Thursday, April 26, 2018

Friday Focus: The Friday 56 & Book Beginnings

It's Friday . . . time to share book excerpts with:
  • Book Beginnings on Fridays hosted by Rose City Reader, where bloggers share the first sentence or more of a current read, as well as initial thoughts about the sentence(s), impressions of the book, or anything else that the opening inspires.  
  • The Friday 56 hosted by Freda's Voice, where you grab a book and turn to page 56 (or 56% of an ebook), find one or more interesting sentences (no spoilers), and post them.
Today I'm featuring If I Die Tonight by Alison Gaylin.  The excerpts are from a trade paperback edition borrowed from the library.

 If I Die Tonight 

Beginning:  Prologue
From the Facebook page of Jacqueline Merrick Reed.

October 24 at 2:45 AM
By the time you read this, I'll be dead.

This isn't Jackie.  It's her son Wade.


Five days earlier

In bed late at night with her laptop, Jackie Reed sometimes forgot there were others in the house.  That's how quiet it was here, with these hushed boys of hers, always with their heads down, with their shuffling footsteps and their padded sneakers, their muttered greetings, their doors closing behind them.

Page 56:  "Behind him, Connor  heard the slam of a car door, then footstepsboots clicking on the concrete, coming closer.  A lump formed in his throat.  He thought of that cop again.  Is she back?  Did she see?"

My thoughts:  This book pulls you in from its opening lines and the suspense continues to build as you read on.  I don't know how I missed this author's previous books, but I will be looking over her back list very soon.


From Goodreads:  Late one night in the quiet Hudson Valley town of Havenkill, a distraught woman stumbles into the police station—and lives are changed forever.

Aimee En, once a darling of the ’80s pop music scene, claims that a teenage boy stole her car, then ran over another young man who’d rushed to help.

As Liam Miller’s life hangs in the balance, the events of that fateful night begin to come into focus. But is everything as it seems?

The case quickly consumes social media, transforming Liam, a local high school football star, into a folk hero, and the suspect, a high school outcast named Wade Reed, into a depraved would-be killer. But is Wade really guilty? And if he isn’t, why won’t he talk?

Told from a kaleidoscope of viewpoints—Wade’s mother Jackie, his younger brother Connor, Aimee En and Pearl Maze, a young police officer with a tragic past,
If I Die Tonight is a story of family ties and dark secrets—and the lengths we’ll go to protect ourselves.


This Friday Focus post was originally written and published by Catherine for  It cannot be republished without attribution.  Retweeting and sharing of this original post on Google+ are appreciated.   



  1. Oh this looks good! The beginning definitely caught my attention and the blurb is intriguing!

  2. I love the sound of this one! I wonder why those boys are so quiet? Seems very mysterious. Thanks for sharing, and here's mine: “THE NEW NEIGHBORS”

  3. Whoa! Sounds heartbreaking and amazing all at once! Happy weekend!

  4. Sounds intriguing and really twisty. This week I have Better Off Read by Nora Page. Happy reading!

  5. Ooh, a twist right at the beginning. I love that!

    My Friday 56 from Shadowfall

  6. I keep hearing great things about Gaylin and her books. This one sounds soooo good!