Don’t you love it when you discover a new author and you want to read every single thing they have written? That was my reaction to picking up Erin Kelly’s book Broadchurch. First I grabbed the book from the public library and then discovered there was a television series. The book is nearly identical to the show and I recommend both.
The setting is in the fictional town of Broadchurch located in beautiful Dorset England. The storyline focuses on the murder of 11 year old Danny Latimer. Danny’s body was found on the beach where he supposedly slipped, or was pushed, off the cliff overlooking the shoreline.
Intertwining the main story are the friendships of the Miller and Latimer families, a murder investigation in a small town where everyone knows everyone else, a work driven news reporter who is related to the primary detective (DS Miller is Ollie’s aunt) and a butting of heads at the police department.
Detective Sergeant Ellie Miller and Detective Inspector Alec Hardy clash in the beginning. Ellie Miller returns from a long vacation confident of her promotion to the detective inspector spot. When she arrives at work she’s told the DI position was given to Alec Hardy, an outsider to the community whose reputation is tarnished by a former murder investigation where things went south. Despite the tension between the two they work together to solve the murder of a young boy.
The town’s residents are close and it’s unbelievable that anyone could have killed Danny. Slowly the story reveals secrets and back stories on Jack the news agent, Ellie’s son who was a good friend of Danny, a mysterious woman who is so unfriendly and uncooperative that you rule her out as a murder suspect – it’s too obvious! The priest, newsagent, Mark and Beth Latimer and their daughter have secrets that will have you guessing as you turn the pages. You will be surprised when the mystery is solved.
The television show is identical but the bonus is you’re treated to the visuals of the stunningly beautiful Dorset coast. The acting is superb. The music deserves special mention as it complements the scenes with emotional intensity, absolutely haunting.
Broadchurch will satisfy the Anglophile and fans of mysteries. Loved it.
More on the author and the show: