Posted in Books I have read

Broadchurch: Thirteen Hours – Erin Kelly

Short Story  4*'s
Short Story
4*’s

Well Broadchurch season two is now over although the viewers have been promised another series… I really don’t know where they can take this next but can guarantee that I will be watching.

This the last short book to accompany the series takes the reader right back to Alec Hardy’s entrance to Broadchurch which provides the perfect way of finishing this superb look at the various characters that inhabit Broadchurch.

This book shows us what we didn’t see at the beginning of series one, we see Alec hiding Claire, his ill-health in view, the sleepy town being the perfect place for him to finally uncover the truth of what happened at Sandbrook all in thirteen hours.

I have really enjoyed this series, Erin Kelly has managed to pack lots of detail and depth to each of the characters featured and I for one am going to sorely miss my weekly fix.

Posted in Books I have read

Broadchurch: The Leaving of Claire Ripley – Erin Kelly

Short Story 4*'s
Short Story
4*’s

So we are now nearing the end of the TV series and the pace is still fast and furious, the prosecution and the defence have done their worst with their closing speeches, the judge has reminded the jurors that the defence doesn’t have to prove anything, that is up to the prosecution. The jurors leave to deliberate and they file back into court… meanwhile we the viewers are still trying to work out what exactly happened in Sandbrook are Hardy and Miller going to be able to solve the mystery before the end of the second series?

So to the book, and as anyone who has watched the series will know Claire clearly knows more about Sandbrook than she’s given up so far and this short story goes way back, before she left Wales and once again Erin Kelly has come up with a believable back story. I like the way the author has kept the character authentic, not the same, not the repeat of a past episode but behaviour absolutely in line with the more mature Claire that we have been seeing on our TV screens.

Having enormously enjoyed, and looked forward to, these shorts every Tuesday I will be bereft when I read the final episode next week and will be searching for a replacement to treat myself with.

Posted in Books I have read

Broadchurch: One More Secret – Erin Kelly

Short Story 4*'s
Short Story
4*’s

This book released to follow episode six of the ITV series is the most clearly entwined of the whole series, read this before watching and you’ll miss the most shocking part of the episode.

This is Beth’s story and so naturally it covers her life, juggling attending the court with a ten-day-old baby. I’m sure this story will resonate with mother’s the world over and Beth has more reason than most to feel torn in too many directions. The court case takes another twist and we hear what happened when the camera cut away.

There is far more detail in this one than the previous short stories, I really felt that this story offered a clear insight into Beth’s life, her relationship with Mark, Chloe and the other members of the close-knit community of Broadchurch.

I had a minor panic Tuesday morning as I thought I’d left a wifi zone without downloading this episode, thankfully all was in order and I was able to enjoy my coffee with this excellent short story.

Posted in Books I have read

Broadchurch: Protection – Erin Kelly

Short Story 4*'s
Short Story
4*’s

Well another episode of the second series of Broadchurch and once again the focus is as much on what happened to the missing girls in Sandbrook as it was about the ongoing trial. This week the defence had a disappointing day in court when the failure to research the actions of their witness before putting them on the stand.

With a clear link to the TV series this week’s book is a behind the scenes look at Sharon Bishop, the defence lawyer. This short, I still would have preferred these books to be slightly longer, gives us an insight into Sharon’s life outside the court setting. We have seen her visit a prison on-screen, here we find out why. We also get filled in on the history between her and the prosecution barrister, Jocelyn as I’m sure like me you are wondering if this is a straight case of two very competitive women, or whether their history has made this court-room battle an exceptional one.

I am still really enjoying these shorts which give a little more flesh to those characters who have featured strongly in the episode on TV the next morning.

Posted in Books I have read

Broadchurch: Over The Side – Erin Kelly

Short Story 4's
Short Story
4’s

Well this addition to the Broadchurch TV series just gets better and this time I think those of us that are reading the excerpts got an insight that those haven’t will miss out on. Why? Well this weeks episode tells the story from Tess, Alec Hardy’s wife. In this week’s episode we met her for the first time, being hostile to Alec’s continued obsession with the Sandbrook case where there were two missing girls, one a young girl and one a teenager.

The indications in this book that Tess was somewhat distracted at the time of the disappearance of the girls and Alec, right from the start was working all the hours, hardly seeing his wife so all-encompassing was his desire to find the girls and solve the mystery of why and how they disappeared. We already know that the trial collapsed and the chief suspect’s wife is undergoing an unconventional witness protection scene at Broadchurch. This book, well-written and enlightening gives the reader an insight into the motivation behind this bizarre decision.

I’d give this one the full five stars but the books are just a little too short to fully justify a top rating.

Posted in Books I have read

Broadchurch: Old Friends – Erin Kelly

Short Story 4*'s
Short Story
4*’s

I have to admit I’ve now got to the point where I’m really looking forward to the short story that follows each episode of Broadchurch season 2 which airs on a Monday evening; so today my lunch break consisted of a cup of coffee and this, the third in the series.

