Die Before I Wake
Mira, Dec 2008, $6.99
Julie Hanrahan goes on a cruise as a means of relaxing. On board she meets and falls in love with widower Dr. Thomas Larkin, father of two young children. He feels the same way and after a five day whirlwind courtship they marry.
Julie leaves California to live with her spouse in Maine where she struggles to adjust to the environs. However, the biggest shock is to learn that Tom’s first wife Beth committed suicide and her two kids still grieve big time as they do not understand why their mommy died. Tom's mother, who lives with the, is outright nasty to Julie, who wonders if she should go home. As she considers fleeing to the West Coast, Beth's sister believes her sister was murdered probably by Tom, who displays a temper that he hid when they were in the Caribbean. Julie ponders whether her husband is a killer as accidents begin to befall on her.
Though the theme has been used before (for instance the classic Grant-Bergman movie Notorious) DIE BEFORE I WAKE is a tense contemporary gothic thriller with excellent spins. Laurie Breton keeps the reader off kilter guessing whether Tom is a dangerous menace ready to kill his second wife or a brooding hero unsure what to do to keep his beloved safe. The story line is fast-paced but it is Julie’s account of the goings-on that makes the tale exciting and frightening as the audience knows the bumps in the night are real; at least in her mind. Ms. Breton provides a one sitting taut tale that keeps fans off balance with doubts between straight deadly suspense and romantic suspense.