on July 7, 2022
12-year-old Sophie and her mother, Amelia-Rose, move to London from Massachusetts where they meet the charismatic Matty Melgren, who quickly becomes an intrinsic part of their lives. But as the relationship between the two adults fractures, a serial killer begins targeting young women with a striking resemblance to Amelia-Rose.
When Matty is eventually sent down for multiple murders, questions remain as to his guilt -- questions which ultimately destroy both women. Nearly twenty years later, Sophie receives a letter from Battlemouth Prison informing her Matty is dying and wants to meet. It looks like Sophie might finally get the answers she craves. But will the truth set her free -- or bury her deeper?
Truly, Darkly, Deeply was so good! It is a phycological thriller by author Victoria Selman and this book really took me by surprise. The coolest part of this story is that it takes a different look at crimes. It explores the ripple effects that crimes can have on the people left in their aftermath.
In Truly, Darkly, Deeply we meet Matt a convicted serial killer who says it wasn’t him, living out the reminder of his days in prison and Sophie, his daughter. Sophie never thought Matt did it, but now with no information coming to light and Matt asking to speak with her, she starts to have doubts.
This book was interesting and gripping right from the very start! It will totally surprise you. I read this book in one sitting because I couldn’t put it down. Great for fans of true crime and serial killer fiction and tv shows.
Why Are We Fascinated by Serial Killers?
You just have to glance at the number of true crime podcasts on offer and documentaries trending on Netflix to see how fascinated we are by serial killers like The Shadow, in Truly Darkly Deeply.
Some psychologists have suggested this is related to our survival instinct. They argue that the better we understand evil, the better we can protect ourselves from it. The fact women are much greater consumers of true crime than men shows this, they say.
Others have referenced the vicarious thrill we get out of experiencing danger at arm’s length. Of staring a monster in the eye without them starting back. Rollercoaster Syndrome, as my protagonist’s therapist terms it.
Perhaps vicarious thrills and survival instinct do play a part but I think our fascination with serial killers goes deeper. I believe it taps into to our innate interest in the human condition.
When I watch shows about murderers like Dahmer and Bundy, I don’t ask myself how I would have protected myself had I’d stumbled into their path. Instead, I wonder:
What drives a person to kill stranger after stranger?
What germ creates that ‘otherness’?
How did their actions impact those close to them?
Serial killers like the Shadow represent humanity at the extreme, according to Mindhunter author, Mark Olshaker whom I interviewed recently on Crime Time FM and who read an early copy of Truly Darkly Deeply.
Olshaker describes serial killers as monsters without the behavioral checks and balances we take for granted. Individuals who are unable empathize with other people or experience pleasure and pain the way we do.
We are naturally fascinated by what is different, what is evil. But for my part, I am equally fascinated by the victims’ stories- which is what Truly Darkly Deeply is all about: the ripple effects of a crime on the people left behind.
I wanted to shine a light on the untold narratives, on the quiet ‘after moments’. On the legacy of a killer without in any way celebrating who he was.
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