Title: If I Should Die
Author: Allison Brennan
Release Date: November 22, 2011
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Source: Curled Up with a Good Book
Rating: 4 out of 5
Lucy Kincaid and her P.I. boyfriend Sean Rogan finally have some time to themselves, so they decide to head into the Adirondack Mountains for a vacation. Sean has promised some friends that he’d look into a difficult situation while there, but he is looking forward to some uninterrupted time with Lucy. Little does he know that the small favor he’s promised will not only interrupt his vacation, but put his and Lucy’s lives in danger as well.
If I Should Die is the third novel in the Lucy Kincaid series, and it’s quite the departure from the previous two novels. While the first two novels revolved around sex crimes and violence against women, this novel seemed completely different. That’s not to say it was bad, nor that the change was unwelcome. Brennan breaks new ground with this complicated, intricate storyline. It’s fast-paced and moves at a great clip; each page reveals new information with unexpected twists and turns.
Lucy and Sean are already well-established characters, and this book doesn’t provide much fodder for them to develop further. As expected in a romantic suspense novel, their relationship has its ups and down, but the book is plot, rather than character driven. It’s difficult to know what to make of the secondary characters. All are extremely well-written and layered, but it’s not easy to tell what their true motives are. All the reader knows is that this conspiracy is wide-ranging, and it’s possible the entire town is involved. It makes for a wonderful puzzle, wondering who Sean and Lucy can trust.
The novel is more of a thriller than a mystery novel, as readers discover the identity of the villain long before If I Should Die comes to a close. Indeed, even before this, it isn’t difficult to guess what is happening because the reader is treated to passages written in this person’s voice over the course of the book. It provides a chilling look into a twisted mind; Brennan writes it incredibly well. But this doesn’t lessen the suspense of the novel at all. The book is about how Lucy and Sean will succeed, and the truth behind exactly what is happening, rather than the identity of who is behind it.
All in all, If I Should Die is a welcome installment in the Lucy Kincaid series. Brennan has created two rich, flawed characters in Sean and Lucy, and readers will clamor to follow them wherever they lead. Their romance is sweet and builds at a realistic pace, such that even readers who aren’t fans of romance novels can enjoy this book. She’s put together a wonderful series with these books, and it will be interesting to see where she goes next.
Other books by Allison Brennan: