I can still remember exactly where I was when I bought Nicci French’s Killing Me Softly. I was on a day trip to Brighton when I was fourteen with a boy called Laurence who, after I later snubbed his romantic advances, created an email address called firstname.lastname@example.org – thus making him particularly hard to forget. And while our friendship didn’t last I can at least thank him for leading me to Snooper’s Paradise, the North Laine’s indoor flea market with bric-a-bac galore.
I briefly rummaged through the stalls of Victorian clothing and admired the array of art deco pieces available to buy before finding myself in a cubby hole of dog eared books. The title of Killing Me Softly captured my imagination and the gothic front cover had me hook, line and sinker.
It wasn’t until a year or so later that I got around to reading Killing Me Softly, shortly after which I began working my way through Nicci French’s entire published collection – a feat I still continue with today.
Intricate, thrilling and sinister, Killing Me Softly tells the story of Alice Loudon, a thirty-something Londoner who has it all until she meets tall, dark and handsome Adam Tallis, with whom she starts a reckless, but passionate affair. The plot thickens as their relationship becomes all-consuming and tumultuous and the climatic twist at the end finishes the novel perfectly.
So enraptured was I with this book that for months on end I force fed it onto anyone that happened to have a vague interest in reading. Some books you can read a hundred times, yet never be able to recall anything of validity; others you can read just once and forever remember the most intricate details; the most intimate scenes. Killing Me Softly is of the latter kind. It remains one of my all time favourite books and is deliciously dark and sinister.