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27 April 2014

Blog Tour: 'Before You Die' by Samantha Hayes (2014)

Today I'm really excited to be part of the blog tour for Samantha Hayes' new release, 'Before You Die', a gripping read you definitely don't want to miss!

It has taken nearly two years for the Warwickshire village of Radcote to put a spate of teenage suicides behind it.

Then a young man is killed in a freak motorbike accident, and a suicide note is found among his belongings. A second homeless boy takes his own life, this time on the railway tracks.

Is history about to repeat itself?

DI Lorraine Fisher has just arrived for a relaxing summer break with her sister. Soon she finds herself caught up in the resulting police enquiry. And when her nephew disappears she knows she must act quickly.

Are the recent deaths suicide - or murder?

And is the nightmare beginning again?

Samantha Hayes’ novel ‘Until You’re Mine’, the first part in her detective series based in Birmingham which was released in June 2013, was really well-received; I read several very positive reviews online and heard only good things from other book bloggers. I have to admit, it had made me quite curious, even though my bookshelf is usually not filled with crime/detective/psychological suspense novels. I personally prefer feel-good reads, but I can definitely enjoy a good crime book every now and again. So, after hearing all these positive sounds about Samantha Hayes’ writing, I was really excited to be asked to be part of the blog tour for her new release, ‘Before You Die’, which was released on the 24th of April!

Detective Inspector Lorraine Fisher is ready for a break from her demanding job and is hoping to spend some relaxing time with her sister Jo in Radcote, the town where they grew up. However, during her stay Lorraine suddenly finds herself caught up in a local police case involving a supposed case of suicide. Radcote has a history involving a spate of teenage suicides, and no one wants a repeat of this. Yet, Lorraine has her doubts whether these recent deaths are actually suicides or murder. The case becomes even more personal when Jo’s son Freddie starts acting strangely and is obviously hiding things from his family. When he disappears, Lorraine knows they have to act fast before another body is found.

After reading ‘Before You Die’ I can definitely understand why so many people recommended Samantha Hayes’ novels to me. The story managed to grip me from the first few pages and I didn’t want to put it down. I ended up finishing the book in just two sittings, because it kept me guessing. The story is told from multiple perspectives, with quite a lot of characters, and I constantly found myself doubting which characters to trust, trying to figure out what the ending of the story would be like. Thanks to all the twists and turns, the ending had me on the edge of my seat and was quite unexpected, and I personally loved the fact that I was so surprised by it all.

The book was incredibly realistic, quick-paced and easy to read; I found myself flying through the pages. I straight away liked Lorraine, the main character of the novel, and I particularly warmed to Lana, another teenager living in Radcote and a friend of Freddie’s. Her family also takes on a central role in the novel, and I found myself fascinated by her story and role in all of it. Overall, ‘Before You Die’ is a quick-paced, enthralling and realistic read that had me on the edge of my seat; a book you will not want to put down until you’ve read the last word on the very last page!

For more information about this book: / Goodreads 
Thanks to the publisher for providing me with a review copy in exchange for an honest review.


I'm really excited to have a special blog post by Samantha for all of you, in which she tells us more about the characters in her new novel!

Thanks so much to Jody for having me on her blog as part of my tour. It’s publication week for me so I’ve been visiting lots of lovely blogs telling everyone about my new novel, Before You Die.

Today, I thought I’d talk about the characters in my book and what they mean to me. This novel is the second in a series of thrillers about married detectives DIs Lorraine Fisher and Adam Scott. They live in Birmingham with their two teenage daughters, Grace and Stella. Before I started the series, I wrote four stand-alone crime books, so bringing back regular characters is a new—and fantastic!—experience for me.

When I finish writing a book there’s always a sense of sadness that the process has come to an end. There’s the new one to look forward to getting stuck into, of course, but I’ll have been with these characters pretty much every single day for a year, so it’s a kind of loss to say goodbye. With that in mind, writing a series suits me perfectly!

Lorraine Fisher, detective inspector in the West Midlands Police, is a woman after my own heart. We first meet her in Until You’re Mine and, while she’s not based on me, we do share some traits. We both like to think we’re organized when perhaps we’re not, we try to take on too much, we’re both mums to teens, and often end up dropping balls when trying to juggle family and work (although I have it a lot easier than her because I work from home!).

Lorraine is direct and can be very tough when needed, although she definitely has a softer sideand is fiercely loyal to her family as you’ll find out in Before You Die. One of her pet hates is mixing work and home, so when her nephew, Freddie, goes missing while she’s taking a break in the country with her sister, we see how she reacts to this collision of emotions. Let’s just say it doesn’t turn out to be much of a holiday for her!

Adam Scott, also a DI and Lorraine’s husband, loves his wife dearly, though if you’ve read Until You’re Minethe first in the seriesyou’ll know that he’s got a bit of making up to do. The pairoften work together in the Major Investigations Unit, and Adam knows that Lorraine is determined to keep up with him career-wise. Although he’s a great dad, he doesn’t always see that Lorraine’s got her hands full both at home and work. Somehow, Adam always finds time to go for a run when Lorraine is probably ferrying one of their girls somewhere! But he’s a crack detective and, when teamed up with Lorraine on a major case, there’s no stopping him.

I love to write about families, and Before You Die focusses on not only Lorraine’s immediate family, but that of her sister, Jo, and her son Freddie. They live in south Warwickshire in a lovely made-up village called Radcote. I based it on a real area but decided the locals perhaps wouldn’t thank me for having a body count on their doorstep.

Jo has recently separated from her partner Malc, leaving Freddie miserable and depressed. I love writing about kids, teenagers especially. Their emotions are so mixed up as they crossover intoadulthood, and not only that but they’re still vulnerable – even though they think they’reinvincible! I’ve pretty much covered all age ranges through being a mum, so feel I know what I’m talking about.

Poor Freddie is struggling with his feelings, especially those for a girl in the village, Lana. When the pair of them unwittingly get caught up in two apparent suicide cases that take place locally, their love is really put to the test, and Freddie shocks us with what he reveals about himself. Not only that, but just how much do the teens know about the tragedies, and to what lengths will they go to protect each other?

And then there’s Gil. Gil is probably my favourite character in the book (apart from Lorraine and her family, of course!) – although it’s actually really hard to pick a favourite as I loved writing them all. My cast is so varied, and none more so than Lana’s Uncle Gil. He’s autistic and lives with Lana and her family in their large manor house. Gil is a brilliant artist, as is sometimes the case with autistic people. He has an incredible talent for drawing exactly what he’s seen, even ifhe’s only glimpsed it for a few moments. Couple this with his determination to settle down with a nice lady, and Gil is indeed a lovable character in my book – or is he? Careful not to stereotype him, Gil has his own story to tell about the apparent suicides, and it’s not initially clear if he’s quite as innocent as we are led to believe.

So there you have a few of the characters in Before You Die. I hope I’ve whetted your appetites a little for you to pick up a copy. I loved writing this book and hope you enjoy reading it just as much!

Thanks so much, Samantha! :)

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