Judith D Collins
What You Left Behind
By: Samantha Hayes
Publisher: Crown Publishing
Publication Date: 4/14/2015
My Rating: 4.5 Stars
A mesmerizing new thriller from the author of Until You're Mine Two years after a terrifying spate of teenage suicides, the remote village of Radcote has just begun to heal. Then a young man is killed in a freak motorcycle accident and a suicide note is found among his belongings. When a second boy is found dead shortly thereafter, the nightmare of repeat suicides once again threatens the community. Desperate for a vacation, Detective Inspector Lorraine Fisher has just come to Radcote for a stay with her sister, Jo, but the atmosphere of the country house is unusually tense. Freddie, Jo's son, seems troubled and uncommunicative, and Jo is struggling to reach out to him. Meanwhile, Lorraine becomes determined to discover the truth behind these deaths. Are they suicides, or is there something more sinister at work? Finding answers might help Freddie, but they'll also lead to a shocking truth: whatever it is--or whoever it is--that's killing these young people is far more disturbing than she ever could have imagined, and unraveling the secret is just as dangerous as the secret itself. Wicked, intense, and utterly compulsive, What You Left Behind confirms Samantha Hayes as a top thriller writer.
A special thank you to Crown Publishing for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Also purchased the audiobook version. Samantha Hayes delivers a cleverly twisted, and evil psychological suspense thriller WHAT YOU LEFT BEHIND,a multi-layered riveting mystery, keeping you glued to the pages of this whodunit—and an array of colorful suspects, as we race to see how they are connected. Set in Radcote, as the book opens (one month earlier), there is a person riding on the back of a motorcycle, referred to as “I”. Readers are kept in the dark as to the identity. As they round the corner of Devil’s Mile, there is an accident, the bike crashes, now a man is dead. To cover up the accident, it was set up like a suicide with a note. The ”I” knows he/she will be arrested, they stole the bike, the I was drinking, driving, and now this man is dead. I picked up the helmet. There was a car approaching, and I vanished. In this town, they previously experienced six teen suicides in two weeks, two years ago. There are a number of characters introduced, so make sure and pay attention, as I found myself turning back to keep them all straight. However, are these straightforward suicides? British Detective Inspector Lorraine Fisher from Birmingham is taking her daughter Stella, for a visit to her hometown of Radcote to stay with her sister, Jo, for a much needed vacation. Jo has always called her sister, restless and she never seemed satisfied. Jo has recently separated from her husband, Malcom and she has taken on a lover. Her teenage son Freddie, appears somewhat troubled, lately. Little do they know he is being threatened and bullied with continuous texts, and someone is urging him to kill himself; the shame is keeping him silent; he cannot tell anyone. His mom is concerned he may be hurting himself. How could Freddie tell what he had seen? Jo’s friend Sonia, is a volunteer at a local homeless shelter who son, committed suicide. Her daughter Lana is a friend of Freddie’s. When Lorraine becomes more involved in the case, she knows the authorities will not be able to solve the case in the same way she will, so no vacation – as she immerses herself in work. However, how could two lads commit suicide from the same homeless shelter and what about the second person on the motorbike? There is Dean, Lenny, and Simon and could Freddie be next? Gil is another mysterious character. Lana’s autistic uncle who expresses himself in weird drawings. Gil could have witnessed something and there is Frank a creepy man who works at the homeless shelter. Gil’s drawing appears to be about a gruesome motorcycle accident. Dean was Gil’s best friend and he could have seen who was with him on the motorbike, but who will believe someone with ASD? While Jo is trying to figure out what is going on with Freddie’s behavior, Lorraine is desperate to solve the mystery of the deaths, which may not be suicides and cop hubby joins the investigation. Now another boy from New Hope. There have been thirty-seven suicides in the county in the last year. In addition to being a gripping crime thriller, the author incorporated some good cop procedures, mixed with the mystery and psychological aspects, with twists and turns, leaving you guessing which character can be trusted. Just when you think you have it figured out, boom another bomb is dropped. While I received an ARC, I had already pre-ordered the audiobook. I love British narrators, as find them quite intriguing, and fascinating. Gil's part was excellent-With the electronic reading copy, plus the audiobook, narrated by Anna Bentinck; double the pleasure; for an engaging and riveting suspense mystery- Highly Recommend. Having heard rave reviews of Until You’re Mine (DCI Lorraine Fisher #1) have just purchased audiobook; look forward to listening/reading!
About the Author
I grew up in the Midlands with my parents and younger brother. I always wanted to be a writer and pestered for my first typewriter when I was ten. It wasn’t a clear-cut path to my dream career and it took several decades longer to get there than I’d anticipated. But along the way I had many experiences, met a host of intriguing people, lived in several continents, met my husband, and had my three beautiful children.
Over the years I’ve worked as a private investigator, bar maid, car cleaner, fruit picker, accounts clerk, nursery nurse, waitress…and I learnt to fly a plane before I could drive a car because for a while I wanted to be a pilot.
I travelled the world and spent an eye-opening time living on a kibbutz, where, having always written as a child and teenager, I was inspired to write longer fiction. After some more backpacking and a stint living in London, I moved to Australia for three years, got married, and had a glorious time in Brisbane and Melbourne.
Between 1991 and 1998 I had my children. We lived in the UK and the USA, where my youngest daughter was born. After Seattle, we returned to England, finally settling back in my home county of Warwickshire, where we’ve since renovated several old houses. Follow her Website Twitter