The Death of Her

The Death of Her by Debbie Howells, Macmillan.

The Death of Her brings along its readers to a crime scene where a woman is brutally attacked and left for dead. Only, the woman never died and she’s making a recovery. With the woman’s lack of memory and disjointed timelines in her thoughts, it soon becomes clear for the reader that this case isn’t as straightforward as it should be. The case is left in the hands of DI Abbie Rose and Jack Bentley to figure out who committed the attack and whether it could be linked to additional cases.

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Debbie Howells’ The Death of Her is structured through four perspectives: Charlotte, Evie, Jack and Casey. With reading about both the past and present, the readers gain insight not only to the flaws of each character, but also gains further insight to both the victim and the police force through Evie and Jack. Characterisation is at the heart of this novel, along with its uncomfortable twists and turns. The Death of Her provides so much unpredictability it can sometimes feel like walking through fog. Only towards the end of the novel can you see it getting lighter and the answer becoming clearer. The unpredictability can latch onto the reader and can even make them question what they believe to be true.

Debbie Howells, author of The Bones of You, seems to have used her now country lifestyle as inspiration for the setting of The Death of Her. Her latest psychological thriller is set in Cornwall but is described as a peaceful and safe county, surrounded by Maize fields and crashing tides. The juxtaposition of safety and danger in a quiet, peaceful setting makes the perfect place for mystery, murder and menace.

Available to purchase from Thursday 24th August or pre-order The Death of Her here.

In a Dark Dark Wood

In a Dark Dark Wood by Ruth Ware, Paperback, Vintage, 338 pages, £7.99

Ruth Ware’s In a Dark Dark Wood could be described as a gripping thriller that feels just light enough to pop in your hand luggage as a holiday read. Ware’s thriller is set in a rural Northumberland in the middle of a forest.  Picturesque it may seem but as night approaches, darkness is clearly lurking between both forest and friends. Nora receives an invitation for her friend, Clare’s, Hen party – only she hasn’t seen her in ten years. Although spending a weekend with an old friend could sound like bliss, with something going very wrong, Nora soon learns that she has to confront why she left so long ago.

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Ruth Ware is also known for The Woman in Cabin 10 and her latest novel The Lying game. Ruth used to be a teacher of English and a press officer. Having lived in Paris and London, this novel takes us away from the city life and into rural Northumberland. As her debut thriller it is to no wonder as to why her other novels just keep giving. After reading In a Dark Dark Wood I can only imagine that her other novels will be just as gripping and just as clever as her debut – if not better.

Whilst reading In a Dark Dark Wood, her style seemed to resemble Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl. The novel follows Nora’s story all the way up to a pivotal point in the novel, whilst showing the aftermath through every other chapter. This reminded me of the way Flynn would bounce between charaters within her novel. Although Ware’s novel jumps to the past and present it is done in a way that feels necessary to the exposure of the plot.

For anyone wanting to have a look at the first few pages, you can through either amazon.co.uk or Waterstones.

Happy reading!