Throwback Thursday – “The Day She Died” by Catriona McPherson

Throwback Thursday using Scrabble letters

The Throwback Thursday meme was created by Rene over at It’s Book Talk. She made this meme to share some of her old favorites. Although all bookbloggers have an endless TBR pile, we seldom take the time to reflect back and post about some of the great reads from a few years ago. I decided to join in for the first time as sharing recommendations is one of my most favorite things to do!

My pick for Thursday, July 20, 2017

“The day she died” by Catriona McPherson

The cover is what first attracted me to this novel.  This time ‘choosing by dust jacket’ paid off in spades.

A remote,  dark, and ominous Scottish locale, an emotionally damaged protagonist, a psychopath, two sweet little children….what more could you want in a thriller?

Our protagonist, Jessie is a needy single woman in her thirties who carries a lot of emotional baggage from her childhood thanks to her delusional (and borderline evil) mother.  Jessie longs for what other folk take for granted.  A home of her own, a man of her own and maybe children.

One day as she is shopping for her supper in Marks & Spencer she encounters Gus, a good looking man with a wee girl in tow.  She has seen him around before and found him both intriguing and attractive.  He is pleading with someone (his wife) on the phone. At the end of the conversation he smashes his phone and is completely distraught.  So distraught that Jessie feels she has no choice but to step in and help.  He tells her that his wife has left him…. and asks her if she will drive him and the little girl home.  Jessie agrees and finds that he lives over an hour from town in a cottage by the sea.  When they get there – Jessie finds that there is a baby wailing from his crib.  He has been left completely alone for hours!   Faced with this dire predicament, Gus pleads with Jessie to stay and help him with the children.   She does….  But of course nothing is as it seems.  The wife who left him has had a car accident and her body has been found over a cliff.  Gus identifies her body and asks if Jessie will stay just a bit longer until the funeral is over….  What follows is a life-altering experience for her as she comes to love both Gus and the children.

The cottage is near a holiday caravan park where mysterious goings on seem to be taking place.  There is a Polish man who tries to approach Jessie on several occasions.  He seems to have only one change of clothes and is homeless.  However he does have a bag full of thousands of pounds in cash…  He and other secondary characters add depth and intrigue to the plot and eventually tie-in with the story of Gus’s family.

On the home front there seem to be inconsistencies in what Gus says about his wife.  It transpires that the marriage was not a happy one.  Gus is a sculptor who works from a shed at the end of the garden.  He doesn’t allow people to enter the shed…  Doubts begin to niggle Jessie and she starts to question what really happened ‘the day she died‘…  Nothing is as it seems – and the reader will frantically turn the pages to discover just what truths the ending will reveal.

The day she died was the first novel I have read by Catriona McPherson. It is a creepily foreboding psychological thriller that had me spellbound!  I can honestly say I enjoyed it as much as some early Ruth Rendell novels.  High praise from me – as Ruth Rendell is one of my favorite novelists.  The title chosen was perfect for the novel and actually had double relevance as readers will discover.

F 5 star


More Throwback Thursday Picks Around the Blogosphere 

Renee at Its Book Talk

Jill at Jill’s Book Cafe

Deanna at DeesRadReads and Reviews

Nicki at Secret Library

Amanda at Literary Weaponry

Stephanie at Stephanie’s Novel Fiction

Cathy at Between the Lines

P Turners at The PTurnersbookblog

Julie at Novel Thrills and Chills

Susan at Susan Loves Books

Danielle at Books,Vertigo and Tea

Cathy at What Cathy Read Next

Noriko at Book Fiend

About Fictionophile

Fiction reviewer ; Goodreads librarian. Retired library cataloger - more time to read! Loves books, gardening, and red wine. I have been a reviewer member of NetGalley since October 2013. I review titles offered by Edelweiss, and participate in blog tours with TLC Book Tours.
This entry was posted in Book Reviews, Favorite books, Psychological thrillers, Throwback Thursday and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Throwback Thursday – “The Day She Died” by Catriona McPherson

  1. Pingback: ‘The Day She Died’ by Catriona McPherson | Bookmarks & Blue Light

  2. Pingback: The Tottering TBR // Episode XVIII | The Aroma of Books

  3. What a powerful and chilling title and cover!


  4. Christine says:

    Wonderful post and outstanding idea! Maybe post one like this on a monthly basis, Lynne? I would love to see more. It’s so easy to miss a terrific book with the glut we are presented with, and a reminder to something special like this one gives readers a second chance at a winner.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. FictionFan says:

    This sounds fab! Another one for the wishlist – thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m so glad you’re on TBT this week!! I love that this meme is allowing these old favorites to resurface and the rest of us get a chance to find new to us books:) I’ve never heard of this book or the author but your review has won me over to heading to my library’s website to see if this is available!!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. The cover and your review, I am completely sold! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. The Quiet Knitter says:

    Oooh this sounds interesting! Will have to check it out

    Liked by 1 person

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