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Thanks to NetGalley and Pinnacle for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis: 

No forgiveness 

Andrea Boyle moved to Seattle to give her seventeen-year-old nephew, Spencer, a fresh start after the death of his parents. Andrea has found her own new beginning with Luke, a successful playwright and father of a teenage son, Damon. The boys appear to have little in common, but in truth they share a private torment…

No Remorse

When a tragedy befalls Damon, it’s just the beginning of a nightmare that unfolds. But the worse is yet to come once a dark secret from Spencer’s past is exposed. And when Luke is brutally attacked, both their futures are at stake.

No Second Chances

Now it’s up to Andrea to prove Spencer’s innocence to the police–and to herself. Because for reasons she has revealed to no one, even Andrea can’t help questioning the truth–and fearing that she may be next to pay the ultimate price…

The first book I read by Kevin O’Brien was The Next To Die (2005). Since then I’ve learned he can always be counted on to provide white-knuckle thrillers, and You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone is no exception. Centered around the consequences of bullying, he builds upon that using incredible characters and amazing plot twists. Spencer is the standout in this story with not only his own struggles with bullies, but his attempts to keep secret his complicated past. He’s an absolute sweetheart, who had me completely wrapped around his finger. His aunt, Andrea, makes some questionable decisions, but you can’t help but have empathy for her as she scrambles to protect Spencer while battling her own doubts. Even the bullies are well-written and you get to see their vulnerabilities as they try to fight an unseen foe. The only complaint I have is with Luke who has become a father figure to Spencer. I thought he started out strong, but then seemed to fade into the background as the story progressed. The rest of the novel is so well written though, that this is relatively minor and it in no way spoiled my overall enjoyment. The story itself is absolutely mesmerizing , with dazzling plot twists that will make your head spin! Even though it’s over 500 pages, the pace never drags, and I finished it in two days. You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone is a multi-layered mystery that you’ll be hard-pressed to put down. If you’re not familiar with Kevin O’Brien, this is a good place to start. Once you do I guarantee you’ll want to go back and read all his previous books. 

 

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