Book review stop! Today I’m delighted to be the host for Truly, Darkly, Deeply, a thriller written by V. Selman.
First thing first, let me thank the publisher, Quercus Books, for providing me with an e-copy of this book. Much obliged *hat tip*
MEET THE BOOK
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?
Publication date: 07/07/22
READ MY REVIEW
Cover: Intriguing and it fits the theme.
Ah. I’ve been hitting a slow streak lately, what with an incoming deadline and laptop issues. While the latter will be solved by purchasing a new one, uh, at some point in the future, the former is still looming in all its deadline-y glory.
So if you’re wondering why I’m reviewing books at a slower pace, here’s your answer, and Truly, Darkly, Deeply is one of those novels caught up in the bottleneck.
Is it a bad thing? Well. Not really, because the delay made me realize something: I couldn’t remember the plot anymore less than a month after shelving it. If you’re grimacing right now, I wouldn’t blame you—alarm bells and the likes.
Thing is, Truly, Darkly, Deeply did nothing for me, for several reasons.
Its fundamental flaw is its repetitiveness. It latches on a concept—the ice cream Matty used to buy Sophie, for example—and it keeps going at it, on and on and on, dog with a bone-style. After 368 pages, the pacing is as dead as the killer’s victims.
This issue hits Sophie, the MC, the hardest, making it difficult to sympathize with her. Amelia-Rose appears whiny instead, and the other characters read confusing. The ending is meant to be a plot twist, and Selman does a good job with the breadcrumbs of truth scattered here and there. It just casts an odd light on Amelia-Rose’s parents, say. Matty is an interesting character instead. I’m not sure what to make of his creepy behavior toward Sophie, but he’s been crafted well.
Another issue is the temporal switching. I’m not fond of switching per se, so I might be biased, but here it’s a bit too heavy-handed to slip by unnoticed.
Still, I would have kicked the final rating up a star, if the technical aspects were solid. Unfortunately, the first POV curse hits Truly, Darkly, Deeply kinda hard, and inconsistencies paired with some grammar opsies prevent me from doing so. Damn 🙁
2 stars on GR.
MEET THE AUTHOR
After graduating from Oxford University, Victoria Selman studied Creative Writing at the City Lit and wrote for the Ham & High and Daily Express newspapers.
In 2013 she won the Full Stop Short Story Prize and her first novel, Blood for Blood, was shortlisted for the 2017 Debut Dagger Award.
Victoria lives in London with her husband and two sons.
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