Monday, 14 April 2014

Before You Die - Samantha Hayes

From the publisher's blurb....

"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?"

Having read and enjoyed the authors previous novel "until you're mine" I was thrilled to find her new title available for review on Netgalley. It's certainly a good read and keeps you guessing right to the end, but I did find I wanted to give quite a few of the characters a darned good shake and I mistrusted their motives quite a lot. There are quite a lot of characters to get to know and the author makes it difficult to know who to trust which is a clever move as it begins to read like a who dunnit and first you suspect one person and then another and this helps keeps the story moving quickly.

The main characters are Lorraine and her sister Jo and their families, Lorraine has teenage daughters and Jo a teenage son Freddie, then there is another family who run a homeless hostel and we are introduced to quite a few of the workers and homeless folk and there were just a few people too many for me to get my head completely clear around who was who at first although the characters are well created with enough personality to begin to be recognised individually.

The storyline is strong, centreing around teenage angst, cyber bullying, infidelity, homelessness and skirting around mental health issues theres a lot going on and if you like your thrillers fast paced this will suit you. We met DC Lorraine Fisher and her husband, also in the police in the authors aforementioned book. Poor soul she can't take some much needed leave without things all kicking off around her and her stay with her sister is no different, a spate of teenage suicides close to home means she is soon in the midst of the mysteries surrounding these deaths and feels compelled to investigate as she begins to have doubts as to whether they are actually suicides

Overall I didn't enjoy it quite as much as the first in this series, feeling it couldn't quite decide whether to fall in the realm of psychological thriller which I love or detective novel which I don't. In my opinion they are 2 separate genres. Having said that its probably only because the first book was so good that this one found it a hard act to live up to and it is still a really entertaining read with lots of twists. You don't need to have read the first title to read this as although it shares some characters it would read equally as well as a stand alone, but I would recommend reading "Until you're mine" just because it's a great book.

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