[Review] A Secondhand Life

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Title: A Secondhand Life

Author: Pamela Crane

Genre: Mystery, Thriller

Published: April 28, 2015

Source: Copy provided by the author.

Quicklinks: Amazon | Goodreads

In a freak collision when she was twelve, Mia Germaine faced death and the loss of her father. A heart transplant from a young murder victim saved her life, but not without a price. Twenty years later, chilling nightmares about an unresolved homicide begin to plague Mia. Compelled by these lost memories, she forms a complicated connection to the victim—the girl killed the night of Mia’s accident—due to a scientific phenomenon called “organ memory.”

Now suffocating beneath the weight of avenging a dead girl and catching a serial killer on the loose dubbed the “Triangle Terror,” Mia must dodge her own demons while unimaginable truths torment her—along with a killer set on making her his next victim.

As Mia tries to determine if her dreams are clues or disturbing phantasms, uninvited specters lead her further into danger’s path, costing her the one person who can save her from herself. More than a page-turning thriller, "A Secondhand Life" weaves a tale of second chances and reclaimed dreams as this taut, refreshing tale ensnares and penetrates you.

My God was that good. 

I don't usually read mysteries or thrillers, but that doesn't stop me from reading one occasionally to satiate that side of me, and I was glad to have seen an e-mail from the author requesting I read her book. Usually, when I get a request for a review, I like to look on Amazon for their usual preview that I've talked about in other posts because it lets me read a bit of the book before deciding whether or not I will take it on. Needless to say, after reading the preview from Amazon, I knew I had to know more.

Ms. Crane creates a wonderful backstory that seamlessly flows into the story itself. She has no problem immediately making you feel for the main character, Mia within the first few pages. Speaking of Mia, her character was well rounded and relatable in different ways, making it easy for a variety of people to take a liking to her. As for the other characters, they were all just as well made, making for realistic dialogue and a clear picture as to what they were like. 

Let's get into my favorite part: the mystery. Ms. Crane is excellent at making you guess. When you start to think you know the answer, you find out you were far from it! I think I switched my guesses like three times during the story because new evidence would pop up, and even when you had solid evidence against one person, something would happen to prove you wrong. 

And my God, that reveal!! I sincerely didn't see it coming and I really like how it never once crossed my mind to question it. I was completely taken aback when I finally got to it (at that point, I was growing anxious to find out) and don't get me wrong, there was another reveal that was brilliant, but the reveal at the end was masterfully done, in my opinion. 

I think the only thing that I feel was not so good was the result of a sensitive subject matter and how it was handled. I can't really go into too much detail on it because it plays into the reveal, so that's all I'm really gonna say about that.

Overall, the story was absolutely amazing. It kept me guessing throughout and I really wanted to read it in one sitting (but, work...). Ms. Crane writes an engaging story with realistic characters, creating a book that I wish I had a paperback of to add to my shelf of "would totally read again" books. 

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