What She Left is brought to the reader through texts, letters, emails, excerpts … it is the piecing together of the death of Alice Salmon by one of her former professors Dr. Jeremy Cooke, anthropologist. Dr. Cooke is publishing a book on her passing and through his findings we meet people from Alice’s past, present as well as secrets from the researcher himself. It’s a tangled little web of infidelity, family secrets, dreams and desire.
I found it an intriguing concept, the electronic trail we leave behind. What happens with this after we pass? – How are we remembered when bits of this information float to the surface (or doesn’t), how will our loved ones interpret that secret email account or the e-mail draft that was never sent, the tweets taken out of context ? Indeed, all this left for the world to find after we are gone.
There are many voices in this book and what I observed is that each had their own writing style. Now, I wouldn’t know how difficult that is to create, I’ve never written a book but it made the read feel even more authentic. We read Dr. Cooke with his long drawn out letters to his friend, full of “big” words from the recesses of academia, the short random text speak from minor characters, the journal entries from Alice herself – all had their own style. This was something I appreciated very much from T.R. Richmond throughout the book.
The mystery evolves, it takes a few twists and turns… I even thought I had it figured out at one point. I loved the idea of this novel and will be recommending it to those in my circle who read crime and mystery. It was different and I love exploring books that get creative like this one did. It left a lot to think about after I put it down… especially just before hitting send or publish. I will be looking out for more books from T.R Richmond.
An e-copy of this book was graciously given by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
What She Left by T.R Richmond
Published by Penguin UK – Micheal Joseph
I also love the cover of this book !! A little research into T.R Richmond revealed that it’s a pen name. You can go over to The Telegraph to read an interesting article on the novel, discover the identity of the author and other interesting tidbits !