Anthony Award winner Lori Rader-Day has a new mystery novel out today and Kerry Hammond is here to give us her review.
The Day I Died by Lori Rader-Day hits bookstores on April 11 in Paperback, published by William Morrow. It’s the author’s third standalone mystery novel and the first that I have read. What drew me to the book was the main character’s profession. Anna Winger is a handwriting analyst, which is an extremely interesting profession and a perfect one to allow her to be caught up in all sorts of criminal investigations.
Anna Winger and her son Joshua are new to the small Indiana town where they find themselves. It’s clear that they move frequently and it’s also clear that Anna is on the run from something or someone. She tries to keep a low profile and with the help of a friend, she gets jobs analyzing handwriting. It may be a company who is looking to hire an employee or a woman wondering if she should marry the man she’s dating. She explores the curves and angles of the handwriting sample to gain a larger picture of their personality in order to guide her clients.
When a local two-year-old boy goes missing, Anna is asked by the local sheriff to analyze a ransom note. She becomes entwined in not only the investigation but the local people and the town itself. This is something she tries desperately to avoid because it’s only a matter of time before she needs to move on to the next town. But this time it’s different, events have managed to draw her back to her past, back to where it all started, back to the day she died.
This book grabbed me right from the beginning, not just for the plot but for the writing as well. Rader-Day is a great storyteller. She created just the right amount of suspense to get me hooked. Then she fed me all of the details and descriptions so that I could follow along on Anna’s journey, finding the clues as she did, and uncovering the answer at the same time. I think it’s time to go back and read her first two novels.