Book Title: If I Die Tonight
Author: Alison Gaylin
Genres: Mystery, Suspense, Thriller, Fiction
Published: March 6th 2018 by William Morrow Paperbacks
Late one night in the quiet Hudson Valley town of Havenkill, a distraught woman stumbles into the police station—and lives are changed forever.
Aimee En, once a darling of the ’80s pop music scene, claims that a teenage boy stole her car, then ran over another young man who’d rushed to help.
As Liam Miller’s life hangs in the balance, the events of that fateful night begin to come into focus. But is everything as it seems?
The case quickly consumes social media, transforming Liam, a local high school football star, into a folk hero, and the suspect, a high school outcast named Wade Reed, into a depraved would-be killer. But is Wade really guilty? And if he isn’t, why won’t he talk?
Told from a kaleidoscope of viewpoints—Wade’s mother Jackie, his younger brother Connor, Aimee En and Pearl Maze, a young police officer with a tragic past, If I Die Tonight is a story of family ties and dark secrets—and the lengths we’ll go to protect ourselves.
Wow, this was quite the rollercoaster ride! I actually think this would be a good way to describe this read as its suspenseful accent peaked for me, drops halfway through and peaked again to its conclusion. IF I DIE TONIGHT sent me through such an array of emotions throughout this dark and very thought-provoking read. It was a slow burn that took me about ten chapters before my attention was on this book and this book alone. At which point it picked up and resulted in a satisfying ending with a very important message.
I didn’t find myself relating to the characters in this story, but they were all well rounded and believable. The only character I had a major distaste for was Amiee En. She just rubbed me in all the wrong ways and her priorities seemed very skewed. Amiee may not have been intended to be a villain and yet to me, she was. I also did not fully grasp the reasoning behind some of the characters backstories, such an Amiee’s husband or Pearl’s childhood. I just felt a huge lack in understanding what this brought to the story.
I really enjoyed that this was a nice blend of family drama with a hint of police procedural, without being overdone. And while I was always two chapters ahead of all the twists, it was still a very enjoyable and compelling story. Alison Gaylin has written a timely story touching on so many topics we see in the headlines. I couldn’t help but often be reminded of the bullying nature that social media possesses and this really does a good job of opening your eyes to this reality and the severe reality of trolling/bullying.
Many thanks to Alison Gaylin and William Morrow Paperbacks for an advanced reader’s copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.