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The Life I Left Behind by Colette McBeth

The Life I Left Behind

by Colette McBeth

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I really enjoyed McBeth’s first book Precious Thing and so I was really excited to receive an ARP from NetGalley in return for a review and her second outing does not disappoint.
Melody was attacked and left for dead and her friend and neighbour David was convicted of the crime. Recently released, and now suspected of another similar crime, Melody’s closeted and restrictive world is about to come crashing down.
One very clever aspect of the book is that one of the narrators, Eve, is the recently deceased murder victim that David is now suspected of killing. She had been investigating his case in a bid to prove his innocence so why would he kill her? The book is a good who dunnit however I did feel it began to drag a little in the later chapters. That aside it was a good entertaining read, not quite as enjoyable as her superb first book but still a page turner.
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  angelaoatham | Feb 21, 2017 |
Well thought-out yet simple thriller

This who-dun-it has three narrators: Eve, a dead investigative journalist, Melody, a victim of an assault several years earlier and DI Victoria Rutter, a policewoman looking into both crimes. It must be a growing trend but the last two novels that I read before this one also had three narrators (Lost and Found, The Girl on the Train).

This case of wrongful conviction is engaging and well-written but lacks possible suspects in my opinion. In the end, there are few possibilities which was a bit of a shame for me. It deals very well with Melody in particular who suffers from having been the victim of an attack and the consequences of that act which change her life.

I enjoyed this and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys a simple yet well-written thriller. But don’t read this and The Girl on the Train as they are very similar.
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  PaulAllard | Dec 9, 2015 |
This book is told from the perspective of Melody, who almost died from a brutal attack years ago, Eve who did die after investigating Melody’s attack and DI Rutter who is investigating Eve’s murder. How they all tie together and are resolved is what makes this a great story. While there are many suspects, it does not become clear until near the end the name of the person who did it and why in an exciting ending. ( )
  Susan.Macura | Nov 26, 2015 |
A tangled murder mystery no less satisfying for the speed at which I unravelled the various threads. Two victims left for dead, with only a gold necklace linking them to their attacker - Melody, who survived, and Eve, who did not - and the suspect accused of hurting them both. Both women tell their story, along with DI Victoria Rutter, taking over her mentor's old case to uncover a series of fatal mistakes made by the police and the women themselves.

I was gripped throughout, despite twigging the real killer early into the story by a process of elimination (not that mad bastard, the other one). Colette McBeth brings both the traumatised Melody, with her horrendously bad taste in men, and the posthumously persistent Eve to life (and death) with an eye for detail and characterisation. Before downloading my copy of the book, I read a low-rated review which criticised 'moaning Melody' and self-involved Eve, but both interpretations of the characters are unfair - Melody's neuroses are entirely understandable and deftly shaded, while Eve's biggest concern is not her family's heart-rending grief but Melody's future safety. Personally, I chose the story for the 'ghost' angle, which is subtle but sympathetically played, and then found myself hooked by the battle for justice and the underlying strength of both women. Loved the humour too. Definitely recommended, even if more of a 'why-dunnit' than a whodunnit. ( )
  AdonisGuilfoyle | Jun 1, 2015 |
A special thank you to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Colette McBeth’s psychological thriller THE LIFE I LEFT BEHIND will keep you glued to the pages until end, with this suspenseful crime mystery of two women.

Told from three perspectives and voices there is Eve, a murder victim, and Melody who was left for dead by Eve’s attacker from previous years, and detective Victoria Rutter, the investigating officer on Melody’s case, along with some secondary characters.

Over six years ago Melody was attacked and left for dead. She was found and her close friend and neighbor David was found guilty and put away in prison. Melody was devastated, and soon thereafter grew very untrustworthy of everyone and built a shell around herself with security systems and quite the recluse.

Then David was released, from prison and Eve was murdered very similar to the same way Melody was attacked and a new investigation started. Is David killing again or a copycat? Even though Melody lives the life of seclusion, now she is forced to be in the center of the investigation and possibly David was not the real killer? If not, whom and when will they strike next? Who can she trust?

What happened to the original investigation and was David set up? The similarities between the two gals are creepy, as both blonde and slender and both with a necklace. How are the two connected?

A gripping crime thriller, leaving you guessing until the end. Of course, Eve is dead but we still from her and there is much emotional drama and intensity from all three voices. Readers also experience the fear and anxiety from Melody with her PTSD, as she tries to appear cool on the outside, when she is not after spending time shut away in her haven. Her journey to finding her way back before the tragic event in her life, so the emotional intensity is there.

I really enjoyed reading THE LIFE I LEFT BEHIND, better than the first book, Precious Thing, as listened to the audiobook, so may not have been wild about the narrator. This was was more of a page-turner and hard to put down, in my opinion.

I liked the storyline much better as more of a true fast-paced crime thriller and allowed for the writer to shine through her well-paced writing and nicely developed characters with many twists and turns to keep you intrigued until the end with the different voices, adding to the mystery. Look forward to reading more from this author! ( )
  JudithDCollins | Mar 14, 2015 |
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"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 ... 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"--… (more)

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