LR#20: “The Life I Left Behind” by Colette McBeth

20-BethColletteA cleverly constructed novel told from two interesting viewpoints with a pulsating ending.

Melody, attacked and left for dead, is struggling to rebuild her life in the years following the assault. Then, soon after her attacker is released from prison another young woman, Eve, is discovered dead. Both attacks bear the same hallmarks and Melody is forced to return to the horror of the night she was attacked. The two women must cope with the consequences of their attacks; Melody to live a life after the assault, while Eve refuses to accept she is dead.

I have to admit to struggling with this book. Or, rather more accurately, in the early stages I struggled to get a grip on the characters of Eve and Melody. I found it hard to differentiate between them. I think my initial confusion between Eve and Melody may have been intended by the author; allowing the two central characters stories to become clearer as each delved into the events surrounding their similar fates. In hindsight, I think this was a clever concept; whether intended or not! However, the female detective, Rutter, was less well defined and, though a crime novel requires a police character, she seemed a little redundant.

As I stayed with the story, I was rewarded with an intelligent plot, well written and with enough twists to keep you slightly off guard when the climax arrives. I particularly liked the fast pace of the story and the ancillary characters were interesting and helped to make the whole experience enjoyable.


My Rating: 3.5* out of 5.0*

Publication Date: January 2015

Published By: Headline

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