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The Night She Died by Jenny Blackhurst

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Article by Swirl and Thread ©.
Posted in | .

‘It was the happiest day of her life. So what made her jump?’

The Night She Died is the latest novel from Jenny Blackhurst, a writer who has been described as ‘an evil genius’ by Lisa Hall.

Just released with Headline Review, it is said to be a novel‘full of dark drama and unexpected twists – an addictive new psychological thriller’.

My thoughts:

Evie White, just married, leaps to her death, off a cliff, on the night of her wedding. Her body is never found, thought swept out to sea. Many, many questions are asked but the main question on everyone’s lips is ‘why?’.

For her best friend, Rebecca, life goes on hold. Rebecca and Evie have been the closest of friends for years, since meeting in rather an unusual fashion, while in college. Their friendship has seen them face many battles together, as each had their own issues to deal with. Rebecca was quiet, a timid soul and when Evie showed interest in the two of them developing a friendship, Rebecca was thrilled, yet also somewhat in awe of Evie. Evie was everything Rebecca was not. She came from money and had that aura of righteousness wherever she walked. When Evie entered a room, everybody knew she was there. Her confidence, her style, her personality were like a beacon to Rebecca and soon the two were always to be found together hatching plans and just having fun.

Evie, although brought up in a privileged environment with a nanny, and educated privately at an all-girls boarding school, had a very fraught and difficult relationship with her parents. Her mother was a very troubled individual and, although her love for Evie was always there, she just was unable to handle the reality of life. Evie’s father was a very controlling individual, a man who threw lavish parties and lived a very exclusive life, but underneath it all, Evie felt there was no great love for her. He was incredibly strict and had a tight hold over her life but when Evie went away to college, his ability to control her behaviour was a lot more difficult.

As the years passed Evie eventually settled down with Richard, with her close friend Rebecca always making up the threesome. They were very happy years but there were also red flags waved with some of the behaviour on all sides that for some reason was never tagged. Did any of them really know the other? What secrets were hidden and locked away from this cast-iron friendship? It is only after Evie’s death that questions of their relationship is finally asked.

The Night She Died is a complex storyline. Things are never quite what they appear and Jenny Blackhurst keeps the tension going, as these truths are drip-fed to the reader.

The characters of Evie and Rebecca are excellently portrayed and as the years pass you can see how their relationship develops and changes. Evie is like a damaged flower that needs taking care of and the world can sometimes be a very harsh place for damaged flowers to thrive. Rebecca is a very interesting character with many sides to her persona, which we begin to get a glimpse at as the story is unveiled. Jenny Blackhurst does a great job building the suspense around their friendship.

The Night She Died is an exciting read, with chapters of all different lengths that switch seamlessly between different timelines. This adds to the compulsive nature of the book, as you really do NEED to read THAT next chapter. All the characters are excellently depicted making it quite easy to visualise them in your own mind. I always love when the writing of a book brings you right into a story in this fashion, it makes it personal!

Engrossing. Dramatic. Enjoyable.

(c) Swirl and Thread

Order your copy online here.