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The Elephant Girl

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  169 ratings  ·  46 reviews
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 dista
Paperback, 400 pages
Published July 7th 2013 by Choc Lit (first published June 11th 2013)
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2013 Releases
556 books — 979 voters
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Average rating 3.75  · 
Rating details
 ·  169 ratings  ·  46 reviews

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Sep 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
It was a nice mystery book, though I hated the romance part (as usual, lol!)
What didn't convince me was the ending (again, as usual), I could have sworn the killer would be someone else, a more interesting twist in the plot.
The characters were not consistent, their actions totally contradicted themselves lots of times, so it was hard forming an opinion on their roles in the whole mystery.
Entertaining, good plot, interesting, I loved about 75% of the book !
Megan Readinginthesunshine
Jun 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I first discovered Henriette Gyland when I read her novel Up Close, and it was amazing, so if you haven’t read it yet then please do because it is excellent. Having very much enjoyed this, I was very eager to start her latest release.

As a child, Helen Stephens has an epileptic fit and when she comes around, finds her mother has been murdered. When her extended family rejects her, she is handed over to child services. Twenty years later, Helen does not trust anyone, and learning her mother’s kill
Judith Letley
Apr 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I throughly enjoyed this book and had trouble putting it down
Sorcha O'Dowd
There is always something about Henriette Gyland’s writing style that draws me into a book, making me unable to stop reading until I get to the last page. It was the same with ‘Up Close’ and now ‘The Elephant Girl’ which was a wonderful, tense read that had me guessing until the end.

One of the reasons that I loved this story is because of how realistic the characters are. The main characters instead of being portrayed as instantly likeable, are instead real. They make choices that we as readers
Shaz Goodwin
Jul 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Kate Sherwood
Jul 24, 2013 rated it liked it
I was disappointed by this one. I loved the setup, the writing was clean, the touches of India felt real and intriguing, but the story and characters just didn't really do it for me.

I felt like the story was kind of stuck between a romance and a mystery, and it didn't do either one well enough. Romantically, it feels like the characters are attracted because... they're both there? Because one of them is kind and the other is pretty? I just didn't really feel a zing of connection. And the mystery
Lynn Spencer
Nov 20, 2013 rated it it was ok
I gave this a C- at AAR, so 2.5 stars I enjoy good romantic suspense of all flavors. Thrilling, action-packed books that keep me on the edge of my chair turning pages enjoy pride of place in my library, as do gothics which build their tension inch by chilling inch. What doesn't work for me is total boredom. The Elephant Girl promised an unusual suspense story, but much of this meandering novel just bored me silly.

As a young child, Helen Stephens witnessed her mother's murder. However, she rememb
Anne-marie Ugland
Jun 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is a great romantic thriller/mystery! I'm not going to say too much about the plot as I don't want to spoil it for future readers, but here's why I enjoyed it so much. First of all there is not one boring or superfluous paragraph, and the pace is really good. Gyland must have put a lot of thought into the characters' backgrounds and their environment. Everything seems to be properly thought through and researched, from the art/antiques dealing world which Helen reluctantly is dragged into t ...more
Sep 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
Novel set in Goa and London (“quite simply a lovely read”

Quite simply a lovely read. A mixture of love story, whodunit, with imaginative and intriguing twists and turns.

The story focuses on Helen – or Yelena as she was originally named, following her as she moves back from Goa to London, summoned back by her step grandmother Aggie. Although the locations are a part of the story, they are not that important in terms of unduly influencing the tale.

The young Helen was present when her mother was mu
Blodeuedd Finland
This book is about one angry young woman. And she has every right to be angry. Her mother was murdered right next to her. Her family did not take care of her after it, instead she was put into the system. And life growing up was not easy as she is epileptic and kids can be cruel. Not to mention that adults can be stupid.

That is our introduction to Helen. The book takes off when she comes back to England as her mum's killer has been let out of jail. Revenge and answers is what she wants. Her ange
Rhoda Baxter
Aug 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I love the cover of this book and the title. I really enjoyed Henriette Gyland’s Up Close, so I was always going to read The Elephant Girl.

The mystery at the core of the book is compelling. Helen witnessed her mother’s murder, but she’s beginning to wonder how reliable a witness a 5 year old epileptic, who has just come round from a fit, could be. And then the woman who murdered her mother is released from prison.

It’s a well written mystery, with the drama taking place against a background of au
Jun 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I love this cover of this book! For me this was just brilliant. I just could not put this book down. I hope many readers will buy this book and enjoy it as much as I did. Helen's mum forget's to give her Epilepsy medicine to her. In the car Helen has blue steaks of light blink in her head and she knows she is fitting. When helen comes to she can see her mum's head dangling funny and a knife besides her mum with blood on. Lots of twist and turns in this light thriller. My extra review is on iread ...more
Sep 18, 2015 rated it it was ok
Meh. The story summary was more interesting than the execution. Child who witnesses mothers murder, but epilepsy makes her an unreliable witness - to somehow skip past abandonment by her family to focus on a really dull romance. Poor book
Jane Connor
Jan 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
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 som
Denise Bonham
May 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Never read a book by this author before but it certainly won't be my last.
What a fantastic read and great characters.
A twenty year old murder to solve and a romance.
Read it in one afternoon and evening it was that good.
June Jones
Apr 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I thought this book looked a little daunting, how wrong I was, full of intrigue, murder, and love, would recommend.
Jaimie Marshall
Oct 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
The Elephant Girl is a taut, tense and terrifying thriller from a wonderful new voice in romantic suspense – Henriette Gyland!

