Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

In the Event of My Death

Rate this book
They had been six teenage girls in Wheeling, West Virginia. Full of mischief. Acting wild. Having good times. And getting into trouble. they called themselves the Six of Hearts. Then one night things went to far. One of them died. The rest swore to never tell what really happened.

Now, thirteen years later, someone has decided to kill the remaining Six of hearts. The first to die is Angie, a successful New York City actress. And flower-shop owner Laurel Damron, still living in Wheeling, may be next. She has gotten a chilling message in the mail. She knows a killer is watching her. But who? Only by searching the past can she uncover a haunting truth...only by looking deep with herself can she uncover a lost memory...and only by suspecting everyone she knows, does she have one slim chance of staying alive...

352 pages, Paperback

First published December 15, 1999

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Carlene Thompson

32 books226 followers
Carlene Thompson is an author of suspense thriller novels.

Her first book, Black for Remembrance, was published in 1990 by Little, Brown and was well received. Her books are suspense novels, often with romantic elements and many take place in Thompson's home state of West Virginia. Her books often feature animals, which she bases on animals she knows in real life.

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
315 (37%)
4 stars
306 (36%)
3 stars
173 (20%)
2 stars
33 (3%)
1 star
6 (<1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 87 reviews
Profile Image for Kelly.
70 reviews35 followers
July 5, 2013
This one was one of those easy-to-read formulaic thrillers that was...well, actually pretty damn good! The cover of the book looks like a young adult thriller and doesn't beckon you to take it very seriously, which makes it a surprise to read and find out it sure doesn't read like a YA novel.

It's about five friends with a dark secret. They formed this silly little club when they were in their late teens, called 'The Six of Hearts'. The problem, obviously, is that one of them is now dead. You barely start the book when another of them is gone. And then there were four...

The remaining four are in a race against time to find out the secrets of the girl who died and why her death has suddenly come back to haunt all of them, now. What I love about this is the way it's written. I've written really annoying thrillers that practically smack you in the face with clues (red herrings). They imply blatantly that EVERYONE is a suspect. This one does also...but in a way that respects the intelligence of the reader.

Thompson goes on insinuations with her novel and not "What if HE did it?" cliffhangers which makes it believable. Instead, she tells the story and allows the reader to get their own creepy feelings about a character rather than TELLING the reader, "Hey, this guy said THIS so you should be freaked out!" It's all so subtle...and it kept me guessing to the last quarter of the book...and that's pretty good because I usually figure these things out from the first few chapters.

For what it is, a thriller...It's one of the better ones out there. I love the author's style that doesn't assume the reader is an idiot who must have clues smacking them in the face.

**Update - July 2013**

Recommended this to quite a few Pretty Little Liars fans, now. Exactly the same premise...without the technology of text messaging.
Profile Image for John.
Author 326 books162 followers
September 1, 2017
I suppose it doesn't sound like much of a compliment to describe a thriller as comfortable and relaxing, but that's exactly what I found this one to be . . . and I do mean it as a compliment! In the Event of my Death is a rather old-fashioned mystery/thriller of the type I don't seem to come across very much these days -- no sex, no gore, no real surprises except the revelation of the killer's identity -- and I very much liked it that way. If you enjoy novels by the older-school thriller writers, people like Helen MacInnes and Barbara Michaels, this should be right up your street.

Thirteen years ago six teenaged girls in a small town had a secret society they called the Six of Hearts. One night a piece of folly they were engaged in went horribly wrong, and one of them, Faith, died. Now someone's picking off the remaining five, of whom florist Lauren Damron is one. Who could have known about the Six of Hearts, and the truth of Faith's death? And who would be seeking revenge?

The solution to the mystery came out of left field -- so out of left field, in fact, that I thought it was the book's solitary failing: I found it hard to buy into. As for the rest of it, though? Sheer relaxing comfort!
Profile Image for Afsana.
449 reviews7 followers
December 14, 2009
I enjoyed this book Though it was a reread.
If looked at on its own its a great story with and a surprise ending

Who would have thought that someone could be so delusional and so murderous.

If I was to consider it after reading all the others then would say its follows formuler and you knew it would be someone close though I was (having forgotten what actually happened) Thought it was somene else . It was near the end I remembered how faith actually died

