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  • Writer's pictureJudith D Collins

The Life I Left Behind

ISBN: 9781250041210
Publisher: St. Martin's Press/Minotaur
Publication Date: 2/24/2015
Format: Other
My Rating: 4.5 Stars
Six years ago, Melody Pieterson was attacked and left for dead. Only a chance encounter with a dog walker saved her life. Melody's neighbor and close friend David Alden was found guilty of the crime and imprisoned, and the attack and David's betrayal of her friendship left Melody a different person.
She no longer trusts her own judgment, she no longer trusts her friends. In fact, she no longer really has any friends. She’s built a life behind walls and gates and security codes; she’s cloistered herself away from the world almost entirely.
And then, soon after David is released from prison, Eve Elliot is murdered in an attack almost identical to Melody’s. With the start of a new police investigation, Melody is suddenly pulled from her ordered, secluded life and back into the messy world around her. But as she learns more about Eve's murder, Melody starts to wonder if perhaps David hadn’t betrayed her after all...if perhaps the killer is someone else entirely, someone who’s still out there, preparing to strike again.
Narrated alternately by Melody and by Eve’s lingering ghost, The Life I Left Behind is a taut thriller and an intimate look at two young women bound together in ways neither of them could ever have predicted. Colette McBeth has proven once again that she is a master of suspense.

My Review

A special thank you to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Colette McBeth’s psychological thriller THE LIFE I LEFT BEHIND will keep you glued to the pages until end, with this suspenseful crime mystery of two women.
Told from three perspectives and voices there is Eve, a murder victim, and Melody who was left for dead by Eve’s attacker from previous years, and detective Victoria Rutter, the investigating officer on Melody’s case, along with some secondary characters.
Over six years ago Melody was attacked and left for dead. She was found and her close friend and neighbor David was found guilty and put away in prison. Melody was devastated, and soon thereafter grew very untrustworthy of everyone and built a shell around herself with security systems and quite the recluse.
Then David was released, from prison and Eve was murdered very similar to the same way Melody was attacked and a new investigation started. Is David killing again or a copycat? Even though Melody lives the life of seclusion, now she is forced to be in the center of the investigation and possibly David was not the real killer? If not, whom and when will they strike next? Who can she trust?
What happened to the original investigation and was David set up? The similarities between the two gals are creepy, as both blonde and slender and both with a necklace. How are the two connected?
A gripping crime thriller, leaving you guessing until the end. Of course, Eve is dead but we still from her and there is much emotional drama and intensity from all three voices. Readers also experience the fear and anxiety from Melody with her PTSD, as she tries to appear cool on the outside, when she is not after spending time shut away in her haven. Her journey to finding her way back before the tragic event in her life, so the emotional intensity is there.
I really enjoyed reading THE LIFE I LEFT BEHIND, better than the first book, Precious Thing, as listened to the audiobook, so may not have been wild about the narrator. This was was more of a page-turner and hard to put down, in my opinion.
I liked the storyline much better as more of a true fast-paced crime thriller and allowed for the writer to shine through her well-paced writing and nicely developed characters with many twists and turns to keep you intrigued until the end with the different voices, adding to the mystery. Look forward to reading more from this author!
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