What She Left, by T. R. Richmond
Published by Penguin, 8th October 2015
Genres: Thriller, mystery, crime, epistolary
From the cover:
“Who is Alice Salmon? (…) That girl who drowned last year. Gone doesn’t mean forgotten. Everyone’s life leaves a trace behind. But it’s never the whole story.”
Alice drowned, but nobody knows exactly what happened that night. Was she so drunk she fell in? Did she go into the water intentionally? Did someone push her? A university professor, whose link to Alice isn’t immediately known, is determined to piece her life back together and begins researching and collecting information.
Nowadays, even when someone is gone, they leave a trace behind, in emails, texts, posts, tweets, articles, letters, diaries etc. Professor Cooke uses all of this and more to compile what will eventually be a book about Alice. Along the way, we meet many people whose lives were affected by Alice; her parents, boyfriend, friends, colleagues.
The suspense is thrilling and makes this book a real page-turner. The reader doesn’t find out until the very end, by a very unexpected twist in the tale, what actually happened to Alice that night and why.
I loved this book!! I honestly could not put it down. Epistolary novels (told through letters) are some of my absolute favourites. I love the pace it gives to the story, as well as the different perspectives the reader gets to see, which would otherwise be very difficult to achieve.
All of the unexpected twists and turns throughout the story were really gripping and kept the suspense going right until the very end. I was not expecting that final revelation!
Ultimately, I like the idea that, although Alice left behind this digital footprint which allowed insight into her fate, what she really left, in the lives of those she knew, was love.
My rating: 5/5