What She Left, Hardback
3 out of 5 (2 ratings)


"If you liked The Girl on the Train then I think you'll like this just as much, if not more." (Scott Pack).

Who is Alice Salmon? Student. Journalist. Daughter. Lover of late nights, hater of deadlines. That girl who drowned last year. Gone doesn't mean forgotten. Everyone's life leaves a trace behind. But it's never the whole story. "I will stand up and ask myself who I am. I do that a lot. I'll look in the mirror. Reassure myself, scare myself, like myself, hate myself.

My name is Alice Salmon." When Alice Salmon died last year, the ripples from her tragic drowning could be felt in the news, on the internet, and in the hearts of those closest to her.

However, the man who knows her best isn't family or a friend.

His name is Professor Jeremy Cooke, an academic fixated on piecing together Alice's existence.

Cooke knows that faithfully recreating Alice, through her diaries, text messages, and online presence, has become all-consuming.

But he does not know how deep his search will take him into this shocking story of love, loss and obsession where everyone - including himself - has something to hide...Praise for What She Left: "What She Left is an extraordinary and bold creation."(Laura Wilson, Guardian). "Every month brings another book billed the new Gone Girl, but we think we've found a winner." (Marie Claire). "An absorbing, intricate and extremely original novel.

It is also immensely clever and intriguing...What She Left is beautifully written and very emotionally involving.

I hope that it garners all of the commercial and critical success it deserves." (Claire Kendal, author of The Book of You). "Guaranteed to keep you guessing." (Irish Independent). "A deliciously modern take on the psychological thriller...a shifting, mesmerising, mysterious story...very well-written and intelligently realised, occupying a territory half way between literary novel and thriller...a memorable debut." (Daily Telegraph). "An ingeniously original premise...addictive." (Sunday Express). "What a wonderful new voice. What a pleasure to read a thriller that's so ambitious and so full of emotion and suspense.

Bravo!" (Nicci French, author of The Memory Game and Blue Monday). "Strikingly modern." (Sunday Times). "Intriguing and successful...a crime thriller from a different angle, Richmond's accomplished debut encourages the reader to become the sleuth...Genuinely chilling."(Maxim Jakubowski).


  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Crime & mystery
  • ISBN: 9780718179366



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Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.

Review by

I think the premise of What She Left is good and I was excited by the idea of the epistolary format, yet somehow the story didn’t quite live up to it’s potential for me. There seemed to be more focus on Professor Cooke, Alice’s former tutor, than on Alice and her life. I also struggled with the scattered timeline and fairly slow pace.

Review by

What She Left is probably one of the most original, unique books I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading. This is the story of Alice Salmon; she’s a young, talented journalist who was just found drowned in a lake near her University. Jeremy Cooke, one of Alison’s former professors decides to put together a book about her life; a compilation of interviews, letters, journal entries, blog and social media posts. It’s this format in which the story is written that gives it an utterly fascinating, documentary style feel. I really loved reading it this way and enjoyed that each entry wasn’t listed chronologically. Instead, they jumped back and forth in Alison’s life timeline, certainly kept me on my toes! As different perspectives and clues were revealed, I had to continually check and see when the entry happened in Alison’s life. That may sound confusing, but you’ll understand what I mean if you read it!<br/><br/>The police, of course, have ruled Alice’s death a suicide but it quickly becomes clear that anyone who was close to Alice believed she was incapable of something like that. As Professor Cooke gathers more information, a clear picture starts to appear of a very troubled girl. Yet you can’t help but be fascinated by Alice and her life, leading you to ask yourself and want answers to “how did Alice really die?”<br/><br/>Again, I really enjoyed this book and loved its unique style and format, a great psychological character study that I couldn’t tear myself away from. I think it will definitely “hit home” with anyone that uses social media on a regular basis, especially readers who grew up with it as a common part of life. This book serves as a good, yet somewhat scary reminder to us all that everything we put out on the internet really does stay forever! I did not guess what really happened to Alice until very late and for me, that’s always a sign of a well done thriller. Look forward to reading more from this author.<br/><br/>**I received a complimentary advanced copy of this book from NetGalley and the publisher, Penguin UK, in exchange for my honest review**<br/>

Also by T. R. Richmond