Monstrous Souls, Rebecca Kelly: Book Review

An incredible yet disturbing and dark thriller – you’ll be hooked from the first page by a debut author to watch out for – check out Monstrous Souls by Rebecca Kelly.

The plot:

Over a decade ago, Heidi was the victim of a brutal attack that left her hospitalised, her youngest 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?

The writing and sensitivity, whilst throwing you into a horrible nightmare, makes this a 5/5 star read

This book grabs you and won’t let you go from the very first page – there are times where I had to put the book down for a breather because it is a tough and dark read, but I was eager to pick it back up again. I’ve provided a trigger warning at the bottom of the page, but it is a spoiler – the topic will not be mentioned throughout my review.

Despite being a difficult read, Kelly has approached the topic with sensitivity – giving you enough information to feel the character’s emotions, without putting you in to all the horror which entails. She’s written it in a way to keep the fast-paced thrills and edgey plot, but also to stop and make you think.

In terms of the characters, they were incredibly well built with striking individual characteristics and felt so realistic. I do wish we heard from one background character more near the end.

The book does jump around a bit – we follow dual timelines which was great to gauge what happened and when, and also allowing us to relive Heidi’s memories when she starts to get this back. It’s also split between a triple-narrative; Heidi, the detective and a third party. Heidi has a distinctive voice, but I found the detective lacking a bit of oomph.

The ending was entirely unexpected, despite you being given an insight throughout, and shocking in the best way. I did have a slight inkling, but it was still chilling. I also cried. Yes, at a thriller. Yes, multiple times.

A book to really get the heart racing, and the author really knows how to set the scene, leaving you on the edge of your seat. The ending wasn’t rushed, which is incredibly well appreciated in a thriller – it plays out well and has that shocking twist.

An author which I’m very excited to read more from, regardless of the topic – the writing and sensitivity, whilst throwing you into a horrible nightmare, makes this a 5/5 star read.

Monstrous Souls, Rebecca Kelly, RRP £8.99 (paperback); Book Depository 

Pages: 301

Publisher: Agora Books

Genre: Thriller

[SPOILER] Trigger warning: Child abuse and child sexual exploitation

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