But this was one of her earlier books I think so readers may not have found it as obvious
Profile Image for Dolceluna ♡.
1,090 reviews68 followers
September 2, 2017
E' il secondo giallo di Carlene Thompson che leggo, pare uno dei più amati dell'autrice...e devo ammettere che non mi ha lasciata affatto indifferente!Ancora una volta la semplicità (ma non banalità) dell'intreccio e la presenza di una protagonista femminile alle prese con le mosse imprevedibili di un pazzo omicida mi hanno ricordato un po' i gialli di Mary Higgins Clark. Sullo sfondo, un'intrigante vicenda che affonda le sue radici in un fienile desolato, teatro di una morte misteriosa avvenuta tredici anni prima.Un mistery da gustare tutto d'un fiato e un assassino non così scontato. Brava Carlene Thompson!
Profile Image for Dawn.
798 reviews34 followers
March 27, 2011
Another thrilling mystery from Carlene Thompson. She keeps the story moving at a fast clip and keeps you guessing throughout the story. Just when I think I have the murderer figured out, something happens that sends your thinking in a different direction. I look forward to reading the rest of her books. This author never disappoints!
Profile Image for Nicki Hinkle.
274 reviews
January 6, 2020
I love books about WV! This one is set in Wheeling, WV. Something has happened to a group of girls when they were in high school. Whatever happened was bad. So bad that they all stopped hanging out together and moved away from the town. Now, something or someone is bringing them all back together.
The book reads very quickly. It's a thriller for sure, but the story does crawl along at a very slow pace. The story is very juvenile, but the danger, violence and fear is much more "grown up."
I had figured out "why" they were being brought together early on, but I didn't figure out WHO had brought them together until much later.
Some of the subject matter they talked about was troubling and didn't seem pertinent to the actual story. It seemed like they threw in incest and demonic worship just to make the reader cringe.
I did enjoy the read, however, so I encourage you all to make your own assumptions after reading. =)
Profile Image for Eva.
157 reviews9 followers
November 5, 2022
Non delude mai, sono tornata a leggere dopo un po’ di tempo e nessun libro iniziato mi entusiasmava.. alla fine ho optato per questo e non ne sono rimasta delusa
Profile Image for Kelsey.
Author 1 book13 followers
May 9, 2011
A club started by six young girls called the Six of Hearts started out innocent but ended with the death of their friend Faith. Now 13 years later, the surviving five are being picked off one by one. The calling card is the number six and a drawn heart together with a tarot card for judgment.

Laurel Damron, one of the club members, is scared to death by what is happening but the original club leader, Monica Boyd, doesn’t want any of them to tell what happened that night that they lost one of their friends. Monica has worked too hard to become partner in her law firm to lose it now. After the second of them is found dead, Laurel tells her boyfriend, Officer Kurt Rider, everything. Now that it is in the open, she hopes that they will be able to solve this before the next one to be found dead is her! But who could it possibly be? Faith’s crazy father, her little sister or could it have been her unborn child’s father? Or could it be one of them?

In the Event of My Death really had me guessing. The cast of characters are well written and keep you wondering because it seemed anyone could have had a motive. The atmosphere of the small town everyone knows your business really helps with the suspense because not one person knows the whole story. Laurel eventually pieces it all together with her own investigating but is it too late? My only hold up of not giving In the Event of My Death a 5 star rating would be with the relationship that happens in the end of the book. It was forced and fast, like the author quickly tidied everything up.

Recommended for all the mystery lovers out there.
1 review
August 26, 2009
This was a thriller. Five girls grow up together and form a secret club called the Queen of Hearts.

One of the girls is killed (which they think is accidentally) while they are having one of their clubs "Chanting" and fun meetings in a old barn.

They vow to keep it a secret until one of the girls is murdered and a tarot card with the "Queen of Hearts" is left at the murder scene.

The murder is 13 years later from the date of the death of the girl that died. They are all now 30 years of age.

It is a good thriller and the killer will definitely surprise you even though I figured in out before the reveal!!!

If you like thrillers is is a good book to read and will keep your interest throughout.

472 reviews1 follower
February 21, 2011
I liked the idea of this book, which was why I picked it up. While I think their were enough characters introduced to keeping you guessing at the same time the characters were not well developed and I struggled with that aspect of the book. The very end was really tough to swallow. The way the murders were done and solved was well done but I just didn't get that "here's the story all wrapped up in a pretty little bow" feeling. I was kind of left searching for something.
1,293 reviews1 follower
March 19, 2016
A long time ago, six girls formed a secret club called The Six of Hearts. They continued this club until they were seventeen, when an awful accident occurred and one of them died. They never told the truth about what happened that night. Now, thirteen years later, someone is killing them off one by one, leaving a heart, the number six and a judgment tarot card with the body. Can they figure out who the killer is, before they all die?
Profile Image for Caleb.
20 reviews
May 25, 2015
This was a pretty decent read, a few grammatical/consistency errors and that feeling that the ending was rushed especially that epilouge but other than that it was an OK read. Something light that gave you thrill, suspense, and mystery.
Profile Image for Nattie.
1,066 reviews19 followers
July 14, 2015
I did not like this at all, and I had such high hopes for it. It gave me a headache. I didn't care about any of the characters or anything that happened to them.
Profile Image for Dixie.
294 reviews1 follower
October 9, 2014
Good mystery...didn't know who the killer was until last few pages.
Profile Image for Judy.
174 reviews
October 27, 2014
This book hooked me. It started out rather trite, and then got interesting. The author was really good at making everyone a suspicious character. I would read another one of this author's books.
Profile Image for Colleen.
53 reviews9 followers
February 20, 2014
This was a good mystery...I thought I had it figured out and I was completely wrong! Give it a try!
Profile Image for Aubrey.
316 reviews1 follower
August 10, 2022
The first thing that struck me about this book was how gripping the suspense was from the first page. Angie's death set the tone, and I was on the edge of my seat for the remainder of the book, following along, brain scrambling at a mile a minute to try and figure it out. 