Helen Stephens has never forgotten the day she witnessed her mother’s murder. Although her mother was killed twenty years ago, Helen is still haunted by memories of that devastating day – and of the miserable childhood which she had to endure in care. For the past couple of years, Helen has sought refuge and escape in India, a country she now calls home. Going back to Eng
Aug 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
As this is a review, I won't be going into much detail about the story as I don't want to give any spoilers.

I loved the plot of the book which centred around the mystery behind Mimi's murder 20 years ago and her daughter Helen learning the truth behind it. The story takes place in both Goa and London but the interesting moments happen in London. I liked how the author really captured Helen's personality quite well. I received her as being very free spirited while simultaneously being quite stubb
Jul 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
The elephant girl is a mystery thriller with lots going on, above all, as one expects from choc-lit, it's a heartwarming romance with plenty of "will they won't they" to keep you wondering right until the end whether this couple, both deeply flawed by past circumstances and so reluctant to trust anyone, even (or perhaps especially) family will manage to let go of the past long enough to allow themselves to become involved in an actual relationship.

Helen is "the elephant girl of the title" orphan
Jun 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
Once again Henriette Gyland has written a well-paced and clever story that features just enough mystery, thrills and romance to satisfy the most demanding of readers.

Helen has spent the past few years in India. Her mother was murdered when Helen was just five years old and she spent her childhood in foster care, despite the fact that she was part of a wealthy and important family. Helen has epilepsy and nobody really wanted her, she has spent her life hating the woman that she believes killed he
Jun 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this book and was hooked from the first chapter.
As a child Helen witnesses her mother's murder but due to an epileptic fit her memory is a bit hazy, rejected by her family and handed over to child services Helen grows up seeking revenge on her mother's killer.

After reading the first couple of pages I was totally sucked in to the book, resulting in a very late night and a whole day spent with my nose in this book. It was gripping and I became completely lost in the story.

Jul 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Five-year old Helen witnesses her mother’s murder. When the alleged murderer is being released from jail twenty years later, all Helen wants is revenge. Will she succeed or will the secrets she discovers along the way be too much to cope with?

I wasn’t too sure about this book after reading the first couple of pages as the storyline contained too many elements of violence for my liking. I am very happy, however, that I soldiered on as the Elephant Girl is brilliantly written. The way the secrets
Jul 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Just looking at the cover of the book should draw you in straight away. This book was a great read. I couldn’t put it down and took it everywhere and read it everywhere at every opportunity.

The main character Helen is extremely well written and comes across as a strong, vengeful yet kind and loving person all rolled into one. I really liked her and how her character was portrayed. There are some really strong characters in the book and some really quirky ones. I love how the characters in the h
Jul 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
The Elephant Girl is the second novel from Henriette Gyland and one of many new titles from Choc Lit, a relatively new publisher which publishes stories for women with romance at the forefront. I never thought I’d ever be a fan of contemporary romantic fiction but I don’t mind being proven wrong here and more recently by another of Choc Lit’s titles, Beneath an Irish Sky.

There are two key characters in The Elephant Girl, Helen Stephens and Jason Moody, both in their mid-twenties, who meet in sup
Angela Britnell
Jun 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing

This was a great read and kept me hooked from the first page. As a child Helen is a witness to her mother's murder and everything in her life falls apart. She's rejected by her mother's family for reasons she doesn't understand. 20 years later she finds out her mother's killer has been released from prison and is determined to get her revenge. The intriguing and very handsome Jason runs a halfway house partly to get away from his wealthy father's dubious business practices. The more Helen delves
Beverley Eikli
Sep 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I loved Henriette Gyland's suspenseful debut novel "Up Close" so was really keen to read The Elephant Girl.

Setting, suspense and the growth of romance are particular elements Ms Gyland blends so well and in the The Elephant Girl she manages all that, together with skilful handling of the main character Helen's medical condition, epilepsy, and her own deeply psychological and difficult backstory. Jason was just gorgeous and the twists and turns of the novel kept me on the edge of my seat right un
Jul 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This novel is an intriguing mixture of crime, romance and mystery, with a heroine you root for from the word go. Having been a witness to her mother’s murder and then rejected by the rest of her family, Helen certainly has her demons, and it’s easy to see why she wouldn’t trust anyone. Not even the charismatic hero, Jason, who I loved, but who has his own problems to contend with and a family that is every bit as dysfunctional as Helen’s. As they search for hidden truths, trying to make sense of ...more
Jul 20, 2013 rated it liked it
Very uneven in quality. Opening setup was really promising. The investigation could have been handled more convincingly by Nancy Drew, however. The number of amazing coincidences really added up. Certain crucial clues, such as the murder weapon and past love affairs, were so murky that I doubt even the author could sort it out. A disappointment, could have been much better with some revisions.
Jul 18, 2015 rated it liked it
Very hard to understand why some folk give this five stars!! Its full of promise, but fails - mostly, in mnny view, due to the unsubtle contrivances used in working out the plot line (characters just happen to be in the right place, just happen to open the right drawer etc etc. Still, I bought it in a charity shop, so no great loss...
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Henriette grew up in Northern Denmark but moved to England after she graduated from the University of Copenhagen. She wrote her first book when she was ten, a tale of two orphan sisters running away to Egypt fortunately to be adopted by a perfect family they meet on the Orient Express.
Between that first literary exploit and now, she has worked in the Danish civil service, for a travel agent, a co

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