The Day She Died by Bill Garrison is a fast-paced adventure about 45-year-old John Michaels who gets the opportunity to relive key points from his past. Every moment he relives has something to do with the a life-changing event from his history–the disappearance and presumed murder of his girlfriend, Kim. At it’s heart, The Day She Died is a murder mystery, so you have a large cast of characters to keep track of, but each of them have enough unique personality quirks to help keep them straight. The story was engaging, the concept was intriguing, and the end was satisfying.
While I don’t feel like the story included a strong Christian message, the author did weave some very effective biblical truths into the storyline without being harsh about it. The concept of your heart-attitude being just as important as your actual actions played a major role in the story, and it was effectively done.
I felt the dialogue was a little unrealistic in places. There were times when characters would say something that sounded like the author’s narrator voice instead of the character’s voice. There were also times when John Michaels’s thoughts didn’t match his actions, which made me think he was an unreliable main character. Maybe that was purposeful in order to make the reader think he wasn’t as moral as he was presented, but overall I think it just confused his character design.
This may be completely anal (and if it is, that’s fine), but it leaped out at me. Toward the very beginning of the book, there is a reference to Back to the Future where it says 85 mph was the speed needed to activate Doc Brown’s famous DeLorean. Any studied geek is going to recognize that as being wrong. It’s 88 mph, a number even some non-geeks know. It’s certainly not a deal-breaker, but it did make me stop and wonder if it were intentional.
I did enjoy The Day She Died. It’s definitely worth a read. I read it in one sitting because I wanted to find out what happened at the end. I am a very picky reader, so some of the things that stood out to me may not bother anyone else.
Overall, Mr. Garrison did a pretty good job. It was a fun, fast-paced read that was certainly entertaining.