This is a gripping, well-written psychological thriller with a clever title. Not only is the story told through the alternating narratives of a married couple, Kit and Laura, the title also refers to the ‘he said / she said’ aspect of a rape trial. A lot of themes are packed into this novel: infidelity, addiction, consent, pregnancy, commuter life, solar eclipses, friendship, the media. I thought it was very well done. My only problems were that I found it a hundred pages too long and that the story seemed overly complicated compared to The Sick Rose.
The story is told from two viewpoints, over two time periods – the present day and around fifteen years ago. I can’t say much about the plot as that will give it away. I was so impressed with the level of detail in everything, from the legal proceedings to the various locations to the clues hidden in the narrative. I really liked the eclipse theme – one of the protagonists, Kit, is an eclipse-chaser and during most of the story he’s travelling to see one. The terminology of eclipses is also used as a metaphor for the encounters with Beth, a character of vital importance to the story but who I won’t explain further in case you’re going to read the book.
I think the language of this book is more sophisticated than is usually found in thrillers. I liked that, but it did mean I had to read the text carefully rather than race through it. The style of the two narrative voices could have been differentiated more, as sometimes I had to check whose viewpoint it was. The content of the story is hard-hitting at times but that made it a more powerful read.
First published in 2017.