Posted in Book Review, Books I have read

You Belong To Me – Samantha Hayes

Psychological Thriller 2*'s
Psychological Thriller
2*’s

This is the third book in the series featuring DI Lorraine Fisher, the first the excellent Until You’re Mine which was followed by Before You Die.

In this outing the DI is stressed out, self-medicating with codeine and not coping, so much so that her husband Andy is bought in to give direction on her latest case of a suspected serial killer after women who have recently complained of being stalked found dead. Lorraine Fisher’s sense of failing is compounded by the fact that she had advised the first victim that there was nothing she could do without more details.

In another strand of the story Isabel is in India when she receives word that her parents have been killed in a car crash, despite her obvious reluctance she is forced to return to England to deal with matters. We know Isobel is scared of something but we are not sure what…. But it’s all ok there is a friendly face in the form of Ben who helps her to arrange her flight home, and then offers her a place to stay. Some might say that if you were that scared that you’d disappeared to another continent that you might not be so willing to trust a stranger but not Isobel, she’s wary but feels she has no options open to her.

To be honest I found this book verging on the ridiculous in terms of plot, I couldn’t invest in either the DI or Isobel as both made crashingly stupid decisions time and time again which just served to aggravate me. I understand that this is fiction and some suspension of belief is required but this plot stretched my credulity to extremes not warranted, especially in view of the fact that this book had a great premise. However as the book progressed, the credulity snapped! There seems to be a trend to put massive twists into each and every psychological thriller and where I am full of praise for those who insert these seamlessly; badly done it leaves this reader feeling at best cheated and at worst intensely irritated by a total change of direction which doesn’t seem to connect to what has been written before, sadly any twists in this book fell into the latter category.

The realism aside there weren’t any characters I really believed in, DI Fisher was morose and had morphed from the competent officer we first met in Until You’re Mine to a scatty mess which was a shame, if she could have carried out the investigation she did within the team setting I think it would have balanced out some of the unrealistic elements, instead everyone in this book is full of angst of some description or another.

I’ve been a fan of Samantha Hayes for years however I was doubtful about the plot in Before You Die and even more so with this one. If you haven’t read some of her earlier works I’d suggest you start there where she let her writing stand up for itself without trying to add too many bells and whistles which in my opinion are out of tune.
I’d like to thank the publishers Random House UK for allowing me to read this book which will be published today, 12 March 2015.

Previous Books by Samantha Hayes

Blood Ties – January 1992. A baby girl is left alone for a moment. Long enough for a mother to dash into a shop. Long enough for a child to be taken.

Unspoken – Mary has a past Julia knows nothing about, and it’s come back to haunt her.

Someone Else’s Son – What would you do if your teenage son was stabbed to death in the school playground?

Tell-Tale – story of three women bound together by a shocking secret…

Until You’re Mine – You’re alone. You’re vulnerable. And you have something that someone else wants. At any cost …

Before You Die – It has taken nearly two years for the Warwickshire village of Radcote to put a spate of teenage suicides behind it.

Read a synopsis of the first five books here

Author:

A book lover who clearly has issues as obsessed with crime despite leading a respectable life

14 thoughts on “You Belong To Me – Samantha Hayes

  1. Shame to hear that this one did not live up to your expectations. I’ve had that at times with authors that I generally really like. I do wonder sometimes if the pressure to get out a book on schedule doesn’t make for some ‘writing by numbers’ or ‘following trends’ and leads to some less than stellar works by otherwise quite solid writers.

    1. I really felt that the author was trying to follow a trend with this one and yet many of her earlier books were far more satisfying to read, a shame for me but other readers might enjoy this change of direction more.

  2. Sorry to hear that this one didn’t do it for you, Cleo. And for me anyway, believability is one of the really important aspects of a novel. I don’t like suspending my disbelief more than necessary, and when I find characters who don’t act credibly; I find that really bothersome. Ditto characters who are supposedly intelligent, but continue to do seriously stupid things. Thanks for the candor of your review.

  3. Hmmm…I understand what you are saying. I read UNTIL YOU’RE MINE last year and really liked it. In fact, I ordered the UK copy of BEFORE YOU DIE (it will have a different title when published here later this spring) and still have it sitting on my shelf. I had recently noticed that a third in the series was coming out. What I’m hearing is that I shouldn’t be too hasty perhaps to get YOU BELONG TO ME. I do understand that authors of the so called psychological thrillers are likely feeling the pressure to dress up their plots with the mega-twists. But, I just want a good story. And when there is a character that I like, I can take a little life problem issue, but I want them to get help or get over it or something. Well, I’ll read #2 and then decide. Thanks for sharing! I did like that DI a lot.

    1. This really is down to personal taste, this book has lots of positive reviews but for me it felt forced and I just want a good story. Lorraine’s addiction would probably not have bothered me as much if there hadn’t been so much else going on, this storyline may develop further in the series. I do hope you enjoy them both 🙂

  4. I loved Until You’re Mine…and I just finished her newest, What You Left Behind, which I also loved…so I guess I can skip these “middle” books!

    Thanks for sharing….

    1. What You Left Behind was published in the UK under the title Before You Die. I’m sure if you enjoyed this one you will enjoy this one too, I just didn’t take to it as it felt too unrealistic but that is such a personal opinion 😉

  5. I’m glad I decided not to go for this one. Like you, I enjoyed the first one, but I thought the second was pretty poor – it felt as if it had been rushed out to cash in on the success of the first. And if this one is even less credible… One other thing that’s really been annoying me about this series is that all of the covers are nearly identical – makes me feel there’s no originality going into it at all, I fear.

    1. Oh judging a book by its cover? I’m disappointed as I have enjoyed a number of this author’s books but this one just didn’t quite work on any level for me. I had hoped the last one was an aberration but it appears not, I won’t be reading the next one!

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