He Said/She Said by Erin Kelly

He Said/She Said by Erin Kelly

‘We dropped hands, and it was the last time everything was perfect.’

Laura Langrishe and her boyfriend Christopher ‘Kit’ McCall are at a festival in Cornwall celebrating the 1999 solar eclipse when Laura interrupts the apparent rape of Beth Taylor.  The police are called, and a man named Jamie Balcombe is arrested.  Beth is grateful to Laura and Kit.  Once Jamie is convicted, Beth becomes even closer to Laura and Kit and showers them both with expensive gifts.  But Beth’s behaviour changes, and Kit and Laura go to great lengths to distance themselves from her.

By 2015, Kit and Laura have changed their names and are living in the shadows.  Laura is pregnant, and despite her fear of what might happen if Beth finds them, supports Kit as he travels overseas to witness another eclipse.  Surely, Beth cannot find them, now?

’Memory, I was discovering, acts completely differently when you give it a little notice.’

The fifteen-year gap in the story is filled in as the narration shifts between Laura and Kit.  Slowly, carefully, the whole story unfolds in stages as though it were phases of an eclipse.

Part way through the story, I thought I knew exactly how it was going to end.  I was wrong.  A shift in the story took me by surprise, and almost had me put the book down – never to be completed.  I was annoyed, but kept reading.  A few pages later, I was again engrossed in the story and while the shift still irritated, it took the story in a different (and ultimately more interesting) direction.

There are a number of twists and turns in this novel, obscuring the truth.  Until the end.  Why do people act the way that they do, and who can be believed?

If you like psychological thrillers, if you don’t mind the improbable as well as the possible, then you may also enjoy this novel. I did.

Note: My thanks to NetGalley and Hachette Australia for providing me with a free electronic copy of this book for review purposes.

Jennifer Cameron-Smith