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Cover for The Day I Died

The Day I Died

A Novel

Lori Rader-Day


List Price: 14.99*
* Individual store prices may vary.

Other Editions of This Title:
Digital Audiobook (4/10/2017)

April 2017 Indie Next List

“In this story, the devil is, indeed, in the details. You think you're being distracted, only to learn that Rader-Day is actually building layers of evidence for the reader, connecting a framework of apparent incidentals to reach a pinnacle of suspense. Almost anyone can be guilty, but only one is a villain. You unexpectedly feel sympathy for certain characters, partly because they're so genuine. I neglected things because I HAD to finish this book. You will, too.”
— Tracy Aleksy (W), Centuries & Sleuths Bookstore, Forest Park, IL
View the List


From the award-winning author of Little Pretty Things comes this gripping, unforgettable tale of a mother's desperate search for a lost boy.

Anna Winger can know people better than they know themselves with only a glance—at their handwriting. Hired out by companies wanting to land trustworthy employees and by the lovelorn hoping to find happiness, Anna likes to keep the real-life mess of other people at arm’s length and on paper. But when she is called to use her expertise on a note left behind at a murder scene in the small town she and her son have recently moved to, the crime gets under Anna’s skin and rips open her narrow life for all to see. To save her son—and herself—once and for all, Anna will face her every fear, her every mistake, and the past she thought she'd rewritten.

Praise For The Day I Died: A Novel

“A searing, psychological suspense novel about small-town dreams shattered by a deadly secret.”
— Terry Shames, Macavity Award-winning author of A Killing at Cotton Hill

“An unusual protagonist, a timely crime, and outstanding writing make Lori Rader-Day’s The Black Hour a stand-out debut.”
— Sara Paretsky, New York Times bestselling author

“Secrets lie behind every loop, slant, and swirl of The Day I Died, Lori Rader-Day’s compelling story of a handwriting analyst searching for a lost boy. Richly written, complex, and imaginative…this is a perfect read for fans of Mary Higgins Clark.”
— Susanna Calkins, Macavity Award-winning author of the Lucy Campion mysteries

“Lori Rader-Day is so ferociously talented that it kind of makes me mad. Not fair! The Day I Died is a terrific novel—gripping and twisty and beautifully layered. It kept me locked up and locked in from the very first word to the very last.”
— Lou Berney, Edgar Award-winning author of The Long and Faraway Gone

“Mary Higgins Clark Award winner Rader-Day’s (Little Pretty Things) third novel will thrill readers who can’t get enough of the psychological suspense genre.”
Library Journal

“Beautiful prose and tack-sharp observations round out this slow-burning but thought-provoking meditation on the ravages of domestic violence.”
— Publishers Weekly on THE DAY I DIED

“[T]he story is compelling, the characters interesting, and the theme of a mother’s love universal.”
— Mystery Scene

William Morrow Paperbacks, 9780062560292, 432pp.

Publication Date: April 11, 2017

About the Author

Lori Rader-Day is the author of Death at Greenway, The Lucky OneUnder a Dark Sky, The Day I Died, Little Pretty Things, and The Black Hour. She is a three-time Mary Higgins Clark Award nominee, winning the award in 2016. Lori lives in Chicago.

Conversation Starters from

1. When we first meet Anna, she can’t admit that she cares about the little boy who’s missing. What changes in this situation? How does Anna find compassion she didn’t think she had?

2. Anna’s only friend isn’t really a friend. She knows that “one of us had been a drowning person, and the other, a life raft.” How has being helped so much by Kent and others defined Anna’s ability to connect with other people?

3. How does the Ransey family’s history in the town of Parks color Sheriff Keller’s approach to the case of Aidan going missing? How can media representation or other commentary hurt the chances of justice being served?

4. The Dairy Bar is a place that Anna gravitates toward, a place she can reclaim from a childhood she’s had to leave behind. What are the touchstone locations of your childhood? Where is the place in your current life that reminds you most of a cherished place or person?

5. Anna returns to her old town and sees simultaneously what is the same and what is different, layers over time over top one another. (The word for this phenomenon is  palimpsest.) Have you ever returned to a place you hadn’t been in years? What changes or enduring artifacts stood out to you?

6. What complex feelings do you see between Anna and Theresa during their unexpected reunion?

7. Left for dead, Anna finds strength not just in her son but in the child she once was. What emotions are at work here?

8. What do you think will be different for Anna after the end of this story? How has she changed?