Synopsis from Simon & Schuster:
Instant national bestseller Nathan Ripley follows up the success of Find You in the Dark with another suspenseful page-turner—this time about a woman whose notorious father died when she was a child, but whose legacy comes back to haunt her.
Blanche Potter never expected to face her past again—but she can’t escape it.
Blanche, an up-and-coming filmmaker, has distanced herself in every way she can from her father, the notorious killer and cult leader, Chuck Varner. In 1996, when she was a small child, he went on a shooting spree before turning the gun on himself.
Now, Blanche learns that her mother has been murdered. She returns to her childhood home, where she soon discovers there’s more to the death than police are willing to reveal. The officer who’s handling the case is holding information back, and a journalist who’s nosing around the investigation is taking an unusual interest in Blanche’s family.
Blanche begins to suspect that Chuck Varner’s cult has found a new life, and that her mother’s murder was just the beginning of the cult’s next chapter.
Then another killing occurs.
About: Your Life is Mine is a crime thriller written by Nathan Ripley, pseudonym for Naben Ruthnum. It was recently published on 6/4/2019 by Atria Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, hardcover, 304 pages. The genres are mystery, thriller, crime, adult, and fiction. According to the publisher’s website, “founded in 2002, Atria was from the start intended to be an environment where new ideas could flourish, the best writers of fiction and nonfiction could thrive and connect with an ever-widening readership, and the best practices of traditional publishing could be integrated with cutting-edge developments in the digital world. In short, a place where great books could come to light.” Please see below for more information about the author and publisher.
My Experience: I started reading Your Life is Mine on 7/15/2019 and finished it on 7/19/2019. This book is a great read! A bit of a slow start but got interesting with the twist on Blanche’s mom and many unexpected surprises and twists I didn’t see coming to different characters including Blanche. The killer’s strategy is good and creative when involving many people. I like following Detective Pargiter’s view. He has some humor and seems realistic. I like the ending. I like the diversity as well.
This book is told in the first person point of view following Blanche. The story started out from 20 years ago when Blanche was 7 walking into a mall with her father Chuck Varner, cult leader. Chuck left his daughter upstairs and then went downstairs to shoot at random shoppers. Then 10 years later, Blanche left home, changed her last name, and moved in with her friend Jaya and her family. Now 20 years later, Blanche currently a documentary filmmaker standing at the movie theater for her and Jaya’s new screening, still having a hard time letting the memory go of the shooting spree and the years of cult teachings that was ingrained into her mind, especially her dad’s cult message of death, Your Life is Mine. As much as Blanche wanted to forget about her past, she’s now finding herself going back to her childhood home to figure out why her mom was recently murdered. The second point of view is Crissy. She is full of surprises. There are a couple of chapters on a book excerpt about Chuck’s shooting and the interviews of his wife Crissy and daughter. The third view is The Boy. He has some plans involving Blanche. The fourth view is Emil Chadwick, an aspiring journalist following his mom’s famous book on Blanche’s family regarding the shooting spree. He wants to take a step further from his mom and create a documentary with Blanche on her story about her past, present, and future. The fifth view is Pargiter, Detective investigating and following Blanche’s warning of possibly another shooting spree. The sixth view is Jaya, Blanche’s friend where their friendship was built on a girl with a father who killed and a girl with a father who got shot.
Your Life is Mine is well written though I have a hard time connecting with Blanche. She has an attitude and a crude personality towards pretty much everyone she meets. Her conversation with officer Maitland was a runaround. I had no idea what that talk was all about until she refined it over with Pargiter. The filming talks in the book didn’t interest me much. Blanche complimented her mom being smart and planned everything but I would have enjoyed reading this book more if her strategies were in on the action. Other than that, the plot is interesting and the twists are excellent and I do recommend everyone to read this book!
Pro: twists, shooting spree, cult, humor, diversity,
Con: planning shouldn’t be complimented but should be actionable
I rate it 4 stars!
About the Author:
Nathan Ripley is the pseudonym of Toronto resident and Journey Prize winner Naben Ruthnum. Find You in the Dark, Ripley’s first thriller, was an instant bestseller and an Arthur Ellis Awards finalist for Best First Novel. As Naben Ruthnum, he is the author of Curry: Eating, Reading, and Race. Follow him on Twitter @NabenRuthnum (Photo and info obtained from Simon & Schuster’s website).
More Information about Atria Books
***Disclaimer: Many thanks to Atria Books for the opportunity to read and review. Please be assured that my opinions are honest.