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When I’m Dead by Hannah Morrissey

When I’m Dead

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by Hannah Morrissey
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Quick take

This twist-filled and visceral chiller will have you wondering how well we can ever truly know those we hold dearest.

Good to know

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Psychological


  • Illustrated icon, Icon_MultipleNarrators

    Multiple viewpoints

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Puzzle


  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Whodunit



On a bone-chilling October night, Medical Examiner Rowan Winthorp investigates the death of her daughter’s best friend. Hours later, the tragedy hits even closer to home when she makes a devastating discovery—her daughter, Chloe, is gone. But, not without a trace.

A morbid mosaic of clues forces Rowan and her husband to question how deeply they really knew their daughter. As they work closely to peel back the layers of this case, they begin to unearth disturbing details about Chloe and her secret transgressions . . . details that threaten to tear them apart.

Amidst the noise of navigating her newfound grief and reconciling the sins of her past, an undeniable fact rings true for Rowan: karma has finally come to collect.

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Why I love it

When I’m Dead opens with a macabre crime: a girl has been murdered, her broken teeth scattered across the ground. Soon it’s discovered that her best friend, Chloe Winthorp, is missing. But Chloe’s disappearance is not the only thing that terrifies her parents, both veteran investigators—because it’s not clear whether Chloe is a victim or the perpetrator.

As the story shifts between those who are closest to Chloe, we peel back the intricate layers of her life. Chloe’s parents are forced to question just how well they actually know their daughter, and what secrets she was keeping from them. Then another body surfaces and the investigation takes on new urgency.

The dark heart of this novel lies in its exploration of a young woman’s private world, and of a family that began to fracture long before she vanished. Hannah Morrissey deftly balances emotional depth with a twisting mystery and ever rising tension that had me absolutely in its grip.

And of course, all of this transpires in the bleak and starkly drawn town of Black Harbor, a place that exudes a sense of peril all on its own. With its late October setting, complete with pumpkin carving and a visit to a haunted house, I found it the perfect book to curl up with as the days get shorter and darkness creeps in. If your fall vibe includes graveyards and scary stories, you won’t want to miss this one.

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