Friday 29 March 2019

A Gift For Dying by M J Arlidge @mjarlidge @MichaelJBooks BLOG TOUR #AGiftForDying

Nothing surprises Adam Brandt anymore. As a forensic psychologist, he's seen and heard everything.
That is, until he meets Kassie.
Because she claims to have a terrible gift - with one look into your eyes, she can see when and how you will die.
Adam doesn't believe her, obviously.
But then a serial killer starts wreaking havoc across the city, and only Kassie seems to know where he'll strike next.
Against all his intuition, Adam starts to believe her.

He just doesn't realise how dangerous this trust might be . . .

A Gift For Dying by M J Arlidge was published on 7 March 2019 by Michael Joseph Books. My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review, and to Tracy Fenton who invited me to take part in this Blog Tour

A Gift For Dying is the first book that I've read by this author. His Helen Grace series is very popular and I was looking forward to getting to know his writing in this, his first standalone novel.

It's a very long book! It has an extremely interesting premise and I found the lead character, Kassie quite intriguing. The author has created a believable angry, depressed teenage girl, but one with a difference. Kassie can see how someone is going to die. She just looks into their eyes and she claims to be able to see when and how that person will die. A gift, or maybe a curse? For Kassie, it does seem to be something of a curse and she does her best to avoid people. She's a very unhappy girl, who live with her widowed mother in a deprived area of Chicago.

Adam Brandt is a forensic psychologist and Kassie intrigues him too. He's determined that he will do his best to help her, but this will only lead him into trouble ... big trouble.

At the same time, the police are chasing a sadistic, violent serial killer, and Kassie becomes involved in this case too; the police suspect her, but all she wants to do is to prevent the deaths from happening.

The author writes well and I particularly enjoy the short, snappy chapters. However, despite the thrill packed storyline, there were parts of the book that felt long and drawn out, leaving me a little frustrated. I just wanted to get on with the story line, and would prefer less of the abrupt swapping around of narrative and a little more insight into the characters.

It's also pretty violent in parts; there's some no-holds barred descriptions of murders which are pretty unsettling at times, and again, I'm not sure that they were all completely necessary. Sometimes it's the imagined that appeals more to a reader.

A Gift For Dying is an easy and quick read, despite having almost 500 pages and the author writes with great imagination. He can certainly spin a tale, even if it may be a little over spun at times. Recommended for fans of action packed crime thrillers who like a little bit of grisly gore every now and again.

M J Arlidge has worked in television for the last twenty years, specializing in high-end drama production, including prime-time crime serials Silent Witness, Torn, The Little House and, most recently the hit ITV show Innocent.

In 2015 his audiobook exclusive Six Degrees of Assassination was a number-one bestseller.

His debut thriller, Eeny Meeny, was the UK's bestselling crime debut of 2014. It was followed by the bestselling Pop Goes The Weasel, The Doll's House, Liar Liar, Little Boy Blue, Hide and Seek and Love Me Not, Down to the Woods is the eighth DI Helen Grace thriller.

He has sold over one million books in the UK since first being published in 2014

A Gift For Dying is his first standalone novel.

Twitter @mjarlidge

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