Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for the complimentary ARC. All opinions provided are my own.
Whew. He Said/She Said is quite a ride. Before I really get started I want to make it clear that this book contains disturbing acts of violence toward women, including alleged rape (the latter of which is a major plot point in this thriller).
This psychological thriller is told largely from the perspective of Laura and her husband Kit over a period of time starting in 1999 & ending in 2015.
Laura and Kit are eclipse chasers & during one viewing when they’re just dating, Laura believes she’s seen a rape.
She serves as a witness at the trial where the alleged perpetrator maintains his innocence. During the trial Laura lies in an effort to put the alleged rapist behind bars, an act that she’s desperate to keep from Kit.
Also during the trial Laura makes contact with the alleged victim Beth, another thing she must hide.
After the trial is over, Beth makes herself part of Laura and Kit's life, only things with Beth aren’t quite as they initially seem & that’s what the book explores in each tense chapter as Laura & Kip wrestle with the past & its shadow over the present.
This book is intense, compelling, not entirely easy to read. There are scenes that left me with visceral dismay & distress & at the end I returned to certain details, piecing things together in ways I hadn’t been able to before. The poignancy of Laura & Kit’s relationship is moving & adds a lot to the thriller arc.
I definitely think that this book is doing really interesting things & I also can see how there’s a lot of potential to upset many readers by how those interesting things are being done. As one character articulates, whether or not Beth gave consent is questioned throughout the trial—but it’s questioned after, as well—& men’s manipulation (& worse) is considered at length throughout the novel.
Though there are some moments that feel a little too simplistic to me overall this is an engrossing read with a well-done twist that left me thinking “nooooo.”
4.5 ⭐️. He Said/She Said is available now.
Give me that HEA, please.
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