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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Before You Die
Until You're Mine by Samantha Hayes was my favourite read of 2013, I raved about it to anyone who would listen all year, so when I spotted this on Netgalley, I just had to snap it up there and then. I approached it with anticipation - would it live up to my expectations? The answer is, not quite but very very nearly, say 99%. Until You're Mine was just so good, that this...
Published 11 months ago by ElaineG

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Domestic Noir
D.I. Lorraine Fisher, one of the characters from the excellent Until You’re Mine, returns to her home town, Radcote, to visit her recently separated sister Jo and her nephew Freddie. What happens next means that the policewoman isn’t in for much of a holiday. The town had been shocked by a spate of teenage suicides eighteen months previously and so when a...
Published 11 months ago by C. Bannister


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Domestic Noir, 24 April 2014
By 
C. Bannister (Jersey, CI) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Before You Die (Kindle Edition)
D.I. Lorraine Fisher, one of the characters from the excellent Until You’re Mine, returns to her home town, Radcote, to visit her recently separated sister Jo and her nephew Freddie. What happens next means that the policewoman isn’t in for much of a holiday. The town had been shocked by a spate of teenage suicides eighteen months previously and so when a young homeless man, Dean, complete with suicide note is found dead after a motorcycle crash the tension rises as the community closes in on itself not wanting a repeat of the past.

Lorraine and her youngest daughter, Stella are transported to a household on the edge, Freddie is depressed and distant from his mother, even the delectable Lana not enough to make him venture outside his bedroom and Lorraine is at a loss on how to help, especially as her sister’s reckless affair with a local man, has in her opinion, created some of the outcome.

At the centre of the tale is the Hope Homeless Shelter where Sonia Hawkeswell, mother to Lana and whose son Simon had been found hanged during that dreadful time where the town lost so many of its young, helps to run while simultaneously urging her daughter on to become a doctor. Living with them in a converted barn is her autistic Brother-in-Law Gil who is a gifted artist. When Lorraine meets Gil who shows her a picture she begins to realise that the local Police may not have carried out a diligent investigation into the bike crash and with the help of her husband Adam, she is keen to show them the errors of their ways.

So the cast are assembled, the clues numerous and sometimes misleading and the grief unending which for me was one of the elements that made this book harder to read than some of Samantha Hayes previous books. Grief-stricken characters when realistically portrayed are hard to reach and I just didn’t connect with some of the main characters which caused less tension than I would have liked, although there are plenty of other themes that are explored including; on-line bullying, homelessness, relationships of all kinds and secrets.

I received an advance review copy of this book in return for my honest opinion from the publishers, Random House UK.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Don't Bother, 4 July 2014
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This review is from: Before You Die (Kindle Edition)
I don't think I will finish this one its just so boring.. I have just read Me Before You by JoJo Moyes and then Keep your Friends Close by Paula Daly both absolutely brilliant books and those 2 novels are both 5 star.Its a shame because I have read Samantha Hayes before and really enjoyed her work.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I loved Samantha Hayes previous novel Until Your Mine and was ..., 15 Aug. 2014
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This review is from: Before You Die (Kindle Edition)
I loved Samantha Hayes previous novel Until Your Mine and was looking forward to reading her next...I was so disappointed. This book was snoozeville, I did finish it on the hope that it would improve but sadly it didn't. We were introduced to Lorraine Fisher in the previous book but she just didn't seem as interesting in this book. I thought the story was far retched.. Fisher is on holiday visiting her sister for 1 week and murders/suicide/deaths occur. I didn't particulary warm to any of the characters apart from Gil.
Overall a disappointing read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Before You Die, 24 April 2014
By 
ElaineG (uk) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Before You Die (Kindle Edition)
Until You're Mine by Samantha Hayes was my favourite read of 2013, I raved about it to anyone who would listen all year, so when I spotted this on Netgalley, I just had to snap it up there and then. I approached it with anticipation - would it live up to my expectations? The answer is, not quite but very very nearly, say 99%. Until You're Mine was just so good, that this novel was always going to be compared in relation to it, and although it is a very good read in its own right, it just doesn't quite match up to its predecessor by a smidgeon. Having said that, rather like Elizabeth Haynes and Into The Darkest Corner, anything that Samantha Hayes writes from now on will probably be compared automatically to Until You're Mine.

