area… with the way the story concluded I think that all these details hinted at more of a mysterious solution to said mystery when in fact it was a simple straight forward solution. I think it would have been much better if it was clear from the start without the failed attempts to make it a creepy, gothic tale
In 1915, Sherlock Holmes is retired and quietly engaged in the study of honeybees in Sussex when a young woman literally stumbles into his lap on the Sussex downs. Fifteen years old, gawky, egotistical, and recently orphaned, the young Mary Russell displays an intellect to impress even Sherlock Holmes. Under his reluctant tutelage, this very modern twentieth century woman proves a deft protégée, and a fitting partner for the Victorian detective. They are soon called to Wales to help Scotland Yard find the kidnapped daughter of an American senator, a case of international significance with clues that dip deep into Holmes’s past. Full of brilliant deduction, disguises, and danger, this first book of the Mary Russell–Sherlock Holmes mysteries is “wonderfully original and entertaining...absorbing from beginning to end” (Booklist).
If you’re in any way a fan of Sherlock Holmes, this book/series is a must read for you. I’m new to the world of Sherlock Holmes but I immediately loved him following his first book A Study in Scarlet and I desperately wanted to read more stories about him.
Sherlock Holmes is now a retired beekeeper residing in Sussex Downs. Despite the fact that he is retired, his mind is still just as sharp and he still assists the police in solving local cases. Sherlock Holmes meets Mary Russell (the narrator), a 15 year old young woman, one day and recognizes her as a like-minded individual almost instantly.
’The formality of his speech was faintly ludicrous considering that we were two shabby figures facing each other on an otherwise deserted hillside.’
Mary quickly becomes a sidekick to Holmes and he teaches her all the tricks of his trade. Despite her young age, despite the fact that she is female, she quickly becomes an equal to Sherlock which is quite a change when compared to the relationship between Sherlock and Watson.
”A conversation with you is most invigorating, Russell. That might have taken twenty frustrating minutes with Watson.”
I absolutely loved how true to form Sherlock was in this book and if I didn’t love him/this book enough as is, the addition of Mary made it absolute perfection. Their dry humor and verbal sparring was delightful. They began as friends and Mary was constantly striving for Sherlock’s approval.
’Ah, how sweet was the pleasure of seeing the look of appreciation spread over his face and hearing his murmured phrase, “Very good, very good indeed.” It was like coming home.’
The book actually spans quite a number of years as Mary is almost nineteen by the end. The progression of their relationship was lovely and despite the fact that it could be construed as inevitable it was still a delight to witness.
‘Reminders of my femininity always took him by surprise. However, I could not hold him to blame, for they took me by surprise as well.’
This has absolutely become one of my favorites and I will definitely be continuing this series. Thank you Maja for the recommendation. 🙂