There is certainly no shortage of psychological thrillers in the literary world; as such, it's a buyer's market when it comes to the plethora pf quality titles available to fans of the genre. Of course, some tales are more appealing than others, and one would be remiss not to include A Life Before in the upper echelon of said literary greatness.
Throughout the pages of his latest standout offering, author Julien Ayotte treats the reader to a masterfully crafted tale of intrigue and suspense. Featuring excellent character development and a perfectly paced plot, A Life Before successfully keeps the reader guessing from one surprising twist to the next, as Ayotte shows his skill at interweaving multiple different story lines into one. Culminating in a shocking climax very few could honestly see coming, A Life Before fails at only one thing: disappointing readers.
Official Apex Reviews Rating: Five Stars
In 1989, a young newlywed is murdered. At the time, her husband, attorney Mike Strange was working on a case against a company that withheld evidence pertaining to high levels of radon found on a site where they were constructing a large condo complex. Amid detailed investigations, courtroom drama, and his paralegal being run off the road, Strange continues to mourn the loss of his wife and her killer remains at large. Twenty two years later, young coed Samantha Collins is plagued by dreams suffered since adolescence, about a woman brutally attacked. When unexplained coincidences and an unexpected detour land Collins in the neighborhood of the decades old Strange crime, she soon realizes a deep connection to the murder victim. This same young woman who had once given an eerily topical valedictorian speech regarding life after death, suddenly feels compelled to flush out the killer.
For those drawn to the popular "Cold Case" television series or headlines of faltering investigations that benefit from the insight of uniquely gifted individuals, Ayotte delivers the perfect read. This is a story filled with emotionally distraught characters searching for answers, from a broken-hearted husband, devastated families, and determined detectives, to a young woman desperate to find peace in her own existence. In contrast, Ayotte provides a cast of wrong-doers who need to be held accountable for their actions.
This is a smart, well-paced thriller that will give readers pause to rethink their own deja vu experiences. As an homage to the past life theme, Ayotte brings the plot full circle with creative touches that tie the opening and closing. A shocking, explosive twist plays into the well-crafted epilogue that not only bolsters the premise of A Life Before, but cleverly entices us to think about the possibilities of life ever after.
RECOMMENDED by the US Review