She’ll care for you. Until you’re dead.
Maureen might be getting on in years but she’s fiercely independent and smart as a whip.
But when she falls and injures her ankle, her daughter Alva is convinced Maureen can no longer take care of herself and is determined to get her some help – which comes in the shape of local caregiver, Dolores.
Maureen tries to say no, she’s fine on her own, but it’s not so easy to get rid of Dolores. She seems to be everywhere, poking her nose into every corner of Maureen’s life, implying to Alva that her mother is getting senile and will soon need constant care.
Maureen feels as if she’s under siege 24/7. And she knows in her heart that there’s something not right about Dolores… But no one will listen.
Then one of Dolores’s other charges dies in mysterious circumstances and Maureen realises she may be fighting for a lot more than her independence.
Because once Dolores has you in her care, death may seem like a sweet release.
Jackie Morrissey lives in County Dublin and worked for many years in adult education. Her job took her into colleges and prisons all around Ireland, and introduced her to a range of interesting people. She loved the buzz of teaching, but came to hate the tyranny of correcting assignments. She has written throughout her adult life and has had many short stories published, one of which won the Molly Keane Short Story award. She has also been a regular contributor of short pieces for the Irish radio program Sunday Miscellany. About four years ago, she took the decision to write full time. The psychological thriller Before I Die is her first published novel.
This is something I genuinely worry about – the carer who’s out for whatever they can get. As someone with mental health issues, married to a disabled person I fear being left, like the elderly victims in this book, with someone who presents a different face to the outside world.
That being said, most people in the caring professions are nice and would never turn into Dolores.
I liked that the heroine is an older woman – Maureen is in the Miss Marple mold of a sleuth who many overlook due to her age.
There were some genuinely chilling moments and a satisfying denouement, a very impressive debut novel all round.
*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in this blog tour but all opinions remain my own.