It has taken nearly two years for the Warwickshire village of Radcote to put a spate of teenage suicides behind it.
Then a young man is killed in a freak motorbike accident, and a suicide note is found among his belongings. A second homeless boy takes his own life, this time on the railway tracks.
Is history about to repeat itself?
DI Lorraine Fisher has just arrived for a relaxing summer break with her sister. Soon she finds herself caught up in the resulting police enquiry. And when her nephew disappears she knows she must act quickly.
Are the recent deaths suicide - or murder?
And is the nightmare beginning again?
At times I felt the plot moved a bit too slowly for my liking and I wanted more drama, although I am aware that any psychological thriller worth its salt needs to pace itself. The characters, and there were quite a few main players, all had interesting qualities which enriched the parts of the book where there was less plot development. I particularly enjoyed learning more about DI Lorraine Fisher, one of the characters from Hayes' previous book, and hope there will be more of her to come.
I had guessed the twist prior to the end, but probably not until 2/3rds of the way through, and even having a hunch about how things would pan out didn't spoil my enjoyment. Hayes write in a manner that causes you to second guess yourself all the time, suspecting everyone! When a plot is well woven, it doesn't always need to surprise you to take your breath away.
Before You Die isn't always an easy read, and at times explicitly gruesome. If you enjoyed TV dramas Broadchurch and Prey, or books such as Elizabeth Haynes' bestsellers, I'm sure you'll be enraptured by Before You Die. High quality suspense which made my heart pound and my mouth go dry.
Before You Die is out now.
With thanks to the publisher for providing me with a copy in return for an honest review.