BLOG TOUR REVIEW: Before I Die – by Jackie Morrissey #blogtour #damppebblesblogtour @damppebbles

Hello and welcome to my stop of the Before I Die blog tour! A huge thanks to Emma Welton for inviting me to be part of this blog tour. I was intrigued by this story as soon as I read the blurb; a carer like Dolores would be anyone’s worst nightmare without a doubt! Want to know what my reaction was to this story? Please join me while I share my thoughts…


Title: Before I Die
Author: Jackie Morrissey
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense
First published: June 21st 2020
Publisher: Inkubator Books
Finished reading: June 9th 2020
Pages: ?

“A sense of unease ran through her, born of some instinctive recognition of threat.”

*** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! ***

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I confess that Before I Die won me over as soon as I read the blurb. Dolores sounded absolutely fascinating as a character with that possible angel of death angle (nurse or carer turned serial killer). You all know how I can’t resist a good serial killer story, and it has been a while since I last read one with this angle. While the whole angel of death plot has been done before, I liked the direction the premise of Before I Die took and it’s without one of the strongest aspects of this story. It definitely helped adding a healthy dose of suspense as well as a hint of forboding! And this story is thoroughly creepy both for anyone depending on a carer as well as for those who have loved ones under care. Imagine having to deal with your own personal Dolores! Before I Die is a solid psychological thriller with a dark angle, and while it was slightly predictable in parts and not too credible in other areas, I still found it to be an entertaining read.

As for the characters… I mostly ended up having mixed thoughts about them. I did like how the story had multiple older characters as well as Dolores and the younger son of a friend with a heroin addiction, as it added a level of dept to the story. Their development in general is quite thorough and the colorful and diverse cast of characters made the story feel more complex, but they weren’t exactly likeable and not every action or reaction could be considered credible. I’m sorry, but I just can’t believe Maureen never stood up for herself; especially in the beginning when Dolores still doesn’t have a big influence on her. I can believe Dolores having the power to manipulate others so successfully, but Maureen letting her walk all over her straight away without putting up a fight just didn’t feel credible at all to me. I also wondered if the Spanish Dolores didn’t come over as too much of a stereotype. The story makes it seem like she left Spain long ago (or at least that is how I interpreted it after finishing this story and knowing all the facts), and somehow she still seems to speak all halted… I liked the added Spanish words in the text, but the sentence structure used to describe her dialogues felt a bit too much like building a foreigner stereotype cliche. This might just be a personal reaction to her character though.

The writing is easy on the eye and I managed to finish reading Before I Die in no time at all. The plot itself has a multiple POV structure which makes it easier to get to know the different characters in play… The same structure is of course also used to hide certain facts and secrets until they are ready to be revealed. The story will have a couple of surprises for you in store even though it’s a bit of a shame you can basically guess the truth about Dolores straight away. I had my doubts about the credibility in certain parts, and the ending felt a bit too over the top and intense after a slower psychological thriller vibe during most of the story… Still, it was intriguing to see the whole situation develop and find out how both Maureen and Dolores react to the things that happen. The story definitely turned out to be a lot darker than I thought it would be! I don’t think that is a bad thing though. If you like a good twisted psychological thriller with an angel of death angle, Before I Die is a solid choice.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jackie Morrissey lives in County Dublin and worked for many years in adult education. Her job took her into colleges and prisons all around Ireland, and introduced her to a range of interesting people. She loved the buzz of teaching, but came to hate the tyranny of correcting assignments. She has written throughout her adult life and has had many short stories published, one of which won the Molly Keane Short Story award. She has also been a regular contributor of short pieces for the Irish radio program Sunday Miscellany. About four years ago, she took the decision to write full time. The psychological thriller Before I Die is her first published novel.

PURCHASE LINKS

Amazon UK // Amazon US


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WWW Wednesdays #272 – June 10th

WWW WEDNESDAYS is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

Last week I decided to start an impromptu ARC Readathon as I have way too many Netgalley and blog tour ARCs pending and desperately need to bring down that number. It has worked better than expected so far, and somehow I have managed to cross off seven! titles already; five of them being NG ARCs and two blog tours. I decided I deserved a little break from ARC reviewing and I’m currently flying through Kill You Twice by Chelsea Cain, which is the fifth Archie Sheridan & Gretchen Lowell book and my first 20 Books Of Summer title. Afterwards it’s back to ARCs though with an upcoming July blog tour read: The Bone Jar by SW Kane.

