Publication Date: UK 1st January 2015 from Headline. US 24th February 2015 from St Martins Press
Source: Advance Reading Copy.
I’m the only one who knows the secrets her friends have hidden, the mistakes the police have made.
I’m the only one who can warn her she’s still in danger.
I know exactly who attacked her.
He’s the same man who killed me.
I was a huge fan of Colette Mcbeth’s first novel Precious Thing, so I was very excited to receive an advanced copy of her new story “The Life I Left Behind” and if anything it was even better – I read it in about 4 hours, it really was hard to put aside once started.
Told from several points of view – Eve who is dead, Melody who has survived a vicious attack and Victoria the Police Officer in charge of investigating Eve’s murder, it is an emotional and very addictive read with some loveable (and not so much) characters, a terrifically intriguing story and just a little twist in the tale, hearing as we do from the murder victim.
From the very beginning you will get sucked in as Eve is discovered dead and she starts to tell us how it all came to happen. Then enter Melody, who thinks she is hiding her post traumatic stress from her loved ones but maybe is not doing as well as she thinks – she is tied to Eve in ways she cannot yet imagine. Add into the mix Victoria, who starts to question the original conviction in Melody’s case and we are off with a fascinating, poignant and often quite touching tale of a life lost and another hanging in the balance.
There is a mystery element of course – is the same person responsible for both crimes, who is it and why. In a way though this is very much a layer to the story rather than the story itself which is absolutely focussed on the people, the aftermath, how it affects them and explores, almost quietly, themes of grief, loss and the ever changing nature of relationships. Ms McBeth writes with a very haunting prose that can tug on your heartstrings one minute and have you hanging on the edge of your seat the next.
As the separate worlds of Eve and Melody collide you will not be able to stop turning the pages to find out what is next – there is a terrific emotional resonance to knowing that there is nothing to be done for Eve, she was my favourite character and I almost kept wishing that this was a fantasy novel where she could miraculously be brought back to life. Melody invokes a lot of sympathy, her efforts to heal both mind and body are emotionally engaging and realistically based. Sometimes helped by those around her, sometimes hindered, you will root for her all the way.
Overall then a really really excellent read, a tense psychological thriller that also manages to gently pull you along towards the truth of the matter and will give you a lot to ponder along the way about the nature of life, the universe and humanity. Highly Recommended.
Find out more here: http://www.colettemcbeth.com/
Follow the author on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/colettemcbeth
Happy Reading Folks!