So last night on Broadchurch we had some chasing through fields, a witness who is behaving very suspiciously, a birth and DI Miller giving evidence for the prosecution. The QC for the prosecution is Jocelyn and today’s short gives us her background including her links to Broadchurch. I for one had wondered how long she had been in that house when there was no sight of her during the first series!! Even better this short gave us a chance to catch up with a character from the first series, really very clever!

As always the short doesn’t give anything away to the TV series, this is background, well-written and in this episode well thought out and made me feel like I’d had a sneak preview behind the scenes.

This is my favourite of these books so far and I’ve now got them all on pre-order, I’m sold!

Posted in Books I have read

Broadchurch: The Letter – Erin Kelly

Short Story 4*'s
Short Story
4*’s

So how are you enjoying the show now the trial has started and two witnesses have taken to the stand, evidence has been disallowed and there is still the mystery of what happened in Sandybrook… plenty to keep us entertained. Even better there was another short story penned by Erin Kelly to keep me Broadchurch centric the next day!

In Broadchurch: The Letter we are given a little more background to Broadchurch, this time from Maggie’s perspective as the whole town are preparing for Joe Millar’s trial. Maggie runs the newspaper office and is railing against the cutbacks, after all she has been in the industry for over thirty years. This sequence, like the first book, gives us another look at a character, and after all in Broadchurch all the characters have something important to add!

Alongside this there is a little sub-plot about other events going on in the area, which hasn’t featured on the TV series, yet, but serves to show Maggie’s determination to investigate, all tools of a reporter’s trade! What she finds surprises her but she has never been one to back away from an awkward situation.

This series of shorts are great for coffee-break reading and I read mine the day after the TV show aired, in all honesty so far neither short has revealed anything so far so eking them out feels more like a gimmick but one I’m happy to enjoy.

Posted in Books I have read

Broadchurch: The End Is Where It Begins

Short Story 4*'s
Short Story
4*’s

This will be a short review of what is essentially a bit of background to Broadchurch Season Two. There is one short story released at midnight following the airing of each of the eight weekly episodes and this is the first.

Having missed the first series of what was a ‘must-watch’ show I caught up with this via Erin Kelly’s book from series one of the ITV Television series simply named Broadchurch. I loved the book so much that I then watched the series to compare and contrast the book and the series and came to the conclusion that each medium had their merits, of course the mystery wasn’t as great while watching this on TV since I knew what had happened, but I am very fond of David Tennant and there was plenty to absorb with the character interactions to make that more or less irrelevant. So I was ready and waiting at 9:00pm on Monday night and watched the first episode of the second series and wow.. I wasn’t expecting that.

I’m not usually gullible especially where marketing is concerned but when I saw that each episode had a book well surprise surprise, I couldn’t resist, particularly as once again this has been penned by Erin Kelly who is one of my favourite authors (but maybe I’d prefer her to write another great book like The Burning Air)

This episode covers what happens to Ellie Miller when she leaves Broadchurch following the end of series one. There was nothing in this story that appeared the first episode but it does serve to give us some background into Ellie’s life since the uncovering of the murderer; her feelings, her life in a new place, her job serving for a different police force and her hopes for the future. I wonder if the other books will cover the background of the other characters or whether they will follow a different format.

An engaging read that is a useful addition for ardent fans of the show this short story was well worth the 99p that I spent on it despite the fact it is only 17 pages long and I just know that I’m going to have to read the other seven that will appear.

Did you watch on Monday? What do you think about having books, albeit short ones, to accompany the series?

Posted in Books I have read

Broadchurch – Erin Kelly

Crime Fiction 5*'s
Crime Fiction
5*’s

Broadchurch aired as a British Crime drama in the UK in 2013, a labour of love from the creator, Chris Chibnall, who aim was to create a big ensemble drama which concentrated on what happens to a community when a death happens within its midst, particularly when that death is that of a child.

Now, I didn’t watch this drama, I’m often slow on the uptake and before I was even aware of it, the show was halfway through, but I know it was big with those millions of viewers avidly discussing the twists and turns. So why did I chose to read the book? Mainly because it is written by one of my favourite authors Erin Kelly but also because a little bit of me felt like I missed out. So this review is probably one of the few you will read that makes no comparison to the series.

Set in Dorset the book starts with a brief introduction to the Latimer household along with the introduction to Detective Inspector Alec Hardy who has been relocated for mysterious reasons to Broadchurch where he now holds the position which Ellie Miller had hoped would be hers. With the death of Danny Latimer the whole town suspect each other of the murder while the police battle to find the truth and the media battle to tell the best story.

