Truly Darkly Deeply by Victoria Selman

Twelve-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 murder, 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?

If you are looking for a slow burning, darkly distinctive crime novel then Truly Darkly Deeply needs to be on your TBR pile! I had seen a few reviews doing the rounds and could tell that it would be right up my street but it was even better than I was expecting it to be…

Amelia Rose moves to London from the USA with her young daughter Sophie. They live a quiet life without many friends but they are speak to their family back home often. But then Matty enters their lives and both mother and daughter fall into an easy relationship with charismatic man although their are signs from the start that something is a little off with him. When a serial killer starts targeting women who look very similar to Amelia Rose, it is Matty who falls under investigation and he is eventually imprisoned for those heinous crimes…

Grown up Sophie has been deeply affected by her brush with a serial killer especially one who treated her like a daughter. When she receives a letter from the prison where Matty is living out his sentence, she doesn’t want to respond to his request for her to visit initially but she knows the doubts she has over his conviction need to be met head on. I felt quite sorry for Sophie, her life had been affected by her connection with Matty but I knew why she went chasing answers. Their meeting doesn’t actually happen until quite far along into the narrative which gives a chance for the tension to rise to an almost unbearable level! The reader sees everything from Sophie’s POV and we do spot things that a young girl wouldn’t be able to! But do these things mean that Matty is a conniving and clever criminal or has there been an horrific miscarriage of justice?

I had Ted Bundy vibes whilst reading this, remembering how different he was when he was living with his girlfriend and her daughter-unlike the vile and depraved murderer he was. In fact there are many nods to infamous murder suspects here and true crime fans will find much to get their teeth into throughout. I had no idea why Matty would ask to see Sophie again-was this a deathbed confession of some kind? And if so what? The Matty we meet when he comes into Sophie’s life is funny, caring and considerate unlike the downstairs neighbour who gave me the creeps! So has the time come for Sophie to learn the truth and why has it taken so long? I was drawn into the relationships between these characters very quickly but the sense of danger crept up gradually leaving me feeling very unsettled indeed.

I absolutely devoured this book and loved everything about it. It was uncomfortable reading at times though probably due to have realistic it felt. True crime fans will love it too as, although it is fiction it felt like you were reading about a real life series of crimes. Highly recommended and can’t wait to read more from Victoria Selman!

Truly Darkly Deeply was published by Quercus on 7th July 2022.

Victoria Selman is the author of the critically acclaimed Ziba MacKenzie series. Her debut novel, Blood for Blood, was shortlisted for the prestigious CWA Debut Dagger Award and an Amazon Charts #1 bestseller for five weeks, selling over half a million copies. 

Victoria has written for the Independent, co-hosts Crime Time FM with critics, Barry Forshaw and Paul Burke, compiles the Afraid of the Light charity anthology series and was shortlisted for the 2021 CWA Short Story Dagger Award.

Her first standalone thriller, TRULY DARKLY DEEPLY, is being published by Quercus in July 2022.

Find her on Twitter @VictoriaSelman or sign up to her newsletter at

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I am a Norfolk girl living in leafy Cheshire with my grumpy Scotsman. A mum and nana who lives for my family but who is also addicted to reading (and Marmite!) I will read almost anything but my preferred genres to review are psychological thrillers, crime procedural novels or women's fiction. My kindle is my life but I also have a substantial bookshelf in my cosy reading room where I can go to escape the stresses of family life with plenty of tea and chocolate. I am a member of netgalley and bookbridg. I review on Amazon, where I'm a Top 500 reviewer, and Goodreads. You can always find me over on Twitter @jocatrobertson for any review requests.

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