Sunday, 5 April 2015

Review: What You Left Behind by Samantha Hayes

A mesmerizing new thriller from the author of Until You’re Mine

Two years after a terrifying spate of teenage suicides, the remote village of Radcote has just begun to heal. Then a young man is killed in a freak motorcycle accident and a suicide note is found among his belongings. When a second boy is found dead shortly thereafter, the nightmare of repeat suicides once again threatens the community.

      Desperate for a vacation, Detective Inspector Lorraine Fisher has just come to Radcote for a stay with her sister, Jo, but the atmosphere of the country house is unusually tense. Freddie, Jo's son, seems troubled and uncommunicative, and Jo is struggling to reach out to him. Meanwhile, Lorraine becomes determined to discover the truth behind these deaths. Are they suicides, or is there something more sinister at work? Finding answers might help Freddie, but they'll also lead to a shocking truth: whatever it is--or whoever it is--that's killing these young people is far more disturbing than she ever could have imagined, and unraveling the secret is just as dangerous as the secret itself.

     Wicked, intense, and utterly compulsive, What You Left Behind confirms Samantha Hayes as a top thriller writer.

Hardcover, 320 pages
Expected publication: April 14th 2015 by Crown (first published April 24th 2014)
original title: Before You Die
ISBN: 0804136920 (ISBN13: 9780804136921)

Kristine's Thoughts:

I received an advanced readers copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!

This is the second book in the DCI Lorraine Fisher series but it can be read as a stand alone. I did not have the opportunity to read the first book before reading this one and it did not impact my enjoyment at all.

I liked this book but I found it really busy which in turn made me not love it. There were quite a few things going on to keep my head wrapped around that made it hard to keep track. Not only were there a string of "suicides" but there was also a suspicious motorcycle accident, a murder and a missing boy. Each aspect was interesting in itself but all together it made me a little dizzy.

I have to admit that even with the extremely busy story line I was able to figure it out relatively quickly. There was not a lot of guessing or a shocking reveal for me because I was bang on with my theory. I'm not sure if it was obvious or I just had a lucky guess. I do pride myself in being able to figure out the mysteries that I read or watch pretty quickly so it may just have been me.

The characters were all right in this book but I did find DCI Lorraine Fisher to be a little dull for my liking. Her personality lacked any kind of luster or anything that got me really excited. In fact, most of the characters lacked that certain something that made them really interesting with the exception of Gil.

In the end I can say that I liked the book but there were no surprises or anything that made it stand out from others I have read.

About the Author
Before becoming a writer, Samantha Hayes worked at jobs ranging from private detective to bartender to fruit picker to factory worker, lived on a kibbutz, and spent a few years in Australia and the United States. Her writing career began when she won a short story competition in 2003. She now lives in Warwickshire with her family. What You Left Behind is her second novel.

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