2018 Anthony Award Winner for Best Paperback Original
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.
|Product dimensions:||5.30(w) x 7.30(h) x 1.10(d)|
About the Author
Lori Rader-Day's debut mystery, The Black Hour, won the 2014 Anthony Award for Best First Novel and was a finalist for the Mary Higgins Clark Award. Her second novel, Little Pretty Things, received a starred review from Booklist and was named a 2015 "most arresting crime novel" by Kirkus Reviews. She lives in Chicago.
Hillary Huber is one of the most successful voice talents in Los Angeles. Recent books read for Blackstone Audio include Him, Her, Him Again, the End of Him by Patricia Marx, A Field of Darkness by Cornelia Read, and A Map of Glass by Jane Urquhart.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I won this novel in a Goodreads giveaway and was asked in return for an honest review. I'm just going to make this a sweet and simple review... This was a good book, the plot/story was good, as well as the characters. When I first read the plot to the story I knew I wanted to read it right away. & then I won a copy and couldn't wait to start it. It started out a little slow and I had trouble getting into it but it was good. The only thing I had a problem with was some of the writing, it was a little confusing at times and I don't know if it was just me and the way I was reading it, or maybe because at times I was really tired when reading, or maybe because I've been feeling sick these past few days... Am I the only one who felt some of the writing was a bit confusing? The book picked up pace a bit but then slowed down again until the end, a very confusing roller-coaster ride... It's a love/hate kind of thing. I gave it 3 stars but only because I liked the idea of the plot.
As soon as I read the first page I was hooked by its distinctive plot and intrigue yet, I must admit three-fourths of the way through it started to feel a bit drawn-out as the plot reveals itself slowly. Consequently, it dropped it from five stars to four nevertheless the story itself still held up chocked full of captivating twists plus endless thought-provoking situations. Subsequently, it raised many interesting questions regarding people in general that kept me thinking about after I finished the book. The author shows how first impressions are not as critical as we assume, but therefore do we ever unquestionably know someone? Comparatively, can a person completely change the core of their being? Finally, why do individuals learn to accept and live with physical and mental abuse? These are not new questions to anyone just presented to the reader in a different light, bringing them back to the front of your cognition. I allowed an image to climb through the opening in my memory...When she came to mind, I stuffed her back down into the locked bin of my mind. A lot of people lived there, but wondering about Theresa only led to black thoughts and bad dreams. Theresa and my mother. The main protagonist, Anna Winger has been on the run with her son Joshua for thirteen years when looking for a new place to dwell for a bit Anna is drawn to a one-horse town named Parks not realizing the forthcoming tribulation. Nevertheless, Anna still harbors strength and courage that lingers deep inside her granted is she able to accomplish for her the inconceivable? Furthermore, Anna’s past is revealed slowly to the reader in flashbacks. Before this book, I had never heard of a person having the ability to analyze handwriting or rather what is called Graphology which determines characteristics of a person. Though this makes a brilliant topic for a book scientists consider graphology pseudoscientific and ineffective. Whereas, how often do individuals write things out with pen and paper nowadays since texting and email have become such a large part of our life? Rarely. I got up and grabbed the straps of Joshua’s backpack to move it off the table but instead pulled it to me...and wished I’d never looked. But I had, and now I knew. His handwriting-once so playfully dismissive of the horizon, so youthful and alive-was gone. His name even written by his own hand, was false. It was full of sticks, each letter strategically rendered and apart, lonely and stripped. I’d never seen anything so desolate, so perfectly engineered to give away nothing at all...Joshua was hiding in plain sight, too. And I was pretty sure he was hiding from me. As my final observance is this a story within a story or is it a possibility that all the mysteries that occur are entwined as one? Could it all have been an illusion? A four-star book is worth picking up and reading to find out.
