I have wanted to read Alison Gaylin’s novels for quite some time but just hadn’t had the opportunity. After reading the description for “If I Die Tonight”, I was really intrigued, and couldn’t wait to get started.
The book opens with a Facebook post on Jacqueline (Jackie) Reed’s account. But the message isn’t written by her…it’s written by her teenage son, Wade.
“By the time you read this, I’ll be dead”
Five days earlier….
Jackie Reed thinks she’s losing touch with her boys. They are turning into men right before her eyes. 13-year-old, Connor his voice cracking in the midst of puberty and 17-year-old, Wade with his newly dyed black hair and unreadable face. She feels like they shut her out of their lives. Then Jackie accidentally sees a text on Wade’s phone that worries her. She wants to talk to him but it’s already late and he’s probably asleep.
“They made it so you couldn’t know them anymore. They made it so you couldn’t help”
The next morning she can’t find Wade. She asks her son, Connor where Wade is, but Connor is vague with his answers. She convinces herself that everything is okay.
And then the doorbell rings…it’s the police
Connor Reed tries to convince himself that he didn’t lie to his mother. Leaving out stuff isn’t the same as lying. Connor thinks about last night. His brother in his room in the middle of the night…
“I can trust you, right Buddy?”
Police officer, Pearl Maze had been working the night shift when a woman burst into the station, crying hysterically.
“There’s been an accident”
A local teenager, Liam Miller was rushed to the hospital after being run over by a car that was carjacked by another teenager. The woman who owns the car tells police that Liam helped her and then tried to stop the other person from taking her car. She says Liam is a hero. But who was driving the car that hit him?
Word travels fast in a small town and soon everyone is talking about what happened. Things like this don’t happen in Havenkill. Many are positive they know who committed this crime.
But are they right?
Social media explodes with theories and threats. This accident will change the lives of many of the residents of Havenkill.
So many secrets so many lies!
I really enjoyed this interesting and thought-provoking novel. It drew me in from the first page. I thought the characters were well-developed and relatable. I really liked how the author used social media in addition to the multiple viewpoints of the characters. Facebook and Instagram comments and posts added to the story, increasing the tension and suspense.
I thought I had things all figured out. I may have been right about a few things but there were some things I NEVER saw coming. So many great characters…heroes and villains, each with their own interesting story-lines. The last few chapters are emotional and filled with tension until the truth is finally revealed. Although I wish there was a little more detail in regards to a couple of characters, overall I was more than satisfied how everything came together in the end.
“If I Die Tonight” was an exciting and well-paced psychological thriller driven by fascinating characters and a fantastic plot. I am really looking forward to reading more from Alison Gaylin.
I’d like to thank William Morrow for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my honest review.