18 August 2018

Just Before I Died

Psychological Thriller

By S. K. Tremayne

Paperback 384 pages
Publisher HarperCollins (23rd May 2019)
ISBN-13 978-0008105914

‘JUST BEFORE I DIED is a fantastic read that weaves an eerie spell around the reader. It does for Dartmoor what THE DRY does for the Outback.’ Cass Green

📕My review

Kath awakens from a coma to discover she's been in a car crash which almost claimed her life. Suffering from severe memory loss, she's unable to recall events leading up to the accident. Horrified to learn it was a failed suicide attempt and unwilling to accept life had become so unbearable, she searches for the truth. Who is the mysterious man on the moor and why is he watching? Kath's family is now in grave danger.

Just Before I Died is a creepy and atmospheric psychological thriller set on Dartmoor in the remote English countryside. The author paints a vivid picture of a bleak and windswept landscape where winters are long and life is harsh.

Whilst the plot was excellent, it could be argued the pacing suffered at times due to the detailed descriptions, but, on the other hand, the descriptions are what sets this book apart. Finding the right balance to suit every reader would be an almost impossible task.

As the book progressed, so did my growing sense of unease; something here was terribly wrong. I was gripped and slowly sinking into a murky puddle of family secrets and betrayal. The twists and turns were brilliantly executed and the final reveal was oh so shockingly good! This book is definitely a slow burner but deserving of a place on anyone's shelf.           

My thanks to S. K. Tremayne, NetGalley and HarperCollins for providing a copy of this book.

Barnsey's Books Rating 

📗The Blurb

Why did you do that to me Mummy, don’t you love me?

Kath lives with her husband Adam and daughter Lyla in a desolate stone longhouse deep in Dartmoor National Park. She likes her life – the moors are beautiful, if bleak – and she counts herself as happy, even if they struggle with money, and work, and her daughter's shyness.

But one day Kath wakes up from a coma, with a vague memory of a near-fatal car accident. She hugs her daughter close, likewise her husband Adam. But there’s something wrong. Adam seems furious with her and Lyla is acting evermore strangely. They should be delighted to see her alive, snatched from certain death. But they won't meet her gaze…

Then Kath learns that the car crash wasn't an accident, and her whole life collapses into a world of panic, and danger…

📘The Author

Tom Knox is the pseudonym of British writer and journalist Sean Thomas. Born in Devon, England in 1963, he studied Philosophy at University College London. As a journalist he has written for the Times, the Daily Mail, the Sunday Times, and the Guardian. In 2013 he became a blogger and commentator for the Daily Telegraph in the UK. When he writes under the name of Tom Knox, he specialises in archaeological and religious thrillers. More recently he has written novels under the pseudonym S. K. Tremayne.

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