The Death of Her is a haunting psychological thriller from Debbie Howells, author of the bestselling Richard and Judy Book Club success The Bones of You. A woman’s body is discovered on a Cornish farm, battered and left for dead in a maize field. Airlifted to hospital, her life hanging in the balance, no one’s sure who she is. Three days later she comes round, but her memory is damaged. She knows her name – Evie – but no more, until she remembers another name. Angel – her three-year-old daughter. As the police circulate Evie’s photo, someone recognizes her. Charlotte knew her years ago, at school, when another child went missing. Leah Danning, who vanished whilst in Evie’s care. When the police search Evie’s home, there’s no sign of Angel. More disturbingly, there’s no evidence that she ever lived there, forcing the police to question whether Evie’s having some kind of breakdown. But even from the darkest place she’s ever known, Evie believes her daughter is alive. The police remain unconvinced – unaware that on the fringes of Evie’s life, there’s someone else. Someone hidden, watching her every move, with their own agenda and their own twisted version of reality.
I found myself drawn in at the beginning and I loved the twist at the end, however the detail in first person about Casey was overly reflective and tended to slow the story down a bit, in my opinion.
I normally devour a good psychological thriller, but on this occasion I felt removed from the story and found the police Investigation to be more of a convenient plot device and not realistic.
I had difficulty making the connection with Casey’s back story and the reasons for the missing child and would have been more invested in this story if I’d developed a stronger emotional connection to the characters. Maybe some additional editing could have tightened the story.
This review is also published on Goodreads
Published by Pan Macmillan