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?
Started this on Friday night and had finished it by Saturday night. An amazing page-turner, as they say, I just couldn’t put it down. However, there are a couple of reasons why I didn’t give it five stars. Firstly I guessed quite a bit along the way, probably more than I usually do. That’s not to say it was predictable, but I guessed the identity of The Chief almost straight away and also the young man following Heidi. It didn’t detract from my enjoyment. But the main reason is that I feel this story has been told so many times before, particularly at the moment. I keep starting a ‘murder mystery’ and then finding out it’s about child abuse and abduction.
I’ll tell you a little story. My husband has been encouraging me to write a novel and keeps coming up with plot ideas. He even started one himself. It was about organ harvesting. Then I read a book about a girl renting a room on the cheap and we find out that that the room goes to someone whose organs may come in handy for one or more of the residents. While reading it with The Pigeonhole one of the other Pigeons commented ‘Oh no, not another book about organ harvesting. It seems to be a thing at the moment’.
I feel a bit the same about Monstrous Souls. I really loved it and as I said, I couldn’t put it down, but there are so many stories out there that involve child abuse. I think I have read about three this year already. However this differs because it is partly seen through the eyes of Denise, the investigating police officer when Heidi was originally attacked in 2001 who now wants to open the case and also because of the amnesia aspect. In fact the premise is excellent. Heidi can’t remember anything about the attack, the murder of her best friend Nina or the disappearance of her younger sister Anna. Then one day little things start to come back and that is when we find out that Heidi’s life is still in danger. The book swaps between 2001 (the date of the attack) and 2016 (the present).
But don’t let my reservations put you off. It’s probably just that I read a lot of books. It’s beautifully written, well constructed and there are no stones left unturned. The characters are well developed and you really feel their pain. Well I did anyway. Highly recommended.
Many thanks to NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
About the Author
Rebecca is a writer from Berkshire. She lives with her husband and youngest son and an over-enthusiastic black Labrador, who gives her writing tips.