Tuesday, June 19, 2012

"Until The Day You Die" by Tina Wainscott

Maggie Fletcher is understandably upset when her sister, Dana O'Reilly, commits suicide after being raped and beaten by stalker Colin Masters. He's particularly good at what he does, so there is no evidence he was ever really after Dana. It seems as if he'll get away with his crime....unless Maggie says she saw him leaving the scene of the crime. Her testimony puts Colin in prison like he deserves, but that is only the beginning of the nightmare. Somebody is still stalking her. They paint the word "liar" at her home and work. They hound her until her only option is to disappear completely and start a new life for herself, her mother and her young son, Luke.

Three years later, she has settled into her new life, and even has a new love interest in Aidan Trew. Until she starts getting little reminders that her stalker is once again in her midst. Small things, so that nobody believes her when she says she is being stalked. When she discovers that Colin has been released from jail on a technicality, she realises he has found her and wants to make her pay for her lie at his trial.

It was very refreshing to find a thriller that wasn't a by-the-numbers romantic suspense tale, nor a police procedural or forensic-driven serial killer thriller. And no gangs in sight! Instead, Until The Day You Die presented an alarmingly credible scenario in which the activities of a stalker causes an otherwise innocent, decent person to completely uproot their life and leave everything behind simply for the sake of sanity and safety. I was really put into Maggie's corner as every facet of her life was threatened. Hell, I was even fearing for the safety of Bonk, the family dog! The book is filled with sequences that you could easily imagine happening in real life to somebody being tormented by a persistant stalker. Wainscott has created a particularly nasty, loathsome villian in Colin Masters. He's truly somebody you love to hate. Maggie is a strong, driven heroine, and it's easy to sympathise with her predicament, even if her situation was caused by a lie she told under oath. The behaviour of her son Luke gets a little hard to tolerate as the novel hits its home stretch, but it at least adds to the suspense of Maggie's hopeless situation.

There is little that I can complain about when it comes to this thriller. It's scarily believable, fast-paced and has well-drawn characters. It may play a lot like your typical made-for-TV movie, but that has never been a sin in my opinion. Check it out.

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