Before I Die by Jackie Morrissey

Reviewed by Lotte:

We begin with our main character – Maureen – an elderly lady that found herself recovering from an ankle injury. In a bid to help her during that time, her well-meaning but totally misguided daughter, asked a carer to drop in to assist Maureen. Afterall, Delores was the live-in carer for a friend of Maureen’s so what could possibly go wrong? Different events unfold that throw suspicion on both sides…is Maureen starting to get confused and mixing things up? Or is Delores not quite what she seems? And how on earth would you go about proving it when everything seems so reasonable?

This story isn’t overly elaborate but my, it packs a punch. There aren’t the usual overt, outlandish actions and plot twists that you’d expect from a book like this. Instead, it’s made up of clever, subtle events that could be completely believable in real life. That is where the beauty lies. I’m still reeling from the ease and realness of the events. It’s this very realness that makes this tale so dark and utterly twisted.

With this in mind I loved the plot! Despite the small twists and little changes, it still managed to move quickly. Morrissey built the intensity throughout until I was so on edge by the time we came to the last ‘scene’ I felt like I was barely breathing as it all unfolded. The way it all came together was well thought out too. We weren’t given all the answers straight away or in a linear way which kept up the mystery. There was also no knowing how much the other characters knew, apart from Maureen, or when they might show up which again, just heightened the unknown and the questions. At one point Maureen’s inner monologue said “She assembled what she knew for Michael” which was pretty much how I felt around that time and throughout the rest of the book, trying to rearrange my thoughts and the events until things started clicking in to place. Lastly, Morrissey’s choice of demographic was very smart because the more Maureen protested, the more it cast doubt and fuelled the senile theories. Very catch 22!

This was a fast, easy to read book, that delivered in its ability to create suspense and characters that you wanted to get behind. I really enjoyed reading it – well as much as you can enjoy reading something that unsettles you so much!

*Advanced review copy provided by the publisher / Netgalley*

Author: Jackie Morrissey
Publisher: Inkubator Books
Release date: 27 June 2020

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