Before You Die by Samantha Hayes
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The gripping new psychological suspense novel from the author of Until You’re Mine.
Oh God, please don’t let me die.
It has taken nearly two years for the Warwickshire village of Radcote to put a spate of teenage suicides behind it.
Then a young man is killed in a freak motorbike accident, and a suicide note is found among his belongings. A second homeless boy takes his own life, this time on the railway tracks.
Is history about to repeat itself?
DI Lorraine Fisher has just arrived for a relaxing summer break with her sister. Soon she finds herself caught up in the resulting police enquiry. And when her nephew disappears she knows she must act quickly.
Are the recent deaths suicide – or murder?
And is the nightmare beginning again?
I loved Until You're Mine by this author and so I was eager to read Before you Die, I had great expectations of another gripping white knuckle ride. D.I. Lorraine Fisher featured in Until You're Mine so I felt I already knew her quite well. This time we join her and her daughter Stella as she visits her sister Jo and her nephew Freddie in her home town of Radcote for a holiday.
I suppose that Until You're Mine was such a great novel that I was a bit disappointed by this one, it just didn't have the element of suspense for me and unlike the previous novel I guessed the murderer fairly early on. The characters were believable but not as charismatic and I didn't really connect with them as I did in Samantha Hayes previous novel. The story seemed a little bit too contrived and far fetched in this novel; what's the chances of a DCI going home to visit her family and being caught up in a spate of suicides that link her family and cause her to get involved in solving the case?
It's not so much a psychological thriller more of a crime fiction novel which I suppose was why it was disappointing as it lacked pace and suspense. I suppose for me there was nothing unexpected which, after her first novel, left me feeling a bit flat.
It was well written but just didn't hold me until the end - I hope her next novel will capture some of the suspense and drama of her first but unfortunately it was so good that anything that followed had to be spectacular which sadly Before You Die just wasn't.
I can only give this 3.5 stars as it is nothing exceptional as a crime novel and to be honest there are better crime novels than this one. I laboured through the book not raced like the last one; I kept waiting for the killer punch and there wasn't any. I hope the third book in this series will recapture some of the suspense and gripping excitement of the first novel - this one just didn't do it for me - disappointing.
I have rounded this up for Goodreads and Amazon.
I would like to thank the publisher for sending this in exchange for an honest review.