We see a lot more of Lorraine Fisher in this book, which I really enjoyed. I felt I got to know her as a person much more and, I have to say, I really look forward to reading more about her. This book is less psychological and more crime fiction with a very complex plot line, but is still tense and full of suspense and you are kept guessing throughout. Again, it is told from different perspectives which really add to that feeling you get when reading it that you don't exactly know who to trust. As a Warwickshire lass myself, I loved the Warwickshire setting, and had fun trying to guess where the author had got her inspiration from for Radcote and Wellesbury, and was quite pleased to see Kenilworth and Leamington Spa featured.

It is gripping and a real page turner. I just had to know what would happen next. The complicated plot lines all come together in the end for an extremely good ending. It was only spoiled for me because, after her last book, I was ready to "expect the unexpected", so I did work out who was responsible but not why and, I have to say, the epilogue really did take me by surprise!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Rushed and flawed..., 16 May 2014
By 
FictionFan (Kirkintilloch, Scotland) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Before You Die (Kindle Edition)
When DI Lorraine Fisher goes for a visit to her sister, taking her younger daughter with her, it's supposed to be a holiday. But this quiet little town in Warwickshire was the scene of a spate of teenage suicides a few years back and it looks like it's all beginning again. And Lorraine's nephew Freddy is showing all the signs of being one of the possible victims...

I really enjoyed Samantha Hayes' Until You're Mine, in which Lorraine first made her appearance. So it was a double disappointment to me to find that this one reads like a first draft. There are so many problems with it, it's hard to know where to begin. Continuity issues - a girl removes her motorcycle helmet then slowly raises her hands to her head, finding it very painful to do so - one has to wonder what she removed her helmet with - her feet? Inaccuracies - a hospital doctor who keeps his patients' notes on an unsecured home laptop? Hardly! Gaping holes - the teenager who hacks past a password control on a computer, with absolutely no indication of how he did it or where he might have acquired this skill. And the forensics people are clearly idiots - they fail to notice minor details like a supposed suicide victim having been given a kicking or that the handwriting on a note might not be that of the person who supposedly wrote it.

But all these flaws could have been dealt with by a proper edit. The real problem with the book lies in the much more serious matter of the characterisation. None of the characters rang true to me, with the possible exception of Lorraine. It was as if they were there purely to serve the plot and were only developed in so far as was necessary for that purpose. So for example, we never find out why the teenage bullying victim is being bullied or by whom - he just has to be bullied so that it is credible to think he might commit suicide. The local police are of course incompetent to allow Lorraine to have an excuse to butt in to the investigation. One character is made to appear so ridiculously over-the-top creepy it's like watching the villain at a pantomime - I felt an urgent desire to shout 'he's behind you' every time he appeared. And the obligatory autistic character, without whom no novel would be complete these days, is so badly written that he comes over as a cross between Boo Radley and Frankenstein's monster (but without the charm). Again the problem with this character is that he is there to fit the plot rather than vice versa, so sometimes he has to be intelligent and sometimes he has to have the mind of a five-year-old; sometimes he has to be scary and bad, and other times he has to be loving and protective. It's possible to have a character that contradictory, but only if it's handled with a great deal of subtlety and sadly in this case it isn't.

Add to these problems a plot that edges over the credulity line, and it's hard to find much to recommend, I'm afraid. The whole book reads as if it's been rushed into print to capitalise on the success of Until You're Mine, and as a result hasn't had the polishing that could have turned this untidy and flawed book into something much, much better. The basic skills are all there, the detective is a likeable one, there's some originality in the plotting, and because of these things I may read the author's next book. But I will be sincerely hoping that a bit more time is taken, by author and publisher both, to ensure that it comes out in a more finished form.

