Friday, 2 November 2018

The First Time I Died by Jo Macgregor (Book Review)

You know what makes a good mystery? When you're completely bowled over by the ending, but as you look back at all the clues the author sprinkled into the text up to that point, everything makes perfect sense.

That's what it's like in The First Time I Died. It's only the second of Jo Macgregor's mysteries that I've read (the first being Dark Whispers), but I'm beginning to see a pattern: you know the first person you suspect? The first one you're absolutely, 100% sure is the culprit? It's not them.

Maybe next time, Macgregor should throw us a curve ball by making the killer the first person we even begin to have an inkling about!

While I enjoyed the story, it isn't as good as Dark Whispers. It's not as dark, and the psychological aspects aren't as well defined. It's almost as if it's more... immature.

But probably makes sense, in a way. The first half of this book is written in alternating chapters of "Then" and "Now". "Then" being ten years ago, when our heroine was a teenager. Those chapters are written in a very YA style, because they're meant to appeal to young adults. The other chapters, when she is an adult, can't really be too "adulty", or the book would be confused about its target audience.

Still, this is a great mystery, with a smattering of paranormal activity as our amateur sleuth receives cryptic messages from beyond the veil. Definitely a treat for fans of the whodunit.

My Review: 4 / 5 stars

About the Book


The first time I died, I didn’t come back alone. 

When Garnet McGee returns to her small Vermont hometown for the holidays, she vows to solve the mystery of the murder which shattered her life ten years ago. 

But then the unexpected happens — she dies in an accident and gets brought back to life by paramedics. 

Now she’s hearing words, seeing visions and experiencing strange sensations. Are these merely symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder and an over-active imagination, or is she getting messages from a paranormal presence? 

Garnet has always prided herself on being logical and rational, but trying to catch a killer without embracing her shadow self is getting increasingly difficult. And dangerous, because in a town full of secrets, it seems like everybody has a motive for murder.

Fast-paced and riveting, The First Time I Died is a suspenseful and haunting crime story with an supernatural twist.

Great reading for fans of Paula Hawkins, Gillian Flynn, Ruth Ware and Liane Moriarty.

Click here to find out where you can pick up a copy.

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