Until the Day I Die: A Novel
by Emily Carpenter
Lake Union Publishing

"Go all the way back to the very first error message…as many times as it takes."

Reeling from the sudden death of her husband, Erin Gaines agrees to go to a retreat on a Caribbean island for a month of restoration. Erin’s friends and family are concerned with her erratic behavior and desire to sell the tech company she started with her husband and friends. They intervene to send her away under the guise of good intentions, but not everyone in her inner circle wants her to return. Someone has plotted to ensure her island retreat is actually a jungle hunt with her as the prey.

With compelling characters and a careening plot, Carpenter’s thriller delivers on all fronts. The mother/daughter relationship, in the wake of grief and loss, is explored with empathy and nuance. The narrative structure gives us both points of view in alternating chapters, and the voice of each character is strong and revelatory with truths about loss, fear, and recovery. The action accelerates when Erin is on the island, and she begins to unravel the web of deceit and betrayal surrounding her company and the partners she has always trusted. Her fight to stay alive and the challenges she experiences ramp up the intensity and suspense in this novel.

The cast of characters introduced on the island fills a wide spectrum from devious to duped at the Hidden Sands resort. All of them keep the plot moving at a fast pace, twisting and turning Erin’s path of survival and discovery until the very end. Carpenter also includes technological intrigue with elements of hacking, cybersecurity, and savvy tech experts. This adds a modern edge to this classic suspenseful narrative where one woman must stay alive and discover the depths of betrayal that begin with her husband’s death.

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