My enormous thanks to Peyton Stableford at Agora Books for inviting me to participate in the blog tour for Monstrous Souls by Rebecca Kelly. I’m delighted to share my review today.
Monstrous Souls is was published by Agora on 25th June and is available for purchase here.
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 of Monstrous Souls
Heidi’s memory is beginning to return.
I can’t in all honesty say I enjoyed reading Monstrous Souls because it has such dark themes that are so authentically and convincingly conveyed by Rebecca Kelly that I feel highly disturbed and affected by my reading. Monstrous Souls is an important book that transcends entertainment into an incisive and uncomfortable commentary on life for so many children.
The plot of Monstrous Souls is an absolute cracker because the reader is able to uncover the truth at the same time as Heidi, making it a very personal narrative. There’s a brilliantly depicted sense of menace and threat so that I felt quite tense as I read. This darkness and atmosphere is enhanced further by the very vivid descriptions of setting, particularly the beautiful natural images that contrast so well with the more restrained descriptions of violence and abuse. What Rebecca Kelly does so well is to suggest rather than provide all the darker details so that the reader’s imagination runs riot. I thought this technique was excellent.
The cover image represents the themes of the book perfectly. People, places and events are altered by refracted memory and duplicity. Characters have their lives and their identities reassembled by others more powerful in the same way the photograph of the cover appears sliced and manipulated. The themes of Monstrous Souls are not easy ones. Emotional and sexual abuse, control, loyalty, friendship and corruption weave like poison ivy through the plot and they are particularly unsettling because Rebecca Kelly presents then so convincingly. I have finished Monstrous Souls feeling real grief for many of the characters because their stories felt so genuine to me.
I may have felt uncomfortable with the content and themes of Monstrous Souls but I am so glad I have read it. It is, one one level, a cracking crime thriller, but I feel Rebecca Kelly has provided such an understanding of the human psyche too that it is more important a book than an entertaining story. I will be thinking about it for a very long time. I thought it was brilliant.
About 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.
You can follow Rebecca on Twitter @RKellyAuthor1.
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