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  • Writer's pictureJudith D Collins

When I'm Dead

A Black Harbor Novel #3

Narrators: Andrew Eiden, Caitlin Kelly,

Gary Tiedemann, Xe Sands

Macmillan Audio

ISBN: 9781250872340

Publisher: St. Martin's Press, Minotaur Books

Publication Date: 10/31/2023

Format: Other

My Rating: 4 Stars (ARC)

One girl murdered. Another one missing. And a medical examiner desperate to uncover the truth in the latest Black Harbor mystery by acclaimed author Hannah Morrissey.

On a bone-chilling October night, Medical Examiner Rowan Winthorp investigates the death of her daughter’s best friend. Hours later, the tragedy hits even closer to home when she makes a devastating discovery—her daughter, Chloe, is gone. But, not without a trace.

A morbid mosaic of clues forces Rowan and her husband to question how deeply they really knew their daughter. As they work closely to peel back the layers of this case, they begin to unearth disturbing details about Chloe and her secret transgressions…details that threaten to tear them apart.

Amidst the noise of navigating her newfound grief and reconciling the sins of her past, an undeniable fact rings true for Rowan: karma has finally come to collect.


My Review

Hannah Morrissey returns following The Widowmaker with the third in the Black Harbor series— WHEN I'M DEAD. A dark, gritty, atmospheric, and gripping domestic crime thriller around a family in crisis and gets darker from there.

The book opens with, "You'll love me more when I'm dead."

Rowan Winthrop is the town's medical examiner, and her husband, Axel, is a homicide detective.

Both, of course, have demanding jobs, and their teen daughter, Chloe, does not like it. She is resentful, moody, and dresses gothic to get into character.

The last straw was when her parents were called away during a performance at school. She was instructed to get a ride home with a neighbor, but she decided to walk home in the dark.

What she does not realize is that her parents are investigating the brutal murder of Madison, one of Chloe's friends.

Now Chloe is missing. The parents are distraught as the last words while crying when they leave, "You'll love me more when I'm dead."

Now, one girl is dead, and another is missing?

Madison Caldwell is dead, and Chloe Winthrop is missing. In a little neighborhood of 67 residents, it is unnerving. Also, there is something more complex and sinister at play.

Told from alternating POVs: Rowan, Axel, Libby (the next-door neighbor's socially awkward daughter), who is bullied at school, and a few with Eddie (teacher).

Rowan knows her livelihood resolves about the deaths of others. And in Black Harbor, it seems to be the only thing of which there is no shortage.

Atmospheric and haunting, it is approaching Halloween, which adds to the menace, eeriness, suspense, drama, emotions, and a town everyone wants to escape.

Does Rowan and Axel know their daughter? Is she a killer?

How many nights had they left her alone in the house so they could work a crime scene? For years, they've buried their heads in depthless piles of other people's problems, and they failed to notice the trouble that brewed at home.

Will Rowan and Axel be able to save their daughter before it is too late?

Heart-pounding, with a list of suspects, the author keeps you guessing until the explosive conclusion. Black Harbor is a claustrophobic, dying industrial town, and the author does a great job creating a creepy, bone-chilling atmosphere.

Ideal for those who enjoy dark crime suspense, cop procedurals, and haunting Halloween novels.

Thanks to Minotaur Books and NetGalley for a digital advanced reading copy.

@JudithDCollins | #JDCMustReadBooks

My Rating: 4 Stars

Pub Date: Oct 31, 2023


"A visceral thriller." ―Kirkus Reviews

"Of all the books this month, this one, plot-driven to the max, is the supreme page turner; When I’m Dead is nigh-on impossible to put down."

―BookPage (starred)

"When I’m Dead is bone-chilling. Read it while hugging a pillow to your chest."

―Crime Reads

"A well-crafted, heart pounding thriller sure to keep readers on the edge of their seats." ―Mystery & Suspense

"This haunting murder mystery has everything: gothic overtones, gruesome murders, a psycho killer, dysfunctional families, teen angst, sex, and plenty of shocking twists."


"A dark and twisted tale of love, loss, regret and revenge, When I'm Dead is Hannah Morrissey at her best."

―Stacy Willingham, New York Times bestselling author

"When I'm Dead is a must-read from the dark and emotionally compelling Black Harbor series." ―Vanessa Lillie

About the Author

Photo Credit: Tracy Koeper | Hungry Heart Photography

Hannah Morrissey is the author of the Black Harbor suspense series which includes Hello, Transcriber, The Widowmaker (2022), and When I’m Dead (2023). A three-decade survivor of Wisconsin winters, Hannah enjoys putting her characters (and readers) in bone-chilling atmospheres that permeate beyond the page. Naturally, her books have carved out their own sub-genre of “Midwestern Noir.”

Between roles of bookseller and copywriter, Hannah was inspired to write her debut novel while transcribing reports for her local police department. Far from home in a grim, crime-ridden city, it was her job to sit alone in the dead of night, listen, and type as detectives divulged the city’s darkest secrets. There, she realized that every case was a story, and every story started with the same two words: “Hello, Transcriber.”

Hannah graduated from the University of Wisconsin - Madison where she majored in English with an emphasis in Creative Writing. She grew up in a small northern town and now lives near Milwaukee with her husband who leads the detective bureau, three pugs who sleep beside her while she writes, and a TBR pile that never seems to get any smaller. WEBSITE







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