Truly Darkly Deeply - Book Review

Truly Darkly Deeply - Book Review

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Posted 2023-08-22 by Jennifer Muirheadfollow


Sophie was 12 when her mother met Matty Melgren, a caring, attentive, charismatic boyfriend who became the only father Sophie had ever known. Her world was shattered when Matty was convicted of murdering multiple women who bore a striking resemblance to her mother. Years later, Sophie is still dealing with her doubts about Matty's guilt as well as her own survivor's guilt. When she gets a message from Battlemouth Prison that Matty is dying and wants to see her, she hopes to finally get some answers.

Truly Darkly Deeply, by Victoria Selman (author of the Ziba MacKenzie series), is a real page-turner of a thriller. It is told both from Sophie's perspective in the present day and in flashbacks of her childhood living with her mother and Matty, interspersed with snippets from interviews with Matty. So many things in the childhood chapters, which might otherwise seem quite innocuous (like Matty's throwaway comments about how Sophie is unlikely to accidentally cut her fingers off with a hatchet because "do you know how hard it is to cut through bone?"), are very creepy when you know what is to come. Even though you know Matty goes to prison, there is still plenty of suspense as you wonder what went on without Sophie's knowledge and what secrets Matty has to tell her.

I really felt for Sophie, who blamed herself both for calling the police on Matty, and for not doing it sooner, leaving her to feel guilty regardless whether he turned out to be the real killer or not. The effect on the two women's lives is encapsulated in a haunting exchange between the two of them, where Sophie asks her mother why Matty didn't kill them as well and her mother replies "he did kill us."

True crime fans will recognise aspects of the story from stories of real serial killers such as Ted Bundy, but the novel is not based on any one real murderer.

This book would make for an interesting book club read, since there is plenty of scope for discussion around who was to blame for what. It's pretty bleak but fascinating if you are in the mood for a really dark, twisted story.

Disclaimer: I was given a complimentary copy of this book by Quercus Books, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.

Published: July 7, 2022

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83615 - 2023-06-11 06:43:46

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