Book Review: The Day I Died by Lori Rader-Day

"On the day I died . . . if I had just."  (1)

Title:  The Day I Died
Author: Lori Rader-Day
Publisher: William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins
Release Date:  April 11, 2017
Genre: Literary Fiction / Mystery & Suspense

From the award-winning author of Little Pretty Things comes this gripping, unforgettable tale of a mother's desperate search for a lost boy.

Anna Winger can know people better than they know themselves with only a glance—at their handwriting. Hired out by companies wanting to land trustworthy employees and by the lovelorn hoping to find happiness, Anna likes to keep the real-life mess of other people at arm’s length and on paper. But when she is called to use her expertise on a note left behind at a murder scene in the small town she and her son have recently moved to, the crime gets under Anna’s skin and rips open her narrow life for all to see. To save her son—and herself—once and for all, Anna will face her every fear, her every mistake, and the past she thought she'd rewritten.

Constantly on the run, both figuratively and literally, a mother searches for her son, lost in his eyes, as well as in hers. When he physically disappears, that's when it's time to stop running but face the truth, the past and herself.  The Day I Died by Lori Rader-Day delve into the world of the written language and the connection it has with one's soul. As domestic violence, both emotionally and physically take center stage in an understated way, more than one lost boy may be found. 

The Day I Died was very well written, in prose and in plot organization. Though I did find it lulled a bit in the first half of the book, it picked up towards the second half with vigor and intrigue. The mystery and suspense aspect was not heart-stopping, but the psychology at play works well for the characters' development and plot line. Not as intense, say Gone Girl but definitely the type of novel one would enjoy. 

For my clean readers, please note there are intimacy in this book, but not graphic.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the author/publisher. I was not required to write a positive review, and have not been compensated for this. This is my honest opinion.

For my review policy, please see my Disclosure page.



Lori Rader-Day, author of The Black Hour and Little Pretty Things, is the recipient of the Simon & Schuster Mary Higgins Clark Award and the Anthony Award for Best First Novel. Lori’s short fiction has appeared in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, Time Out Chicago, and Good Housekeeping, among other publications. She lives in Chicago, where she teaches mystery writing at StoryStudio Chicago and serves as the president of the Mystery Writers of America Midwest Chapter.

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