Title: Monstrous Souls
Author: Rebecca Kelly
Publisher: Agora Books
Publication Date: 23rd July 2020
What if you knew the truth but couldn’t remember?
Over a decade ago, Heidi was the victim of a brutal attack that left her hospitalised, her younger sister missing, and her best friend dead. But Heidi doesn’t remember any of that. She’s lived her life since then with little memory of her friends and family and no recollection of the crime.
Now, it’s all starting to come back.
As Heidi begins retracing the events that lead to the assault, she is forced to confront the pain and guilt she’s long kept buried. But Heidi isn’t the only one digging up the past, and the closer she gets to remembering the truth, the more danger she’s in.
When the truth is worse than fiction, is the past worth reliving?
From the first page of Monstrous Souls I was totally hooked by this dark and compelling book. The story follows Heidi, a victim of an incredibly violent attack that killed her best friend. The attack also left Heidi’s little sister missing and Heidi herself badly hurt and with no memory of the assault or much else of her life before it. Years later, Heidi is starting to remember what led to the tragedy that destroyed her life and finds herself in danger and on a collision course with the harrowing truth.
It has to be admitted that Monstrous Souls is not a cheerful book, there is a lot of darkness and sadness within these pages but it is a truly brilliant read which will keep readers desperate to know the truth about what happened to Heidi on that fateful day. The story has some really traumatic themes which, whilst deeply upsetting, feel depressingly believable and rooted in realism. The author weaves the two timelines together beautifully. The current day resurrection of Heidi’s case is the driving force of the book whilst her flashbacks to the events leading up to the attack provide a deeper understanding of what is going on in the present and why her memory has kept so much hidden from her.
Monstrous Souls is a compulsive read – it is the kind readers will not be able to put down in every sense as the story will linger in the mind long after the last pages. It is gripping and intense but it is also really beautifully written. The author has a real skill in conveying the depth of emotion in the lives of these characters. The damage done to two families by the architects of the attack is almost impossible to truly comprehend but the strength of the writing somehow manages it. I really don’t want to give anything away but I will just say that the ending is a complete gut-punch. I didn’t see certain aspects coming at all but even if I had, it would have had just as much impact. I highly recommend Monstrous Souls – it is a powerful book about so many different issues like corruption, power, culpability, control, abuse and recovery which I know will stick in my mind for a very long time.
I received a copy of the book from the publisher. My review is my own honest opinion.