Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Book Review: If I Should Die

Winner of Last Week's Contest

Thank you so much to everyone who entered my contest to win an autographed copy of Ammon by H.B. Moore. The winner is

K. Griffiths!

If you will send your snail mail address to juliecoulterbellon@gmail.com I will get that right out to you!

Book Review

If I Should Die by Jennie Hansen was intriguing to me from the start. The backliner suggests a story somewhat similar to another woman’s real-life disappearance a while back and I was interested to see how Jennie would handle the delicate subject matter.

I was instantly drawn to the main character, Kallene, and how she handles the people in her life. When her best friend and running partner confides one morning that she's going to file for divorce, then goes missing, leaving a young daughter behind, Kallene takes matters into her own hands and calls the police and her friend’s family. During the course of the ensuing search and investigation, Kallene finds herself with feelings for both her missing friend’s brother and the lead detective on the case. Which is emotional enough, but there is also the fact that through it all they are still searching for her friend and wondering if she is alive or dead.

I loved the triangle in the book and as each relationship progressed I wondered who I would choose if I were in such a predicament. I won’t tell you the end, but I don’t know if my decisions would have agreed with Kallene’s, although I could see why she made the one she did. (I don't want to give anything away!) So I'll just say, these are both handsome successful men. What a choice! Jennie handles everything well, however, and I did find a sense of closure.

The suspense is ratcheted up with each successive chapter and to be truthful, I bought the book and finished it the same day. I didn’t want to put it down even for my treadmill time, and decided I’d try to read it while walking. I put my headphones in and continued reading. I was right at the part where the heroine has seen a shadow near her garage and sinks down in her seat so whatever or whoever it is won’t see her and her vulnerability. And just as she’s about to stand up, my son reached over and touched my arm to tell me the telephone was for me. I swear I about jumped out of my skin. Yeah, it was easy to exercise after that because of the adrenaline rush going through my veins!

I only had one spot in the book where I was thinking, oh boy, don’t do that, and hoped that the person knew better (but they didn’t and did what I didn’t want them to do). Other than that one instance I thought the book was realistic and well done, with each emotional encounter ringing true. Jennie Hansen is a master storyteller and this book does not disappoint. The villains, the victims, the heroes, and heroines are ones that mesh together seamlessly in this book, all gelling to make an incredible story that you will not want to put down for a second. I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves good mysteries.

Here is the backliner:

One morning on a routine jog, Kallene’s running partner, Linda, confides that she’s filing for divorce. The next morning, she’s gone without a trace, leaving behind her frightened young daughter. Since Linda’s enraged husband refuses to notify the police, Kallene steps in to initiate a missing person search, not knowing it would soon become a murder investigation—or that she’d soon fall for the charming lead detective. With Linda’s handsome brother also on her mind, Kallene must navigate the rapids of a double romance as well as the deepening suspicion in her upscale Utah neighborhood. Intrigue turns to danger as Kallene faces the consequences of hasty judgments. And when startling new evidence casts Linda’s murder as the work of a determined killer, Kallene needs the intervention of unlikely heroes to avoid being the next victim.

Run to your nearest Seagull or download it from Amazon, you won’t be sorry!


Stephanie Black said...

Ooooh! Sounds like a great book! Thanks for the review, Julie, and congrats, Jennie!

Julie Coulter Bellon said...

Thanks, Stephanie! Hey, do you know when your next book is coming out? I want to be first in line.

Heather B. Moore said...

I'm looking forward to reading it!

Debra Erfert said...

Amazon will be my next stop. Wow!

Jon Spell said...

Aw, the backliner spoils a little bit of the story. Is this victim missing or dead?

A novel I read recently involved the hunt for a missing girl. I was genuinely surprised (and a little sad) when she ended up dead. I was not, however, surprised when the missing girl in THE KILLING (I mean, come on!) ended up dead. But I was still a little sad.

Do authors write the backliner, or simply have to approve what the publisher has come up with?

Julie Coulter Bellon said...

Jon, sadly the authors sometimes barely get to see the backliner before its off to the printer. :(

I know I was disappointed to see some plot points given away in my own backliners and this one, as well. I wish they hadn't given the part about her disappearance away and left it as part of the mystery, but, in the end, the biggest mystery ends up being who does it. But I am totally with you on that sort of thing.

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