Before it’s Too Late
I concentrated hard, desperately listening for something familiar, the sound of life. I heard nothing. Just my own breaths and the wind, whistling through branches above… The thought made me shiver. I am buried alive. Following an argument with her British boyfriend, Chinese student Min Li is abducted whilst walking the dark streets of picturesque Stratford-upon-Avon alone. Trapped in a dark pit, Min is at the mercy of her captor. Detective Inspector Will Jackman is tasked with solving the case and in his search for answers discovers that the truth is buried deeper than he ever expected. But, as another student vanishes and Min grows ever weaker, time is running out. Can Jackman track down the kidnapper, before it’s too late?
Jane Isaac is a fabulous writer – I enjoyed her last book, The Truth Will Out and found this new release even more enjoyable. Her characters are the everyday, the people you might casually know or bump into in the supermarket, or at school, or friends or a friend. Her writing takes the ordinary every day person and manipulates their life when they are touched by an extraordinary event. In this case we have a birthday drinks and an argument between lovers that has dire consequences for several of the characters, their lives will never be the same again. There are plenty of opportunities to reflect the “what ifs”, “what if I had turned back and kept walking “, “what if I had gone back inside”…”what if….” Life’s direction can be changed so quickly, without thought.
A brilliant opening which hooks the reader into the narrative, Min wakes up, disorientated, panic stricken, ill…in a concrete coffin. The tension is electrifying. The voice of Min narrates some of the chapters, giving us a very personal view of her incarceration and her life. And so we read on and the character development continues, I loved the male protagonist – DI Will Jackman and his assistant DS Anne Davies – she adds a lightness of touch and humour to the narrative.
This is taut, atmospheric and emotional narrative that you will not be able to put down and there is a very clever twist that I did not see coming (no spoilers here). I really enjoyed this read and can’t wait for the next book by this talented author.