A Gift for Dying by MJ Arlidge @mjarlidge @Tr4cyF3nt0N @MichaelJBooks

Posted March 15, 2019 by midnightreview in Reviews / 0 Comments


The gripping new thriller from M. J. Arlidge, Sunday Times bestselling author of the Helen Grace series.

She heard their screams. She felt their fear.

Now she’s their only hope…

Adam Brandt is a forensic psychologist, well used to dealing with the most damaged members of society. But he’s never met anyone like Kassie.

The teenager claims to have a terrible gift – with one look into your eyes, she can see when and how you will die.

Obviously, Adam knows Kassie must be insane. But then a serial killer hits 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 deadly his faith might prove…

My Review:

This is the first book I have read by M.J. Arlidge so I was reading with fresh eyes. This is a faced paced crime thriller. The chapters are short and punchy, which for me, means I have to keep reading – just one more chapter! I quickly whizzed through the pages.

The Characters

Each chapter is told from a different characters perspective. This was great as you got to see the action from all sides, however, it did mean it took a little longer to get a handle on the personalities involved. I would say there are four main characters, Adam, Faith, Kassie and Gabrielle.

Kassie is a very damaged teenager, she claims to be able to see the exact moment that someone will die and how. She has a troubled home life, doesn’t go to school often and gets in trouble with the police. She meets Adam on one such occasion. At her heart though, Kassie is just trying to help, you can’t help but feel sorry for her.

Adam is a psychologist tasked with helping Kassie, who he assumes is suffering from some type of psychosis. He’s married to Faith, an artist. There is a side story concerning this couple, which I found tough to read. They are both very likable characters, both intent on trying to do the right thing.

Gabrielle is the detective tasked with solving the case, she is tough and hard working. She has an excellent team behind her. I really liked her, she was very relatable. This is a hard case especially with Kassie, seemingly able to predict/find the next victim.

As I mentioned the chapters are short, you get to see glimpses of their personal lives and their professional ones. I loved being able to see each side of the characters. It helps you build a picture of them and understand their motives.

The Action

There is no getting away from it, these murders are brutal. There isn’t an awful lot of graphic detail given, which almost made it worse. It is left to your imagination to fill in the blanks. There were some incredibly creepy moments, I read this while I was in the house on my own. Not a good plan! It certainly got under my skin.

Final Thoughts

Overall I did really enjoy this book. There is one thing that did bother me, I felt that one of the characters didn’t get a proper conclusion and I was left a little disappointed with that. Having said that I will be searching out more of M.J. Arlidge’s books as this was right up my street. If you like fast paced action and being a little scared. Then go and grab yourself a copy, you wont be disappointed.

Many thanks to Tracy to inviting me on to the blog tour and to M.J. Arlidge and Michael Joseph for a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. 

Author Bio

M. J. ARLIDGE is a novelist, screenwriter and producer. In 2014, his debut novel Eeny Meeny was selected for the Richard and Judy Book Club. It swiftly became a Sunday Times Bestseller and was the best selling crime debut of the year. It sold to over 30 countries worldwide and has been optioned for development by the BBC. Seven subsequent Helen Grace novels have followed, all of them bestsellers. In 2017 Matt won the 2017 ‘Dead Good Reader Award for Best Female Character’ as voted for by crime fans. 

 Matt’s father was a criminal barrister, his mother a French teacher. Arlidge studied at University College School, before completing an English degree at St John’s College Cambridge. There he met his future wife, won the Douglas Chivers Prize for Shakespeare scholarship and mastered the specialist art of punting. All of his siblings work in the Arts, being a violinist, journalist and musical comedienne respectively. In 2016, his eldest sister, Catherine, was awarded an MBE for her services to musical education. 

 Matt now lives in Hertfordshire with his wife and two children. When he isn’t writing, he can be found playing tennis. His other great passion is travel – he and his family having visited India, Jordan, South Africa and the States in the past few years. As an eighteen-year-old, he taught in Southern India for several months and retains an enormous affection for that country. 

 He reads voraciously – crime thrillers, history and biographies – and has a weakness for Bond films, 90’s music and liquorice allsorts.

 SCREEN WRITING Matt Arlidge began his career in television, producing a host of popular dramas, including Eastenders and Monarch of the Glen. Later he specialised in TV crime drama, particularly domestic thrillers, such as Torn, The Little House and Undeniable, before moving from producing to screenwriting and now writes regularly for the hit BBC series Silent Witness. 

 Matt’s first original piece for television was the critically acclaimed drama Innocent starring Hermione Norris and Lee Ingleby. It was broadcast on ITV in May 2018 and proved one of the most popular drama series of the year with record breaking audiences.

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