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