West Bay Dorset
West Bay Dorset

I think this is the first time that I have read a book based on a TV series, it usually works the other way around, and in the early chapters it did feel like a different type of reading experience and I could clearly imagine a silent shoot of a darkened town in the following description.

The church on the hill is unlit, the rich jewel colours of its stained-glass windows dulled to a uniform satin black. A weathered poster reading LOVE THY NEIGHBOUR AS THYSELF flaps uselessly from the parish noticeboard.

Obviously this tale has an incredibly strong plot and what Erin Kelly has done is translate this into a great read, handling the sheer number of characters alone must have been quite a task and she does it magnificently. This is a clear-sighted read, with the language used to conjure up the fear in the town flawless, the grief of the Latimer’s acute and the actions of those with secrets to keep gently exposed. I’m fairly sure that the roots to the dry humour were present in the show but the author has managed to translate all those looks into inspired words which say so much

Grief is like a splinter deep into every fingertip; to touch anything is torture.

although at times the feeling that you are watching the action from afar is more acute

With trade so slow, you’d think she’d be falling over herself to look after the few customers she has. What’s Becca looking at that’s more important than her business?

There are so many themes of grief, secrets, love and trust that at times this was an emotional read, I have to confess shedding a few tears at one point which rarely happens when reading and it is even rarer while reading crime fiction. There really is something for everyone in this book as well as a being a big fat juicy whodunit.

This has my wholehearted recommendation, I will definitely make sure I watch the next series and for those of you who are Broadchurch aficionados apparently there is a clue to the second series early on it this book, I missed it but apparently if you know the show well there is a line that doesn’t fit.

I’d like to say an enormous thank you to The Little Brown Book Group UK for my copy of this book in return for my honest opinion; it’s a brilliant read! Broadchurch is due to be published on 14 August 2014

Posted in Book Review, Books I have read, Five Star Reads

He Said/She Said – Erin Kelly

Psychological Thriller 5*s
Psychological Thriller
5*s

Erin Kelly has once again proved that she is an extremely talented writer, one who weaves a tale full of twists and turns, yet without resorting to cheap tricks. This is a book that stands proud in a now crowded genre, one that relies on superb plotting and brilliantly nuanced characters, the result being I was convinced by both.

In 1999 Laura and Kit were at Lizard’s Point in Cornwall to watch the total eclipse of the sun. For Laura this was her first experience but Kit and his twin brother Mac had, along with their father Lachlan, travelled far and wide as part of a group of eclipse chasers to see this rare phenomenon. In Cornwall Mac, his girlfriend Ling and Kit had decided to make some money to cover the trip by selling hot drinks at the festival but with the British weather being, well, British, the event isn’t as well attended as expected. Laura turns up having travelled down later and watches the eclipse with suitable awe and then stumbles across a young woman, her own age, being raped. Or that is what she believes.

With the story moving backwards and forwards from 11 August 1999 to fifteen years later when Kit is planning to travel to the Faroe Islands, chasing another eclipse, we learn what an impact that meeting had on all four characters and the ripples haven’t decreased with the passing years.

He Said/She Said
looks at the issue of rape from a number of perspectives with the court room reflecting the crux of the matter, as the title indicates. Jamie, the accused says that Laura got it wrong, he was having consensual sex with Beth when he was interrupted by the couple. Beth maintains it was non-consensual but she froze in the moment. Kit didn’t see anything, he was lagging behind but followed Jamie when he left the scene at Laura’s behest. There are other elements familiar from news reports of some recent big trials not least the fact that Jamie’s family are wealthy, he has a top lawyer and his family, including his fiancée, are in the courtroom supporting him. Who will the jury believe?

So we have a very modern tale told in the main by Laura and Kit which should have concluded the day the trial was over but Beth needing support from those who were there turns up at their London flat and is welcomed, at least by Laura. Kit is less sure, worried that if there is an appeal, that the girls have undermined any chance of a retrial by potentially being accused of colluding with each other. Three’s a crowd begins to be a very apt saying as tensions increase.

This is an involved and thoughtful tale, one that really did make me think but I’m delighted to report that Erin Kelly never forgets that she is writing to entertain her reader and she avoids bashing the reader over the head about rape, and the trials that all too rarely follow such an accusation. I believe it is a sign of a writer who has confidence, not only in herself, but of her readers to air the important issues this way.

I’m not going to say any more about the plot, which is excellent not only in the premise but also in its execution. The pace had me travelling through the chapters, headed up by images of the sun at various points of an eclipse, as I became more immersed in a story and characters that I truly believed in.

Trust me, you really don’t want to miss out on this book!

First Published UK: 20 April 2017
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
No of Pages:  416
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Amazon UK
Amazon US

Previous Books by Erin Kelly

The Poison Tree – 2010
The Sick Rose – 2011
The Burning Air -2013
The Ties that Bind – 2014
Broadchurch: The Novel – 2014