The Elephant girl - Henriette Gyland
The elephant girl is a mystery thriller with lots going on, above all, as one expects from choc-lit, it's a heartwarming romance with plenty of "will they won't they" to keep you wondering right until the end whether this couple, both deeply flawed by past circumstances and so reluctant to trust anyone, even (or perhaps especially) family will manage to let go of the past long enough to allow themselves to become involved in an actual relationship.
Helen is "the elephant girl of the title" orphaned at age 5 when she was present in the back of a car whilst her murder was murdered, being the only witness to this event the epilepsy, which caused a seizure preventing her remembering the details, has shadowed her adult life and she has grown up feeling worthless and unwanted stemming from outright rejection by her remaining family members.
Jason has also had a difficult upbringing, yet he wishes he could distance himself from his wealthy, self styled hard man father and chooses a way of life his Dad despises - charitable and caring, running a hostel for recently released criminals.
When Fay, the woman who has served time for murdering Helens Mum takes up residence in Jasons half way house, Helens determination to fill in the gaps in her memory by shadowing Fay, she uncovers mysteries she'd never even dreamt of, it brings her onto Jasons radar and the two are drawn to one another yet repelled too as each seems to be part of the mystery and two people who find it hard to trust anyone are never going to trust each other especially as both have much to hide.
As the background unfolds and the characters develop the story turns into so much more than a romance. The author excels in weaving a clever mystery through a love story as proven in her previous novel Up Close and she does it extremely well, an enjoyable page turner with lots of tension and thrills and spills and lead characters you can empathise with. A super summer read to pop in your suitcase and take on your holiday.
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