12-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 murders, 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?
Ooh, now I do like a good psychological crime thriller, and that’s exactly what we have here in Victoria Selman’s excellent Truly, Darkly, Deeply. I’ve read one of her books before, Snakes and Ladders and enjoyed it a lot. This, a standalone, was one that I jumped at the chance to read.
A letter to Sophie from Battlemouth Prison from convicted multiple murderer Matty Melgren reawakens old wounds from some twenty years previous, when Sophie and her mother moved to London from the US. Matty moved into their lives as a serial killer started stalking the streets of North London.
Told from the point of view of Sophie now and Sophie before, it’s a fascinating glimpse into fractured family dynamics and the possibilities of innocence and guilt. Matty, seemingly a devoted father-figure to Sophie, could he really be the killer who roamed the streets near their home? And why do all the victims look like Sophie’s mum?
Selman’s writing is engaging and the various strands of the plot are well-constructed. I had my suspicions of what might be going on, but was delighted to see the ending wasn’t quite as I thought. Selman loves to drip-feed us with morsels of information as the story progresses, and I found myself wandering down the wrong path once or twice!
I enjoyed this book a lot. Recommended.
Truly, Darkly, Deeply by Victoria Selman is published by Quercus in July 2022. Many thanks to the publisher for an advance copy of the book via NetGalley