Review: You Belong to Me by Samantha Hayes

Wednesday, 11 March 2015
Title: You Belong to Me
Author: Samantha Hayes
Publisher: Century
Publication Date: 12th March 2015
Pages: 496
ISBN: 9781780893396
Source: NetGalley
Rating: 4/5
Purchase: Amazon
Fleeing the terrors of her former life, Isabel has left England, and at last is beginning to feel safe.

Then a letter shatters her world, and she returns home determined not to let fear rule her life any more.

But she's unable to shake off the feeling that someone who knows her better than she knows herself may be following her.

Watching. Waiting.

Ready to step back into her life and take control all over again.

Before You Die by Samantha Hayes was one of the first books I reviewed on my blog and despite still having not read Until You're Mine I was thrilled to see You Belong to Me on NetGalley and couldn't wait to get started with it. I read the first 200 pages in one sitting, another hundred in the bath and the remainder just before sitting down to write this review. You know, I knew Samantha Hayes was capable of writing a twisted book, and that she was capable of shocking her readers but I'm stunned at the twist near the end of You Belong to Me. 

You Belong to Me is impossible to review without giving away half the plot in the process and I can't even talk about all the characters without ruining the story either. What I can say though is that I found the first half of the book (despite the one sitting read) quite slow going, nothing exciting or suspenseful really happened, whilst I appreciate this was to set the scene, and introduce the characters, I just wanted everything to move that little bit quicker. Isabel is hiding out in India, safe in the knowledge that she will never be found. Well, found she is, and it isn't long before she's on a plane returning to the UK, fearful that what made her flee the country in the first place will be waiting for her upon her return. I don't know what it was but I didn't take to Isabel straightaway, and found decisions that she was making back in the UK to be a bit silly, and not the decisions I expected somebody in her position to make. I wanted to reach into the book and go 'What are you doing?!' but I stuck with it and it all made sense in the end. 

DI Lorraine Fisher returns, this time she's anxious, and struggling at work due to feeling that she could have done more to save a woman's life. As a DI I perhaps found her actions and the way she was feeling a little bit unrealistic, or perhaps it is because I have read a lot of crime fiction lately with such strong female detectives in them that Lorraine just felt a little bit weaker by comparison, and I didn't really care about what was going on in her personal life. I did start to like her more towards the end of the book and enjoyed attempting to solve this case. Lorraine has a perseverance to solve a case no matter the cost to herself. 

All the way through the book I knew there would be a twist coming, and I was constantly on edge, second guessing everything and everyone in my attempt to work things out before the big reveal. Samantha Hayes really puts you inside the head of each of these characters, some of whom are dangerous, scary and extremely untrustworthy. I had a couple of theories and found myself wondering if they would actually be plausible. In the end, I didn't guess the big twist and it floored me. It was absolutely brilliant, and the reservations I had in the beginning, and the couple of little niggles I had with the story throughout perhaps should have made me work things out sooner. The twist in this book will surely be one of my favourites of 2015. But Samantha writes in a way that keeps you guessing throughout, dropping little clues here and there but then a few chapters later has you thinking something else. Is it the most believable story in the world? I want to say no just because of how scary this happening to somebody in real life would be! Still, totally believable or not it was fantastic. 

I have no hesitation in recommending You Belong to Me, and (a year later) I am still saying that hopefully I will get round to reading Until You're Mine very soon. 

With thanks to the publisher for the NetGalley review copy. 

4/5

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