Friday, November 23, 2018

If I Die Tonight A Taut, Quietly Compelling Thriller

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

When Aimee En, a washed-out 80s pop star, rushes into the Havenkill Police Department raving about a car-jacking, Officer Pearl Maze isn't sure what to think.  The hysterical former celebrity is telling a tale that doesn't make any sense—not just because things like this don't happen in sleepy Havenkill, but also because the woman's story is full of gaping holes.  All Pearl knows is that the 17-year-old boy who tried to stop the robbery is dead.  Another high schooler, an outcast the other kids call "Weird Wade", is being accused on social media of causing the whole thing.  Guilty or not, Wade isn't talking.  It's obvious all the parties involved know more than they're letting on.  What really happened that night?  It's up to Pearl to find out.    

If I Die Tonight, a psychological thriller by Alison Gaylin, asks a chilling question:  How well can you ever know another person?  Even your own child?  In this novel about the secrets we all keep, the main characters grapple with this baffling conundrum.  Told from various viewpoints, this character-driven novel offers an intriguing premise, taut plotting, and enough twists to keep the reader guessing.  If I Die Tonight isn't the flashiest mystery in the world, but it is quietly compelling and thoroughly engrossing.  I enjoyed the read and will definitely read more books by the very skilled Alison Gaylin.

(Readalikes:  Hm, nothing is coming to mind.  Suggestions?)

Grade:


If this were a movie, it would be rated:


for language (a dozen or so F-bombs, plus milder expletives), violence, and disturbing subject matter

To the FTC, with love:  Another library fine find

3 comments:

  1. Sounds like a book I would enjoy. I like various view points and when a story keeps me guessing.

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  2. It’s been difficult to navigate through all the psychological thrillers around now. Thank goodness for book reviews like yours. This one has been added to my list.

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  3. I like the idea of lots of secrets, thank you for bringing this one to my attention.

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