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

1. Finding Dorothy by Elizabeth Letts (4/5 stars) REVIEW
I’ve been wanting to read this story ever since I first heard about Finding Dorothy last year and glowing reviews started popping up. The idea of learning the story behind the famous The Wizard Of Oz book and movie based on real historical facts sounded absolutely fascinating, and I think it’s one of the reasons this book worked so well for me. This is fiction mixed with historical facts at its best, and both historical fiction and The Wizard Of Oz fans will be delighted.

2. Good Girl by Miranda Smith (3/5 stars) REVIEW 19/06
I always love a good psychological thriller and I was intrigued by the blurb of Good Girl, so I decided to request a copy on a whim. “My brother was thirteen the first time he tried to kill me.”: talk about one heck of an opening line! I’ve been looking forward to read this story ever since and had quite high expectations for this one, but somehow the actual story ended up falling a bit flat for me. I still can’t put my finger exactly on the why, but I will try to explain in my full review what worked and didn’t work for me.

3. Somebody’s Daughter by Carol Wyer (4/5 stars) REVIEW 18/06
This detective thriller series has been highly entertaining and suspenseful from the very first book, and Somebody’s Daughter is already book number seven and no exception to the rule. Natalie and her team have another complicated case to solve, and the bodies are starting to pile up very quickly… Dark, twisted and highly entertaining if you enjoy a good detective thriller with a disturbing angle. If you enjoy the genre, you will most likely have a great time with this series!

4. Sorry I Missed You by Suzy Krause (DNF 51%; 0 stars) REVIEW 12/06
I admit I was first drawn in by the cover of Sorry I Missed You, although it was the blurb that ended up convincing me completely and I was really looking forward to read this one. Imagine my surprise when I ended up having a completely different experience instead! I’m not sure if it’s just me, or if the story is (partly) to blame, but the fact remains that Sorry I Missed You and me definitely didn’t get along. I never take the decision to DNF lightly and only resort to it a handful of times each year, but sadly I saw no other way out with this story…

5. Left For Dead by Caroline Mitchell (4/5 stars) REVIEW 25/06
The DI Amy Winter series has provided one solid and dark detective thriller after the other so far, and Left For Dead is no exception. In this third book, we have another twisted case on our hands as well as developments relating to Amy’s mother and her appeal… The story has lots of twists and turns and while there are no major surprises to speak of, it was still a very satisfying detective thriller read as a whole. The ending was a shocker too, and I definitely can’t wait to discover how things will continue now.

6. Turn To Dust by Rachel Amphlett (4,5/5 stars) BLOG TOUR REVIEW 13/07
Look out for my full review during my stop of the blog tour!!

7. Saving Ruby King by Catherine Adel West (3/5 stars) REVIEW 16/06
I’m having a hard time rating this one… On one hand, this is a very important read as it’s an own voices story that helps us give some insight in the race problematics and issues black people have to face to this day. This part was superstrong and the main reason I kept reading. BUT. On the other hand, a big part of this story was focused on religion. There is nothing wrong with that, but I personally have a huge aversion to stories that focus on religion, and even more if they start sounding preachy. This has nothing to do with the quality of this story, but rather a personal reaction… But the fact remains that I struggled to keep reading every time religion came in focus. Still, this story is worth reading for the black voices and focus on race problematics alone.

8. Before I Die by Jackie Morrissey (3/5 stars) BLOG TOUR REVIEW 23/06
Look out for my full review during my stop of the blog tour!!

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

I’m taking another quick break from ARCs next and finally read The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo… This will also by my second 20 Books Of Summer title. Then it’s back to ARCs with a July blog tour and most anticipated release: The Girl From Widow Hills by Megan Miranda. Afterwards I have another Netgalley ARC lined up to keep further decreasing my pending ARC shelf: How To Save A Life by Liz Fenton & Lisa Steinke. My newest TBR jar pick is still Broken Hearts, Fences And Other Things To Mend by Katie Finn, which I probably won’t pick up all that soon as I have a huge pile of other books I need to get to first.


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