Thursday, November 28, 2019

✱✱Book Review✱✱ If I Had Two Lives by A.B. Whelan

If I Had Two Lives 
by A.B. Whelan

From the bestselling author of 14 Days to Die and As Sick as Our Secrets comes a twisted tale of family secrets and the darker side of human nature that will leave you wanting to research your family history.

Vicky Collins has a seemingly enviable life. She is a successful agent for the FBI and lives with her social media star and real estate entrepreneur boyfriend in an upscale neighborhood of San Diego.

But appearances can be deceiving.

When Vicky is recruited to an elite unit at the FBI to investigate a serial killer piggybacking on the murders of other serial killers, her life begins to spiral out of control.

To complicate things further for the young special agent, a routine background check at the FBI reveals a sibling DNA match — a brother she didn’t know existed. Determined to unravel the mysteries of her past and to find her long lost brother, Vicky retraces the boy’s footsteps through the foster care system, uncovering the abuse and neglect he suffered growing up. The secrets she unveils are more monstrous and terrifying than she ever imagined, and a new truth about her childhood threatens to consume her.

Then the Piggyback Serial Killer strikes again, but this time, Agent Collins has multiple suspects—including members of her own family.

If I Had Two Lives delves into dark subject matter — murder, sexual violence, and childhood abuse. It is not for the faint-hearted. This book was inspired by a young woman in a vegetative state who was sexually assaulted and impregnated by an employee of the care facility. If the story touches you as deeply as it touched me, I’d love to hear your opinion.

If I Had Two Lives is an emotionally-charged and thought-provoking psychological thriller about the ripple effects of childhood experiences and our obsession in seeking the truth, for fans of Sharp Objects, The Silent Patient, and The Girl on the Train.

Momma Says: 2.5 stars⭐⭐⭐

The blurb for If I Had Two Lives promises a psychological thriller, and the description certainly sounds like one. However, the proof is in the pudding, and I can't say that I found very much about this story to be even remotely thriller-like. It started off well enough, but it didn't take long to connect the dots on who Vicky is or her connection to the case. For me, it kind of felt like this one started going off the rails right about the time that Vicky is made aware of a sibling she didn't know about. From there, it's like this woman can't catch a break. It's one thing after another, and it all started to be a bit much. As I said, this one didn't feel like a thriller to me. Drama, definitely, this story has loads of drama, and parts of the story are jarring, but there was just something missing for me. Part of that may be the two-dimensional characters that made it hard to connect, plus there weren't many that were particularly likable. And then there were the numerous twists in the story. Twists are all well and good, and I quite enjoy them, but this felt a bit like the author was throwing everything at us to see what would stick. There is a good twist at the end, and I'll admit that I had no idea, but by that time, it was more a determination to see the book through than a real interest in the answer to that question. There were a couple of things left unresolved, and to be honest, I was more interested in finding out what happened with those things. This book did have potential, and I had high hopes in the beginning, but it left me disappointed. 

❃❃ARC provided by Book Sirens and the author. 

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