Wow! This was such a good read and I'm guessing that there is a good chance that it will end up on my top reads list for this year. Yep, it was really that good! I adore a book where the atmosphere carries me through the story. This book had that in spades. There were times that I just had to stop reading because I couldn't take it any more. That feeling of dread....that bad things were coming just permeated the pages of this book. I couldn't get enough even when I didn't want to keep reading. I took my time with this book though and really savored the reading experience. The author took chances with this one as it has possible triggers for those who don't like reading about certain things. She did it wonderfully though by not glossing over it while also not being too graphic. I don't want to say more than that as it feels kind of spoiler-ish. The mystery of this book was more of a search for this missing little boy. The author took her time with letting us get to know Anna and her son.....and I felt like we were given this information piece by piece. The reader wasn't always supposed to know why Anna behaved the way she did even if we could guess. I just really loved the my entire reading experience with this book! I also really enjoyed Anna's job as a handwriting analyst. I don't know a lot about this type of thing but I found all of the details so intriguing. The idea that you can learn so much about a person just based off of their handwriting is almost a little terrifying when you think about it. I can see why some of the characters didn't want to write anything down around her. I wouldn't want someone analyzing my handwriting...or would I? I'm not entirely sure. LOL! I found that I hit a point in this book where I knew that I was going to have to see how it would all end. Before that, I took my time with it and slowly made my way through the pages. Afterwards though I was reading as fast as I could just so I could see how it would all end. This was a book that left me thinking about it afterwards, just mulling over everything that happened. I am super excited to have found this author especially after enjoying this book so much! Overall, this was a delightfully good read and one that I didn't want to see end. I loved the way the author just brought these characters to life- they all felt so real to me. I am thrilled to see that this author has other books for me to enjoy. Especially as this one was so good so I have very high hopes for everything else that she has written. I would recommend this one to mystery/thriller fans but also those who just enjoy a really great read. Highly recommended! Bottom Line: Most likely this will make my top reads list for the year- read it!! Disclosure: I received a copy of this book thanks to the publisher as part of a TLC book tour.
The Day I Died by Lori Rader-Day is a very highly recommended compelling mystery/novel psychological suspense. I found it compulsively readable and unputdownable. Anna Winger is a handwriting analyst who sometimes works with the FBI and law enforcement as well as for private citizens. Anna can look at original samples of handwriting and deduce more about a person than they may want to reveal. She has also been constantly on the move for the last thirteen years in an attempt to hide from her former violent, abusive boyfriend. This time she and Joshua, her thirteen-year-old son, have ended up in a small town in Parks, Indiana. She avoids friendships and any ties with the community she's living in so she can pack up Josh and leave the moment something seems threatening. Then her FBI contact refers her to Parks Sheriff Russ Keller to assist in the investigation and search for a missing toddler by looking at some written material left behind. The sheriff is reluctant to trust her analysis and she is reluctant to get involved in this small town case. Anna agrees to help, but it places her in close contact with the community and the ghosts of her past. The mother of the toddler is also missing and it seems like the father might be abusive, all of which strikes too close to home for Anna. Did the mother of the boy stage their disappearance to escape abuse? To complicate matters even more, Josh is starting to rebel, by talking back, hiding his activities, and acting out. Is it because he is a teen or is his behavior linked to the friends he has made in Parks? When Josh disappears too, Anna must disclose parts of her personal life to try and find her son. Her biggest fear is that he went to look for a man he never met, his father, and Anna will have to return to her hometown to find him and confront her past. Although Anna is very guarded with details into her past, we slowly learn more about her as we also learn more about the case the sheriff is trying to solve - and as she tries to find her son. While the buildup is slow to start, the narrative picked up the pace rather dramatically and then took off at a gallop. Anna is a great character, fully developed and interesting. She has amazing powers of observation and notices many small clues and details along the way. The writing is excellent and kept my attention throughout, especially as it opens with the titular "On the day I died..." The unraveling of the clues in the intricate cases are interlaced with the slow reveal of Anna's past and what she has been running from for all these years. It all makes for a masterful novel of mystery and suspense along with a powerful statement about abuse. There is a twist that, upon reflection, seems too convenient, but I overlooked it as the action was pretty intense at that point. Once you get through the slow-ish set up, the action and information increase exponentially to the satisfying conclusion. Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from HarperCollins.