Truly, Darkly, Deeply by Victoria Selman

Twelve-year-old Sophie and her mother, Amelia-Rose, move to London from Massachusetts where they meet the charismatic Matty Melgren, who quickly becomes an intrinsic part of their lives. But as the relationship between the two adults fractures, a serial killer begins targeting young women with a striking resemblance to Amelia-Rose.

When Matty is eventually sent down for multiple murder, questions remain as to his guilt — questions which ultimately destroy both women. Nearly twenty years later, Sophie receives a letter from Battlemouth Prison informing her Matty is dying and wants to meet. It looks like Sophie might finally get the answers she craves. But will the truth set her free — or bury her deeper?

My thoughts on Truly, Darkly, Deeply

It must be a strange feeling, to be tarred with the brush of someone who does something really bad, especially if you’re a child and couldn’t have done anything about it. This is the starting point of Truly, Darkly, Deeply.

Sophie (the child, now adult) gets a letter from the serial killer (Matty, now dying in prison). She once thought of him as a father. Then a monster. Now she doesn’t know how she feels, other than stuck. Despite it being 20 years since he was arrested, she hasn’t moved on. Instead, it’s her, her dog, and her mom and a constant revisiting of the past.

Will meeting Matty (his dying wish) help her heal and move on? Or will it provide more questions than answers? As she decides what to do, we (the reader) are taken back to where it all began and how it all went wrong.

I can’t say I’ve read anything that has taken quite this approach to what is a crowded serial killer ‘scene’. Which is why I wanted to read it, and what I enjoyed about it. It felt fresh. Different. While there were murders, they weren’t the most important thing about the story. Rather is was how one man had impacted the lives of all those around him.

Sophie’s life is obviously the primary one. But there’s her mother as well, family friends, and her family back home (who were less than sympathetic). I enjoyed going back to the beginning and seeing as it all unfolded. And I enjoyed getting to know Sophie, who was sympathetic without being wishy-washy-weak.

I’ve noticed (and you may have too) that I am using the word enjoyed a lot. And that sums up how I felt about the book. It was enjoyable. I enjoyed it. Was it the best book I’ve ever read? No. But is was well written with characters that grabbed my attention and a story that stood out from the crowd.

Why am I not raving about it then? Simply because – as a reader – it didn’t ‘grab’ me as much as I would have liked it to. Books I love are generally loved based on a gut feeling. A wishing that there are still pages to turn. With Truly, Darkly, Deeply, I finished the book with a sense of satisfaction but not that ‘something more’ feeling I wanted.

Would I recommend it? Yes, definitely. Would I buy it for a friend? Again, yes. Will I be thinking about it months from now? Probably not. Which leaves it with a solid 3.5/5, pushing a 4 but not quite there.

Enjoy!

Emma

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Please note: I received a copy of this book in return for a fair and honest review. All thoughts, feelings, and opinions are my own.

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