This book in one word is “chilling”.

We follow the story of troubled teenager Kassie who has a “gift” for recognizing who is going to be dying next and she almost has visions about what is going to happen. Despite warning authorities or trying to warn the people herself, she is not believed because authorities just see her as a problem case. Which I do not doubt she is, she is a teenager with attitude and clearly has mental health problems. But I felt that Kassie just needed some stability and a regular person to go to, to listen to her or just be there for her and she saw that in Adam Brandt who is a forensic psychologist.

Adam we meet when the police call him to come and assess Kassie and he himself acknowledges that Kassie is a problem, but recognizes that by spending time with her and listening to her and taking the time he just maybe be able to move her on to her adulthood. Adam knows that everyone around Kassie including her mother have given up on her and just seem to be dragging her through to adulthood and then will just leave her to deal with her problems herself.

When Kassie initially reports this “gift” she has, Adam is a little skeptical but when she predicts the next death, he is either suspicious that she maybe part of the killing or she may be telling the truth and has a gift for being able to predict who is the next victim. He himself, has to justify to authorities that Kassie may not be insane, but this proves to be difficult. You worry that Kassie because she is such an integral part of the crime, tries to solve the crime herself, which is such a big thing when she is an incredibly young and vulnerable person who has little to no support from adults or people in authority.

The story is dark and chilling and we are aware and hear some narration from the serial killer themselves which is just haunting. Because who has been murdered it becomes not just a crime, but it has an impact on the media and politically. This in turn has an impact on the investigation and the extra pressure it puts on the police to catch and convict the killer before it gets out of hand.

It is very difficult to talk about this book too much, as with this type of book you just do not want to give spoilers away.

With regards the characters, I have to say I did not warm to Adam, I could not put my finger on it I just was not keen on him. Kassie I found to be strangely likable and charming, despite her problems. She just seemed to need some stability and positive role models to encourage and be there for her when she needed it and not judge her, because she would just run from that.

This is the first novel I have read by M.J Arlidge, which was an addictive and dark read. I have not really read anything like this before which is unique, I was not disappointed and will be certainly seeking out more books to read.

About the Book

Adam Brandt is a forensic psychologist, used to dealing with the most damaged members of society. But he’s never met anyone like Kassie.

The teenager claims to have a terrible gift. With just one look, she can foresee when and how you will die.

Adam knows Kassie must be insane. But a serial killer is terrorizing the city. And only Kassie seems to know who his next victim will be.

Against all his intuition, Adam starts to believe her. But he doesn’t realise how deadly his faith might prove…….

A Gift For Dying is published by Michael Joseph and is available here

Big thanks to Compulsive Readers for arranging this book blog tour

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