This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
Reviewed by Victoria Sutton
D.I. Lorraine Fisher is visiting her hometown of Radcote for a short holiday with her daughter Stella. She is staying in the house she grew up in with her sister Jo and nephew Freddie. Lorraine is shocked to find that Jo has split up with her husband Malc and is seeing another man, although she has not been told who this is yet. When she meets Gil, he piques her interest in a spate of local teenage suicides from two years and she soon finds herself calling in the cavalry in the form of her husband Adam, also a DI, to look into things with her.
It turns out that Radcote is a town of many secrets. Still recovering from a rash of youth suicides, a new death brings all the old memories back to the surface. Sonia Hawkeswell is especially affected as she lost her son, Simon, when the first round of suicides happened. He seemed to have everything to live for and the shock of his suicide haunts his family. Her daughter, Lana, is looking forward to escaping the town to study medicine but she needs the right results first, and there is a secret troubling her, which she enlists Freddie’s help with.
Freddie, meanwhile, has a secret of his own. He has been increasingly withdrawn of late and his family wonders if it is down to the separation, but there are more things on Freddie’s mind than Malc moving out. Already troubled, when he witnesses something he shouldn’t he feels he has nowhere to turn and flees from everything he knows. Lorraine must get to the bottom of Radcote’s mystery and find her nephew before it is too late…I love how the first chapter gives us a glimpse into the most recent accident. It gives the reader information not known by the authorities about Dean’s accident and so we know from the outset that Lorraine’s suspicions have some foundations. From the beginning I was hooked into wanting to know how things would turn out and who the girl was and what would happen to her. Of course, this was just the start of many mysteries the novel would present.
There is quite a large cast of characters and a few suspects thrown into the mix, which kept me guessing at every turn as to how things would turn out. There are also a number of subjects dealt with in the book from family relationships to extra-marital affairs and also cyber bullying, suicide and homelessness that give much food for thought. I found Before You Die to be a gripping and satisfying novel that kept me turning the page, and I think that it makes a perfect summer mystery read.