Broadchurch – Dorset and Somerset – Erin Kelly

Broadchurch

Why a booktrail?

How will a successful TV series transform into a book? Erin Kelly shows us how it’s done. 

Story in a nutshell

One hot July morning in Broadchurch, Dorset, Beth Latimer realises that her eleven-year-old son, Danny, is missing. She frantically searches for him only for his body to be found on the beach later that day. Who could have murdered a child? And in such a nice sleepy place as Broadchurch? The national press decamp on the unsuspecting town and nobody’s life will be the same again. For the killer could be one of their own, someone who they know, and before long it seems that everyone has something to hide…

Place and setting

Charmouth, West Dorset Beach - One scene. West Bay, West Dorset Beaches, Harbour, Pier, Promenade, Cliff Tops and Coastal Scenes. Freshwater, West Dorset Susan Wright's Caravan - Freshwater Caravan Park.
Charmouth, West Dorset
Beach – One scene.
West Bay, West Dorset
Beaches, Harbour, Pier, Promenade, Cliff Tops and Coastal Scenes.
Freshwater, West Dorset
Susan Wright’s Caravan – Freshwater Caravan Park.

Since Broadchurch is fictional, the locations to visit in order to experience the beauty of the television setting and to visualise the book are those in both West Bay Dorset and Clevedon, North Somerset. The beach scenes and the caravan park are located here with different names for obvious reasons whilst the town scenes are recreated in Clevedon such as the homes of The latimers and the Miller family and Broadchurch High Street.

With the murder of a young boy on the beach in your mind as you see the location in real life, standing beside the imposing cliffs can be both poignant and impressive at the same time. Was the boy thrown from the cliff? Who placed him on the beach? Who was on the boat seen that night? And when dawn broke and that poor boy was found there, the town and its people came to a standstill and their lives were never to be the same again. Such brutality in such a beautiful place.

Miller Family Home - St Andrew's Drive. Latimer Family Home - Lavington Close. Hill Road - the high street of Broadchurch
Miller Family Home – St Andrew’s Drive.
Latimer Family Home – Lavington Close.
Hill Road – the high street of Broadchurch

Clevedon is situated in North Somerset and Hill Road was the setting for the High Street, the newsagents shop and the newspaper offices. the friendliness of the palce belies the story’s web of secrets and lies but it makes for a fascinating trip as Clevedon is now quite firmly on the literary and TV map of locations that you should visit to experience the lives of DI Hardy, the Millers and the Latimers.

Perhaps the most iconic and somewhat eerie setting of all is the caravan park and the thought that you might bump into Susan Wright. Even if you haven’t see the TV show, you’ll be nervous about that name after reading Erin’s book.

Bookish musings

Loved the TV show and loved the book. Erin Kelly  has really mastered what I thought twas going to be tricky art of writing a novel based on a TV show. This both complements the TV show as well as acting as a standalone. When reading this I could visualise all the locations and characters and really get my teeth into the story. i felt I had spent more time with the characters and had a different and unique view.

The amount of work this must have taken – with such high expectations from readers – but the plots, the characters, the links and lies, the hidden secrets and even the sarcastic comments from Hardy are all here and then some.

I found this a new reading experience – reading and seeing the book at the same time instead of imagining it. And it really worked. Made me buy the ebooks Erin wrote on the individual characters after each episode of the second series – but that is another set of reviews…

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