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.
But lately, 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?
What I Thought:
Despite the absolute garbage fire that is the UK at the moment, one thing that does not seem to be suffering is the excellent supply of new books. One such is Monstrous Souls, a tense and twisty thriller by Rebecca Kelly and published today by Agora Books.
To say I enjoyed this book is, perhaps, the wrong word as it has some quite disturbing content once the mystery behind Heidi’s attack is slowly revealed – more like I was riveted by it. There is the central plot of the murder of one girl, a near-fatal attack on another and the abduction of a third, but there is also a hugely intricate plot surrounding organised child abuse and trafficking which is sometimes hard to read, but is handled in such a away as to emphasise the despicable nature of it without it being too horrifying for the reader – most of the horror is filled in by your own imagination anyway.
Although this delicate subject provides the backbone of the novel, the friendship between Nina and Heidi, in contrast, is intimate and beautifully captured. It provokes memories of younger days, secret hideouts, long summer days and silly in-jokes and makes what happens to these girls all the more tragic.
I really liked Heidi as a character – although her tendency is to live quietly due to her experiences, she has been able to overcome horrific circumstances in her own way. The descriptions of her life crashing down as she begins to remember some of the details of her ordeal are saddening to read.
Heidi’s voice is interwoven in the book with that of an anonymous person who is watching her, someone who has a vested interest in seeing that she doesn’t remember too much. This is a great device and these passages help us to see more fully what is going on – but still, the final moments are a complete shock.
This book is an excellent and gripping debut novel and I would be thrilled to read more from Rebecca Kelly.
Monstrous Souls is published by Agora Books.
To find out more about Rebecca Kelly, you can connect with her on Twitter.
This post is part of a blog tour to celebrate the publication of Monstrous Souls. To find out more about the book, and find reviews and exclusive content, be sure to visit some of the blogs below:
Please note: I was sent a copy of this book for review. All opinions are, as ever, my own.