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The Life I Left Behind

by Colette McBeth

The Life I Left Behind by Colette McBeth X
The Life I Left Behind by Colette McBeth
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  • Published Feb 2015
    352 pages
    Genre: Mysteries

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  • Patricia G. (Dyer, IN)
    Telling the Life You Left Behind
    It is rare to get an inside view of a horrible, violent crime through the eyes of the victims. Colette McBeth provides a visceral account of murder and attempted murder on two women--Melody and Eve; Melody survives in a haunted, paralyzing existence, and Eve who has died contributes a postmortem investigation which eventually leads Melody to the truth about her attacker. McBeth provides enough plot twists to keep the reader in suspense; the narrative provides an empathy for victims of such crimes and the impact they have on daily life.
  • Carole P. (Framingham, MA)
    The Life I Left Behind
    Having read this author before, I was expecting an intense read. I was not disappointed. Written in alternating voices, it was a little confusing initially. However, once you got into the story and knew your characters, the book flowed.

    Melody Pieterson survived a vicious attack by her close friend, David. After the attack, she lived a secluded life, isolated from others. Six years later, he has been released from prison. Then, another young woman is attacked in the same manner. However, Eve Elliot does not survive.

    Melody finds herself thrust back into the real world . She must overcome her fears and look again at her attack and Eve's. Are they really connected? Is David responsible fpr both attacks or is someone else the real threat.

    The book alternates between Melody and Eve, each telling their story.

    Having read both Colette McBeth's books, I am feeling a bit wary of old friends. If you want some great suspense and a little creepiness read this author. Her two books are not connected. It doesn't matter which you read first.

    The Life I Left Behind. Precious Thing.
  • Sue P. (Richardson, TX)
    Knockout Debut!
    If this is a sample of what is in store for readers, I can't wait for more books by Colette McBeth. I was engaged from the first page and as the suspense and drama continued to build, I found myself dying to look ahead. The atmosphere and characterizations in this novel are outstanding and for any Mystery/Thriller Lover, do yourself a favor and purchase this as soon as it is released.
  • Kathleen W. (New Brighton,, MN)
    Ya betcha, that's the way I like it!
    THE LIFE I LEFT BEHIND by Colette McBeth has just about everything on my 'Get it!' book checklist. Its setting is my travel destination of choice ( anywhere in England), it has multiple narrators (Eve, Melody and DI Rutter) and the story line ping pongs effectively in time ( between past and present). I especially like the technique used in this book of present time narration (trying to solve the mystery) and past time narrations (what actually happened.) The reader is given bit by bit details as each section unfolds and you will be racing through to the end to see the who and why solution and so finally, it must ALWAYS be a captivating thriller/mystery. BINGO! McBeth is 4 for 4 and has now been placed on my "read this author for sure" list. If those 4 characteristics are deal breakers for you, don't even think about leaving THE LIFE I LEFT BEHIND unread!
  • Mary M. (Beverly Hills, FL)
    Suspenseful and Engrossing
    It is very hard to review this book without dropping plot spoilers all over the place, but I can say that is well-written, well-plotted and the characters are modern and three-dimensional. There are no cookie-cutter villains or victims; no one is all good or all bad, not even the attacker/murderer. As the plot unfolds, and Melody begins to question her fearful and cloistered existence and the facade of normality she has erected around her, the reader questions and reasons right along with her. The plot device of having both Melody and Eve, the other victim, who does not survive her attack, alternately narrate the story is very effective and gripping. The ending was not a complete surprise to me, and I had a problem with one aspect of the murderer's motive, but this in no way diminished the book for me. I would recommend it to anyone who likes a fast-paced, engrossing and intelligent thriller.
  • Debbie-Lyn C. (Kitty Hawk, NC)
    The Life I Left Behind
    In The Life I Left Behind, both Melody and Eve are worthy of being called main characters. Melody is a shell of a woman "left behind" after being assaulted during a horrific crime. Eve is the reluctant ghost of a woman "left behind" after her brutal murder. Their lives intertwine as the mystery progresses leaving me with a contradiction of feelings; should I read this book as quickly as possible to find out who the murderer is, or do I take my time and savor the two main characters? This book is a great choice for lovers of a good mystery novel!
  • Diane P. (Concord, MA)
    A must read
    The protagonist of Colette McBeth's absorbing novel, The Life I left Behind, Melody characters undoubtedly have last names, but they seem irrelevant, opines that to finish reading the notes Eve left behind is to "lose" her. In every way I too hesitated to finish this novel because I knew I would have to leave the characters behind, a loss I was reluctant to face.

    Melody and Eve are each the victims of the same assailant, and while Eve dies from her encounter, Melody survives physically—but not emotionally. The central conceit of the novel is that Eve can observe Melody's struggle, from the perch of an interim place between heaven and hell—although not really a purgatory—and can influence the narrative.

    Before reading the novel, I thought the success improbable; after a few pages, however, I was won over. McBeth cleverly plots her story, as her London-based detective struggles to solve the crime, finally persuading the reader that truth is illusive and deceit pervasive. A must read for those who enjoy the mystery genre.
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