The Life I Left Behind – Colette McBeth


To be published January 2015

Six years ago, Melody Pieterson was attacked and left for dead. Only a chance encounter with a dog walker saved her life. Melody’s neighbor and close friend David Alden was found guilty of the crime and imprisoned, and the attack and David’s betrayal of her friendship left Melody a different person. She no longer trusts her own judgment, she no longer trusts her friends. In fact, she no longer really has any friends. She’s built a life behind walls and gates and security codes; she’s cloistered herself away from the world almost entirely.

And then, soon after David is released from prison, Eve Elliot is murdered in an attack almost identical to Melody’s. With the start of a new police investigation, Melody is suddenly pulled from her ordered, secluded life and back into the messy world around her. But as she learns more about Eve’s murder, Melody starts to wonder if perhaps David hadn’t betrayed her after all…if perhaps the killer is someone else entirely, someone who’s still out there, preparing to strike again.

Narrated alternately by Melody and by Eve’s lingering ghost, The Life I Left Behind is a taut thriller and an intimate look at two young women bound together in ways neither of them could ever have predicted. Colette McBeth has proven once again that she is a master of suspense.

My thoughts

Thanks to Bookbridgr for my lovely review copy of ‘The Life I Left Behind’.

I really loved ‘Precious Thing’, which was Colette McBeth’s first Brighton based novel. I was very keen to get my hands on this new one.

‘The Life I Left Behind’ follows three characters; Melody, a woman who was viciously attacked six years ago by a friend, Victoria, a detective in charge of hunting for Eve’s killer and Eve, narrating after her death and watching the proceedings.

We slowly get to know a very uptight Melody and see how traumatised she is. She has hidden herself away from the world, taking self protection to extremes. From the outset, the mystery is who killed Eve and why? And how does it link to Melody’s attack?

This is a story of lies, seeking the truth and friendships. It is about Melody coming out of her shell and fighting back. There are twists and turns, as we follow Melody’s pursuit of the truth and chain of thoughts. We also get the inside track from the police, with DI Victoria Rutter.

Although I am not keen on hearing from a dead murder victim, with the whole supernatural element, I thought Colette McBeth pulled it off expertly. I was interested in Eve’s perspective and the way she thought. I wanted desperately to know how she had met her demise and what had put her in the killer’s path. Eve came across as a fascinating character; clever and quirky.

This is a delightful excellent psychological read. Totally recommended.




About Northern Crime

Reviewer with a mind of her own. This is a collection of book reviews, which started in 2014. Mostly crime and odd other genres thrown in. Some I loved. Some I loathed. You get the picture.
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3 Responses to The Life I Left Behind – Colette McBeth

  1. crimeworm says:

    I’m really looking forward to this one; I too loved Precious Thing. You manage really well at keeping up to date with your reviewing! I’m in awe!

  2. This sounds wonderful. I’m putting it on my TBR list!

    • crimeworm says:

      I thought you’d already have spotted it Rebecca! It’s on NetGalley and bookbridgr, or was. Everyone seemed to love Precious Thing.

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