Blog Tour Review: Monstrous Souls – Rebecca Kelly

I received a copy of this book from the publisher

About The Book

What if you knew the truth but couldn’t remember?

Over a decade ago, Heidi was the victim of a brutal attack that left her hospitalised, her younger sister missing, and her best friend dead. But Heidi doesn’t remember any of that. She’s lived her life since then with little memory of her friends and family and no recollection of the crime.

Now, it’s all starting to come back.

As Heidi begins retracing the events that lead to the assault, she is forced to confront the pain and guilt she’s long kept buried. But Heidi isn’t the only one digging up the past, and the closer she gets to remembering the truth, the more danger she’s in.

When the truth is worse than fiction, is the past worth reliving?

An addictive thriller about a case gone cold and the dangers lurking on our doorsteps, Monstrous Souls will have you gripped to the very end.

My Review

Monstrous Souls by Rebecca Kelly is an accomplished and assured debut novel. Set in both 2016 and 2001 it examines the long lasting repercussions of a brutal attack on two young girls and delves into increasingly dark territory.

As a young teen, Heidi and her best friend Nina were inseparable. Their families lived next door to one another and they were in and out of each other’s houses, as were their younger sisters who were also best friends. They had found an abandoned bunker in some woodland near their houses and retreated there often to do what teenage girls do; talk about boys and share secrets. One day they were attacked there, an event which Nina didn’t survive. Heidi has no recollection of the attack and doesn’t know who the perpetrator was, why they were attacked, or what happened to her little sister Anna, who hasn’t been seen since. Her memory is a blank, her brush with near death a gaping void.

In the present day, the police re-open the cold case hoping to find something that was overlooked in the original investigation. One of the original police officers, Denise, feels a personal attachment to the case and the failure to find the missing Anna haunts her. When snippets of memories start to come back to Heidi it seems that the missing pieces of the jigsaw may finally be found.

This is a brave book which deals with some of the darkest crimes imaginable. The violence is hinted at rather than explicitly described and I think this made it all the more chilling, there were certainly times when I was moved by the implications written between the lines. It isn’t gratuitious nor is it written for shock value, it is sensitivly handled and communicates an important message.

If I am being a bit cryptic about this it’s because I don’t want to spoil the brilliantly executed plot. Rebecca Kelly’s writing is engaging and compelling and the time jumps are handled with aplomb. I love a time jump especially when they are as well-written as this because each chapter brings a new angle and complements the one which went before.

Throw in great characterisation, especially with a young Heidi and Nina, and you have a great crime thriller. Teenagers are often difficult to write and I sometimes cringe at the way they speak to one another, and their behaviour, but this is pitch perfect. Rebecca Kelly very cleverly uses Heidi’s innocence and later her memory loss to keep the reader in the dark and she slowly, slowly unveils the horror of the past.

As much an exploration of memory and what it means to belong as much as it is a searing damnation of the crimes committed within its pages, this is a book with many layers. I read it in two gulps and even now a day or so after finishing it I keep thinking about – always the sign of a good book.

I’m impressed that this is a debut novel. It is deftly plotted, a chilling read and one which I recommend if you enjoy a page turner of a book.

About The Author

Rebecca Kelly author of Monstrous Souls

Rebecca Kelly

Rebecca Kelly was brought up with books but denied the pleasure of a television. Although she hated this at the time, she now considers it to have contributed to a life-long passion for reading and
writing.

After a misspent education, Rebecca had a variety of jobs. She’s spent the last years raising her children but has lately returned to her first love – writing.

Rebecca lives in the UK with her husband and youngest son and an over-enthusiastic black Labrador, who gives her writing tips.

Where You Can Buy It

My thanks to Peyton Stableford at Agora Books for a copy of the book and the invitation to join the Blog Tour.

Monstrous Souls is published in ebook on the 25th June and in paperback on 23rd July,

Monstrous Souls by Rebecca Kelly

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