Published by Minotaur Books on Feb 24, 2015
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Mystery
Format: eARC from Netgalley
Find the book: Amazon, Goodreads
Six years ago, Melody Pieterson was attacked and left for dead. Only a chance encounter with a dog walker saved her life. Melody's neighbor and close friend David Alden was found guilty of the crime and imprisoned, and the attack and David's betrayal of her friendship left Melody a different person. She no longer trusts her own judgment, she no longer trusts her friends. In fact, she no longer really has any friends. She’s built a life behind walls and gates and security codes; she’s cloistered herself away from the world almost entirely.
And then, soon after David is released from prison, Eve Elliot is murdered in an attack almost identical to Melody’s. With the start of a new police investigation, Melody is suddenly pulled from her ordered, secluded life and back into the messy world around her. But as she learns more about Eve's murder, Melody starts to wonder if perhaps David hadn’t betrayed her after all...if perhaps the killer is someone else entirely, someone who’s still out there, preparing to strike again.
Narrated alternately by Melody and by Eve’s lingering ghost, The Life I Left Behind is a taut thriller and an intimate look at two young women bound together in ways neither of them could ever have predicted. Colette McBeth has proven once again that she is a master of suspense.
I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
This was a difficult book to read, mostly due to the overwhelmingly depressing feel of Melody’s narration. Her constant sorrow, terror and depression come through so strongly that it’s hard not to feel those emotions pulling at you. It’s not really a bad thing because that is a good sign of excellent writing, but it does still make the book a more difficult read.
Melody’s narration is interspersed with Eve’s narration, which has a much lighter feel, even though Eve is dead and Melody is still alive. Eve’s voice is solemn, but it has a “moved beyond pain” feel that fits her ghost character quite well.
Looking beyond the feel of the story, the plotline was quite thrilling. There is a mystery angle that while not a great surprise, is laid out in a manner that is easy to read and follow. I was able to guess the murderer’s identity quite easily, but still found the story engrossing enough not to mind.
This is the type of story that does require effort, as there is nothing light about it, but is a very worthwhile read. Melody’s story is the focus, and it’s not just about what happened to her, but also her survival afterwards. This is a powerful story that pulls at your emotions easily.