This secret is killing me. It's only one line from her fifteen-year-old daughter's diary, but Susan knows it means everything. Charlotte is smart, popular, and beautiful. She is also in a coma following what looks like a desperate suicide attempt. What's more, Susan has no idea what compelled her daughter to step out in front of a city bus. Did she really know her daughter at all? In her hunt for the truth, Susan begins to mistrust everyone close to Charlotte, and she's forced to look further, into the depths of her own past. The secrets hidden there may destroy them both.
Before I WakeFeatured
What worked: Edge of the seat suspense that kept me turning the pages until early in the morning as I had to find out, along with Susan, the secret her fifteen-year-old daughter Charlotte had kept hidden in her journal.
This story interweaves diary entries from Susan. At first I ‘didn’t’ get the connection but once I settled down and kept reading on, then it became clearer. Susan refuses to believe her daughter tried to kill herself. While searching her daughter’s room she finds her journal and reads that Charlotte had a painful secret that was killing her. What happens next is Susan on a search for the truth with a fear that her own shady past might have endangered her daughter. Problem is no one believes Susan that her abusive ex is watching her and out to seek vengeance.
So much good stuff in this action-packed novel. The journal entries from the mother are chilling and very graphic. Susan’s own horror at being around an abusive man is revealed from the beginning until the end. More than a few times I screamed out, “NO! Don’t do it, Susan!” I so understand how hard it is to get out of an abusive situation and to deal with PTSD. And how some might brush off the fears that the abuser might in fact act out on his threats. The author does an excellent job showing the horror and fear of being in such a relationship.
I did wish I’d seen more of the daughter before she ended up in the coma. Readers see her through the revelations the mother finds on her quest to find the truth. Some are very painful and devastating like finding out her daughter had done something horrific. At first some might say, “Why didn’t Susan know this about her daughter?” Well, as a mother of a teen, I can vouch how hard it is to know everything your child does.
Nailing biting suspense that kept me reading until the explosive end. A must read for thriller fans and for those who love an action-packed ride.