Her Here by Amanda Dennis is a personal detective story. The story takes place in Paris, France as we watch Elena try to solve the mystery of what happened to Ella, who is the daughter of a family friend, Siobhán. Ella went missing many years ago in Thailand. Elena was hired by Siobhán to read and interpret Ella’s journal, especially the last year before she went missing.
Elena left her life in the United States to spend a year in Paris to dedicate herself to Ella’s journals. As you read the story, you realize Elena is dealing with a lot of mental health issues herself that affect how she handles working with the journals.
Dennis stylizes the book in a way that you can tell how Elena slowly begins to lose herself in the journals. There is the normal font text style that shows when the reader is in reality. The italic font lets you know you are reading Ella’s words from her journal, and the bold text is when you are reading Elena’s interpretation of Ella’s words. As you read, you start to notice the bold text starts to grow in amount to the normal and italic text. Even when Elena is in reality, she starts mixing up the world of Ella’s journals with the real world.
This is a book where you get just as caught up in solving the mystery as the protagonist does. You want to know why Ella has disappeared. What reasons led up to it. You also feel for Elena who is trying to understand things from her past as well. Each character has their own reasons why they become so absorbed with this mystery.
This is an intriguing novel with a good concept. As the reader, nothing is spelled out for you. You are thinking right along with Elena wondering what happened to Ella. This is also attributed to well-developed characters and plot.
For fans of mystery, detective, and self-actualization, Her Here will meet your expectations.
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Article originally Published in the April / May 2021 Issue: Cover Stories.