He Said/She Said
By Erin Kelly
At an eclipse festival in 1999 Laura stumbles upon a girl being raped. Her actions after set into motion an unstoppable chain of events.
This was one of the best thrillers I have read for a long time, Erin Kelly’s writing style is reminiscent of Mark Edward’s. I thought He Said/She Said was fantastic and it certainly held a lot of surprises for me right until the end.
One of the things I like about Erin Kelly is that she doesn’t shy away from uncomfortable truths like the one outlined below:
“We stand side by side in front of the speckled mirror. Our reflections avoid eye contact. Like me, she’s wearing black and like mine, her clothes have clearly been chosen with care and respect. Neither of us is on trial, or not officially, but we both know that in cases like this, it’s always the woman who is judged.”
The book is mostly told from the perspective of Laura over various times and dates, there are also a few chapter written from the perspective of her boyfriend Kit. The majority of the book is set in 2015 where a heavily pregnant Laura is struggling to keep her anxiety under control over someone named Beth coming after them.
Laura’s anxiety is focused on Kit’s upcoming trip to the Faroes to try and view an upcoming eclipse.
“Kit once described real life as the boring bit between eclipses but I think of it as the safe time. Beth has crossed the world to find us twice. We are only visible when we travel. A couple of years ago, I hired a private detective and challenged him to find us using only the paper trails of our previous lives. He couldn’t trace us. And if he couldn’t do it, then no one else can…This total eclipse will be the first Kit has seen without me since he was a teenager. “
She is worried because Beth knows her and knows that to hurt Kit is to hurt her.
Kit and his brother always used to go and watch Eclipse’s with their dad in locations all over the world. His dad was a ‘functioning alcoholic’ throughout most of his childhood and eventually ended up losing his job and being told that he was in liver failure but couldn’t be added to the transplant list because he was still drinking. Kit had a lot of his firsts during these trips: first smoke and first drink of alcohol and almost his first kiss. Eclipse’s hold very special memories for him.
“Chile 1991 was the eclipse of the last century…I was 12 years old and I knew that I would devote the rest of my life to recapturing the experience.”
Kit knows that Laura’s anxiety is heightened and that she is thinking about Beth because she keeps brushing at her arms, something she started doing when her anxiety first began.
She gets like this with every eclipse, even though it’s been nine years since Beth’s last known movements.
A lot of the flashbacks in the book centre around an event that occurred at an eclipse festival in 1999. Laura travelled to meet Kit at Lizard’s point to watch the eclipse and whilst she is there she stumbles upon a girl being raped. Her actions after and subsequent friendship with the girl set into motion an unstoppable chain of events.
“I have replayed that moment in my head so many times since then. If I could live the Lizard again, would I pick up the purse? There is a part of me – the cocksure insistence of hindsight – that says I should have left it on the ground and gone back to Kit. Even knowing what followed, I don’t think I could have walked on by. Perhaps though, I would have gripped Kit a little tighter, for a heartbeat longer and savoured perfection while I held it in my hand.”
Reading the book for a second time in order to review it I noticed a lot of things I didn’t notice the first time around and I enjoyed the book just as much.
Our Final Rating...
Read & Shared 23 Times.