THE DAY SHE DIEDI am a big fan of Catriona McPherson’s stand-alone novel that was published last year, AS SHE LEFT IT (as well as her Dandy Gilver series). I haven’t gone much more than a week without recommending it to someone since I first read it. So it will come as little surprise that (spoiler alert) I loved THE DAY SHE DIED.

Jessie Constable is just like us all—she has secrets. Things about herself that she keeps…private. They’re nobody’s business but her own, really, and her life is going along as well as can be expected. She’s (not unhappily) single, has a job she likes, and friends. Everything is OK. Then, in one strange moment in a supermarket, everything changes.

Without really meaning to, Jessie suddenly (literally—in hours) has a completely different life, one that revolves around Gus King. Jessie wants to be a good person. To be kind and caring. To see the best in people.

Whether Gus is worthy of Jessie’s good intentions is the crux of the mystery in THE DAY SHE DIED, which is a complex story with characters so richly drawn that readers wouldn’t be surprised to have them traipse right into the room as they read.

The sub-plots in THE DAY SHE DIED interlock in a captivating fashion. It is a mark of McPherson’s storytelling prowess that none of the threads—and there are lots of them—are left dangling.

THE DAY SHE DIED also contains some elements that seem utterly fantastical and, frankly, more than a little far-fetched. “This must be fiction,” I thought as I read about one in particular (you’ll know which as soon as you read the book), and so I looked it up and found…that it’s completely true. Which made me feel all the more justified in getting completely lost in Jessie’s story and the world McPherson creates for her.

This is not an easy book to classify. It’s a psychological thriller, for sure, but it’s much more than that. Its prose is beautiful…dare I say literary? It contains not one, but several mysteries. It has crimes (nothing gruesome). It explores many aspects of family relationships. It has moments of humor. It is, ultimately, a superb story.

THE DAY SHE DIED was the first book I read this year. I knew immediately that it would be one of the best I read all year. I recommend that you read it immediately.

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