NB This book was provided for review by the publisher, Random House Cornerstone.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Didn't blow me away, 4 Jun. 2014
This review is from: Before You Die (Hardcover)
I hadn’t read the first in this series ‘Until your Mine’ but apart from the odd reference to Lorraine’s eldest daughter, who I understand featured prominently in the first book, I don’t think it matters. The story stands alone and the synopsis sounded very interesting. A town, still recovering from a spate of teenage suicides, is thrown back into confusion when two more teenage boys commit suicide. So far so good and overall for me it was a good read.
However there were a couple of issues. I love multiple viewpoint novels I find them gripping and intriguing as a reader trying to work out who is the reliable narrator and who is lying to me. I don’t therefore understand why you’d write a multiple viewpoint novel and have the majority of it in the third person. Yes we were given Gil’s first person sections and an epilogue and prologue in first person but for me the novel would have been much better written like this in its entirety.
My other niggle (and it is just a niggle, I’m being picky) is the killer’s motive for their first murder (trying not to give spoilers here). Taking everything into account would they really have committed cold blooded murder? I can’t really say anymore without ruining the book for those who haven’t read it but I found the motive a bit unrealistic but maybe that’s just me.
Overall I found it a good, fast read. It was a good idea and created enough confusion that the reader couldn’t work out the plot until pretty near the end (well I couldn’t anyway). I may well go back and check out the first in the series.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Police procedural, 14 Mar. 2015
This review is from: Before You Die (Paperback)
TRIGGER WARNINGS: Suicide, hate-crime.

Samantha Hayes's previous novel, UNTIL YOU'RE MINE, is fabulous. Family-based paranoia, its creepiness is very affective. But what makes it so good is that it mostly focuses on ordinary people, who AREN'T in law enforcement and investigation. Mostly.

Thus what makes UNTIL YOU'RE MINE stand out from the crowd is unfortunately missing here. I enjoyed meeting Detective Inspector Lorraine Fisher and her family back then, and I still like Lorraine here in BEFORE YOU DIE. Often faced with other police members' incompetence or carelessness, she strides in and takes over - because someone has to, and since no one else seems to have bothered, it's up to Lorraine. (Really, how is Burnley still employed?)

Yes, BEFORE YOU DIE is family-based paranoia like its predecessor, and it still has a twist for the very last chapter. But because it mainly focuses on Lorraine's family, it just doesn't have the same appeal as the first book. It's still well-written and engaging, but the series seems now in police-procedural territory...and thus difficult to stand out from all the other police procedurals on the crime shelves.

The third novel in the series is being released shortly, and I look forward to reading it. And though I really like Lorraine, I hope this new novel will regain what made the first book so fabulous.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars a mixed reception from me, 21 Jun. 2014
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This review is from: Before You Die (Kindle Edition)
Very disappointing for the first half,felt very dated as one of the main characters was such a cardboard type figure. Picked up a lot towards the final chapters with an exciting but muddled finish.I almost gave up on the book at the half way point though.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Teen terrors, 7 Aug. 2014
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This review is from: Before You Die (Hardcover)
TWO kids are haring along on a stolen motorbike which winds up inevitably wrapped round a tree. The boy and the bike are write-offs, the girl lives but does a runner.

This takes place in a town which is only just getting over a spate of teen suicides, so when a note written by the lad is found, the worst is feared. It doesn’t help when a down-and-out tops himself and adds to the puzzle.

In the tradition of British mysteries Det Insp Lorraine Fisher happens to be in town visiting relatives and is soon on the case since her nephew is shaping up to be a prime candidate for the morgue. And after she and the reader feast on red herrings we all get to wondering if these suicides are maybe something even nastier.

A corking read featuring a cop you’ll warm to.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Before You Die, 1 Aug. 2014
This review is from: Before You Die (Kindle Edition)
I enjoyed Until You're Mine so I was delighted to receive this latest release by Samantha Heyes.
One of my favourite genres is the psychological thriller and I have read some fantastic books this year alone. Before You Die was another brilliant book, I quickly became immersed in this gripping story and ended up having a couple of late nights because I wanted to find out more and it certainly kept me guessing right to the end. Would definitely recommend this book and I can't wait to read more by Samantha Hayes.
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Before You Die
Before You Die by Samantha Hayes
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