Jera’s Jamboree review : The Elephant Girl by Henriette Gyland

elephantgirlPaperback: 400 pages

Publisher: Choc Lit (7 July 2013)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 178189020X

ISBN-13: 978-1781890202

Peek-a-boo I see you …

When five-year-old Helen Stephens witnesses her mother’s murder, her whole world comes crumbling down. Rejected by her extended family, Helen is handed over to child services and learns to trust no-one but herself. Twenty years later, her mother’s killer is let out of jail, and Helen swears vengeance.

Jason Moody runs a halfway house, desperate to distance himself from his father’s gangster dealings. But when Helen shows up on his doorstep, he decides to dig into her past, and risks upsetting some very dangerous people.

As Helen begins to question what really happened to her mother, Jason is determined to protect her. But Helen is getting too close to someone who’ll stop at nothing to keep the truth hidden …

|  Amazon Paperback  |  Amazon Kindle  | The Elephant Girl


We begin with a prologue – the murder scene 20 years ago.  My very first thoughts were that the killer, Fay, started something she lost control of … how wrong I was!

In present day Goa, we find out that Helen has worked in a bar on the beach for 2 years.  She hides herself away from the world having been rejected by extended family, from peers at school (because of her condition of epilepsy) and therefore protects herself from emotional pain.

It’s monsoon season and a stranger dashes in out of the downpour.  It’s her grandma’s solicitor.  Not being able to persuade her to go back, his parting shot that Fay is out of prison, changes her mind.

Next, we find out about Jason Moody and the relationship he has with his father.  An interesting scene portrays the ‘game playing’ Jason does to manipulate him.  Derek (his father) capitulates on extending the lease for the half-way house and so everything is in place for his path to cross with Helen’s as Fay is one of the occupants of the house.

As Helen finds out more about Fay, she’s also finding out more (and becoming involved in) the family auction business.  With her building connection with Jason, this all leads to some tense and exciting scenes!

I loved all the characters in The Elephant Girl, I don’t even have a favourite!  It was so easy to be there with them as the story unfolds from those who supported to those who put obstacles in the way.

The romance between Helen and Justin has a natural feel.  I don’t think I’ve ever come across two characters who fit together the way they do!

Hyland has obviously researched epilepsy, not just the physical effects but the emotional side too.  The way Helen’s condition is a part of the story is portrayed with respect and honesty.

With everything interconnecting, there are several characters I suspected for the murder. I couldn’t guess who the perpetrator was but in all honesty, trying to work it out was peripheral for me.  I usually like to work it out but I was so caught up in the story as a whole that it didn’t matter!

When the climax comes it really is tense and clichéd but true … nail-biting!  I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough.

The ending?  Perfect 🙂

I don’t think there’s any doubt about my rating:

Buy it but be loathe to share your copy ... it's a keeper!

Buy it but be loathe to share your copy … it’s a keeper!

I would like to thank the publishers for providing a copy in exchange for an honest review.

You can find out more about Henriette on her blog.  She also tweets and you can connect with her on Facebook.


13 thoughts on “Jera’s Jamboree review : The Elephant Girl by Henriette Gyland

  1. I think your review really encapsulates how I felt about the book, Helen and Jason do fit so perfectly and like you I was so involved in the story, I was more worried about Helen finding a resolution than who the killer was. I loved Henri’s previous book Up Close but I think I love this one ever so slightly more.

    • Jules, I love Henri’s writing. Yes, I have to agree, Up Close was also a ‘keeper’ for me but The Elephant Girl is even better (no pressure on Henri then for book three!)

      Thank you for commenting.

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