Book Review : The Life I Left Behind by Colette McBeth

February 5, 2015 Book review 14 ★★★★

Hello gritty, whimsical book! Now they are two words you don’t often see to describe one book but both apply equally to The Life I Left Behind.

Book Review : The Life I Left Behind by Colette McBethThe Life I Left Behind by Colette McBeth
Published by Headline Book Publishing on January 1st 2015
Genres: Suspense, Thrillers
Pages: 384
Format: Paperback
Source: Bookbridgr
Buy on Amazon

She's dead but she's the only one who knows what really happened;

What your friends have said.

What the police missed.

Who attacked you.

So if you want the truth who else are you going to turn to?

First Line of The Life I Left by Colette McBeth:

“The first thing that strikes him is the cold.”

My Thoughts on The Life I Left by Colette McBeth:

Two lines on the back of the book intrigued me and made this a must-read for me.

“I know exactly who attacked her.
He’s the same man who killed me.”

I immediately thought, well that’s different! And I had a feeling this book could either be twisty and compelling or silly and twee. Thankfully it was the former. You have two main characters; Eve who is dead and Melanie who survived a vicious attack in the past and is very emotionally scarred from that ordeal.

Both characters have really interesting back stories and the whimsical element added by Eve fits really well. The book is harsh and violent at times but then funny and heart-warming at others. It’s a strange mash-up but it really, really works. The connections between the characters are sinister and chilling and it’s definitely a book that raised my blood pressure while reading it! If tense and scary are what you want from your psychological thrillers, then this will provide them in abundance.

Initially I was afraid the book was going to be similar to The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold but the dead narrator and a vicious attack are the only similarities. This book stands on its own two feet and has its own very tense, twisty story to tell.

The suspense was really well drawn out and I spend many hours happily occupied in trying to fit all the pieces together. Actually I wasn’t trying to fit them together; I was trying to force them into position. I did have my suspicions but not in the exact picture that they all eventually formed.

Two things stand out for me about this book. I loved the writing style; it’s chatty and it brings in random topics in a way that makes me think and think and think. I feel the author puts a lot of her personality into her writing and it shows. And the second standout thing for me was the characters. I was absorbed in their lives and couldn’t wait to read more.

Overall I really, really enjoyed this one as it just offers something different to all the other thrillers out there at the moment.

Rating Report
Did I feel it?
Overall: four-stars

Who should read The Life I Left by Colette McBeth?

I’d highly recommend this to you if you are a fan of thrillers with a domestic setting, a pace that is gripping and rich character development. The inclusion of a narrator who is dead added a whimsical quality so that is something to be aware of but I loved it. If you enjoyed the author’s debut novel Precious Thing then I think you’ll also like this one. Fans of Samantha Hayes and Sophie Hannah should also enjoy.

Thanks to Bookbridgr and Headline for giving me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.




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14 Responses to “Book Review : The Life I Left Behind by Colette McBeth”

    • trish

      I didn’t love The Lovely Bones either but it was a long time ago so I can’t remember exactly why. I thought it was ok. I much prefer this one, like you said it’s more exciting.

    • trish

      I do think you will like this one too Rita. The mystery part is twisty(ish) and the characters are interesting and both turn it in to a page turner.

    • trish

      I liked this one more than Precious Thing but I also enjoyed that one. I just liked the characters more here. It wasn’t overly twisty but it did keep me guessing and really held my attention. Hope you enjoy it!

    • trish

      I just couldn’t help but call it to mind. But this has more of a psychological thriller vibe to it and a much livelier pace.

  1. Bookworm Brandee

    I love dark, gritty, chilling, suspenseful books, Trish. But your comment that this book’s writing style made you “think and think and think”…yeah, that right there is why I’ll pick up The Life I Left Behind. Thanks for introducing me to a new book!
    Bookworm Brandee recently posted…Teaser Tuesday ~ #55

    • trish

      I’m the same, I just love prose that makes you reflect. And this one really did. Hope you enjoy it when you get to it.

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