Title: What You Left Behind by Samantha Hayes
DCI Lorraine Fisher Series Book Two
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery/Suspense
Length: 322 pages
Book Rating: B
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
A mesmerizing new thriller from the author of Until You’re Mine
Two years after a terrifying spate of teenage suicides, the remote village of Radcote has just begun to heal. Then a young man is killed in a freak motorcycle accident and a suicide note is found among his belongings. When a second boy is found dead shortly thereafter, the nightmare of repeat suicides once again threatens the community.
Desperate for a vacation, Detective Inspector Lorraine Fisher has just come to Radcote for a stay with her sister, Jo, but the atmosphere of the country house is unusually tense. Freddie, Jo’s son, seems troubled and uncommunicative, and Jo is struggling to reach out to him. Meanwhile, Lorraine becomes determined to discover the truth behind these deaths. Are they suicides, or is there something more sinister at work? Finding answers might help Freddie, but they’ll also lead to a shocking truth: whatever it is–or whoever it is–that’s killing these young people is far more disturbing than she ever could have imagined, and unraveling the secret is just as dangerous as the secret itself.
Wicked, intense, and utterly compulsive, What You Left Behind confirms Samantha Hayes as a top thriller writer.
What You Left Behind by Samantha Hayes is an intriguing whodunit that fans of British police procedurals are going to LOVE. Unexpected twists and turns, a large suspect pool and lack of a clear motive make it virtually impossible to guess the perpetrator’s identity. Although it is the second installment of the DCI Lorraine Fisher series, the novel can be read as a standalone.
Detective Chief Inspector Lorraine Fisher’s vacation is anything but relaxing when she finds herself embroiled in a perplexing mystery while visiting her sister Jo. Immediately upon arrival, she learns distressing news about Jo’s marriage but most shocking are the changes in her nephew Freddie. He is withdrawn, moody and refuses to accompany the rest of the family on excursions. It is soon clear that something is deeply troubling him, but he refuses to reveal what that something is. Jo is deeply concerned about her son because eighteen months earlier, a cluster of teen suicides rocked their small village and the recent death of a homeless youth, Dean Watts, was also ruled a suicide. Her fears are compounded when another young man takes his own life and Jo grows increasingly alarmed about Freddie’s state of mind.
Although Lorraine is also worried about Freddie, she is enjoying her visit with Jo until she receives a disturbing picture that leads her to look a little deeper in Dean’s death. While she is at the local police station, the death of another young man is reported and she goes with the lead detective, DCI Burnley, to the crime scene. She quickly sees evidence that foul play might be involved and knowing that Burnley is known to cut corners, she cannot resist investigating on her own. Lorraine’s husband Adam joins her and just as they are beginning to sort through the clues, Freddie vanishes and they are pulled in two different directions as they continue trying to make sense of the prior deaths while at the same time searching for Freddie.
Freddie’s story arc is as fascinating as it is frustrating. For reasons that are never quite clear, he absolutely refuses to discuss what is causing his extreme distress and he continues to spiral deeper into hopelessness and despair. Things become even more complicated for Freddie when he tries to help a friend and he unwittingly puts himself in danger.
While the pacing of What You Left Behind is a little slow, it is an overall compelling novel. The storyline is quite suspenseful and Samantha Hayes’ clever plot twists and red herrings keep readers guessing how this terrific mystery will end. A jaw dropping revelation ties up all of the loose ends and brings the mystery to a stunning conclusion. It is an excellent addition to the DCI Lorraine Fisher series that old and new fans do not want to miss.