He Said, She Said by Erin Kelly
In the hushed aftermath of a total eclipse, Laura witnesses a brutal attack.
She and her boyfriend Kit call the police, and in that moment, four lives change forever.
Fifteen years on, Laura and Kit live in fear.
And while Laura knows she was right to speak out, she also knows that you can never see the whole picture: something is always hidden… something she never could have guessed.
This book is certainly highly charged and very tense in parts. With a dual timeline alternating between events which start in 1999 and the present day, the book’s narrators are Kit and Laura, two young lovers who are pretty much soul mates from the first time they meet and decide to make their lives together.
Kit is an academic young man, a scientist who is fascinated by solar eclipses and who will travel the world to get the best study vantage point for them. Kit and Laura travel to the Lizard peninsula in Cornwall. They are at a hippy festival where there is to be an eclipse. Kit and his twin Mac, a wayward but attractive young man, have set up a drinks stall at the festival to help them pay their way.
What happened during the festival when they come across Beth and Jamie will set off a chain of events that will follow them through their lives for the next 20 years.
Erin Kelly weaves a beguiling story, shot through with tension and highly charged emotions. She shows how the best of intentions can lead to lies that will impact on those closest to those who tell them and alter the course of their lives forever.
The book is suffused with twists and turns, leading the reader to wonder who can be relied upon for the truth, until it becomes clear that each of the four protagonists has something to hide.
Kelly has produced a deeply thought provoking book which tackles a difficult subject and raises quite a few important questions about the way in which rape is treated in our courts and how and whether the victim is believed. It also creates some very tense moments as Laura worries about what is happening in court while she waits to give her evidence.
But this is not just a book about a rape trial; rather it looks at the consequences of relationships in which everyone is being less than honest and how small lies can produce far bigger consequences than those intended.
Kelly unfolds the truth behind her characters as the darkness that they have created slowly enfolds them until they live in fear and are compelled to hide from the world, erasing their identities lest they be discovered.
This is a powerful psychological thriller that will stay with me for quite some time to come.
He Said, She Said is published by Hodder and Stoughton on 20th April 2017