Last night saw the premiere of the first episode of the eagerly anticipated second series of Broadchurch and it didn't disappoint. Viewers were gripped to an hour of plot twists as secrets were revealed and further trauma was heaped upon the shoulders of the much loved characters.
This first tie in short story from the pen Erin Kelly focuses on Ellie Miller and gives us a deeper insight in to her character.
Set before the courtroom drama of the television episode we see how she has been coping since it was revealed that her husband Joe was the killer of 11 year old Danny Latimer in the first series.
She's back in uniform, by her own choice, and has relocated to Exmoor to try and escape Broadchurch and the friends who now blame her for their loss. She feels in disgrace for an act she did not know about, an act she could never have thought of in her darkest nightmares but now as she views herself through her new colleagues eyes she knows they must be constantly wondering why she's there. She doesn't feel she can return to CID until Joe has been sentenced and secretly thinks that once he is she can put the whole trauma of Danny's death behind her, at least that's what she hopes.
She carries on with policing to prove to Joe that he can't take everything from her, he's taken her home, her friends, even their eldest son Tom doesn't want to stay with her so she's is damned if he is going to take the career she has worked 15 years to build up away from her as well.
She meets a new partner PC Cliff Kendall, he's the antithesis of Alec Hardy, the sort of man that Ellie assumes spends his spare time dressed in T shirts with comedy catchphrases on and bullying people in to supposedly humorous practical jokes. Unlike the secretive and shut off Alec, Cliff is almost too sharing telling her all about everything from his family to his cholesterol levels. Ellie soon begins to miss Alec and his dark brooding sulks. At least he was quiet and she could think and breathe. She wonders where he is now? Is he in a hospital somewhere contemplating his own career?
Her new location is drastically different to Broadchurch and Cliff ends up taking her to a run down and miserable housing estate, which sounds as grey and sombre as Ellie's mood, though as she wanders round she begins to think of ways she could help the community. She begins to feel that maybe she's been wrong all along, that even before Danny's murder she should have been on a different path. The community has always been in Ellie's heart and that's why she joined the police in the first place, perhaps she shouldn't have been chasing promotions.
Her upturned mood is shattered as soon as she receives a text from her sister who is caring for her son Tom. He doesn't believe that Ellie hasn't made up the fact that his father killed his best friend as some sort of way of escaping her marriage.
She's being shredded inside by the fact that her child won't see her. She is counting on Joe pleading guilty, knowing that is the only way she will get Tom back..
Already from this first book it is clear to see that these stories are going to be a fantastic addition to the Broadchurch experience. Erin Kelly perfectly captures the character of Ellie. As you read the story it's easy to imagine her as we see her on screen portrayed by Olivia Colman. The story also adds new depth to what those two little words Joe uttered in the courtroom really meant to Ellie.
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