Truly Darkly Deeply by Victoria Selman

Having previously enjoyed the Ziba MacKenzie series by Victoria Selman, I was keen to give Truly, Darkly, Deeply a try. It is a standalone thriller about a serial killer operating in North London in the early 1980s. It is told from the unusual viewpoint of Sophie, both when she was twelve years old at the time the killer was active, and twenty years later as she decides whether to visit him before he dies in prison. He has always professed his innocence, but she needs closure for the sake of her mental health.

Sophie and her mum, Amelia Rose, move from America to London for a new start. Her mum meets Matty Melgren and he becomes the closest thing to a father that Sophie has known. He is very charming and they have a lot of fun, but he is also secretive and prone to unexplained absences. The narrative alternates between the two timeframes, and the story is gradually revealed. It focuses on how the family of a serial killer is affected by what he has done, and how they are treated by others, especially the press, as if they were just as guilty and must  have known what he was up to. There are references to real life serial killers, and the extracts from blogs, websites and newspaper articles add an extra dimension to the story. There is a strong sense of time and place, with lots of popular culture, and I could imagine it being made into a film or TV series. Thanks to Quercus and NetGalley for a digital copy to review.