OK - Broadchurch isn't exactly an Erin Kelly novel, and yet it is. The series was created by Chris Chibnall for British television, and Kelly then turned it into a novel. Although I didn't see the television series, I loved the novel that examines a community in the aftermath of the murder of eleven-year-old Danny Latimer.
I was so totally satisfied with Kelly's novelization that I have no desire to see the British drama or the American version titled Gracepoint.
Kelly's characters are strong, well-defined, and entirely human--I'm not going to mess with the images I took from the novel.
Detective Ellie Miller is personal friends with Danny's parents, and her son Tom and Danny were best friends. On returning from a vacation, Ellie discovers that the promotion she thought was a sure thing has instead been given to Alec Hardy, a man whose last case was a disaster.
Ellie is still coping with her disappointment when she realizes that the body found on the beach is Danny's, and then the gut-wrenching discovery that it wasn't an accident.
The small community of Broadchurch is stunned--an eleven-year-old boy murdered and the murderer must be one of them. As you can imagine, the town will never be the same. Danny's family is devastated. Ellie struggles with her own sadness, the close connections to the Latimers, her initial refusal to suspect anyone she knows, and the aloofness of Hardy, who leads the investigation.
Who killed Danny and why? The suspects--friends and family--have secrets and pasts that are coming to light for the first time. There are also comments about the press and the way the media can influence an investigation.
The writing is succinct, the setting is vividly depicted, and the characters are treated with a kind of empathy that is touching.
Excellent. If you have the chance, do read Broadchurch, you won't regret it.
Crime/Police Procedural. 2014. 448 pages.