The second thing that struck me was how purely observant Laurel is. She notices everything - even the minute details. This keen sense of observation serves her extremely well, and bolsters he confidence. In the beginning, she seems to be quite meek and quiet. That absolutely does not last long at all. (Thankfully!) The more danger Laurel feels she and her old friends are in, the more assertive, confident, and definitive she becomes. 

Laurel makes the tough decisions in this book, and through these decisions we see each individual piece of the puzzle infold. Clearly, the Six of Hearts are being targeted. But before anyone can guess as to why, Laurel figures it out - they have to answer some unanswered questions from the incident thirteen years prior. 

Never before have I wanted the main character of a book to survive as much as I wanted Laurel to survive. Through the tragedy, she grows into herself, and realizes what she wants, and who she wants to be. As she strives for that, her unlikely friendship with a blast from her past really solidifies things for her. 

As the two work together to try to figure out who's targeting the Six of Hearts, I desperately tried to follow along, and piece things together for myself. I have to be losing my touch (I swear I used to be good at this!) because very glaringly obvious things flew right by me. 

In a way, I'm not upset about my amateur sleuthing skills being as rusty as they are. (Maybe I've been spoiled by the absolute predictability of cozy mysteries!) I was left surprised and shocked, both in a very pleasant way, and in a 'Wow, I should have seen that from a mile away' way. 

Overall, this book absolutely did not disappoint! I may or may not be searching the Kobo store for more of Carlene Thompson's work. (Spoiler alert, my cart is full.) 
Profile Image for Chlochette.
139 reviews
November 23, 2019

Je me suis enfin mise à ce roman de Carlene Thompson, en espérant au moins passer un bon moment. Je ne suis donc pas déçue mais ce ne sera pas un coup de cœur non plus.

L’histoire commence donc avec Angela Ricci qui se fait assassiner treize ans après la mort de Faith. Son meurtre ayant un lien avec le Six de cœur dont faisait partie Laurel, Monica, Crystal, Angela, Denise et Faith. Cette dernière ayant trouvé accidentellement la mort lors d’un rituel satanique pratiqué par le Six de cœur, les autres décidèrent de garder le secret sur les circonstances de sa mort et ainsi ne sont jamais reliées à la mort de Faith. C’est donc treize ans plus tard que nous retrouvons Angela assassiner chez elle, avec pour seuls indices un six et un cœur dessiné avec le sang de la victime et une carte de tarot représentant la justice. S’ensuivra une longue série de violents meurtres.

Si j’ai adoré suivre l’intrigue j’aurais quand même beaucoup aimé avoir le point de vue de tous les personnages présents un peu plus souvent, même si je pense que c’était fait exprès pour nous donner le moins d’indices possible. L’auteure arrive tout de même à nous perdre quelques fois dans la recherche de ce fameux suspect, la liste se rallongeant pour nous de nombreuses fois on finit par suspecter pas mal de personnages sans vraiment trouvé puisque finalement on ne nous donne pas beaucoup d’indices sur l’enquête que va mener Laurel seule la plupart du temps puisque les membres du Six de cœur, treize ans plus tard, vont quand même décider de garder le silence, même lorsque leur vie est en danger. C’est donc pour cette raison que je ne soupçonnais même pas la bonne personne ! Je ne m’y attendais pas absolument pas. J’ai adoré la plupart des personnages, certains cachant bien leur jeu jusqu’à la fin.
Profile Image for Dwayne Wojtowicz.
223 reviews4 followers
April 11, 2018
Thirteen years ago, when six wild and full of mischief teenage girls from Wheeling, West Virginia form a group called the Six of Hearts, they feel that they are unstoppable and indestructible. Until one night one of them dies horribly and burns in a fire. The remaining five promise never to tell a soul about what had really occurred. Until now…

Mysteriously, they are being killed off one by one. Old friends and old flames are returning to Wheeling, but at what cost. Everyone is being considered as a suspect, but the clues and evidence cannot point to one person.

Carlene Thompson has once again captured the heart of the reader in this suspenseful, murder mystery, “In The Event of My Death.” This is the second novel of hers that I’ve read, and to be honest, I really enjoyed it. Every aspect of an excellent novel, Thompson hits on the head repeatedly. The plot, characters (primary and secondary), dialogue, scenes and transitions have been very well developed and kept the reader intrigue with the plot. At no time, did I ever lose interest in such a story that I wished it was over, now.

Thompson keeps you guessing and asking for more. Her idyllic writing style has professed my love for reading. Carlene Thompson is one among the top for me. She is in the class of Christie, James, and King.

Very, very highly recommended.
Profile Image for Lisa.
1,070 reviews132 followers
October 28, 2017
They had been six teenage girls in Wheeling, West Virginia. Full of mischief. Acting wild. Having good times. And getting into trouble. they called themselves the Six of Hearts. Then one night things went to far. One of them died. The rest swore to never tell what really happened.

Now, thirteen years later, someone has decided to kill the remaining Six of hearts. The first to die is Angie, a successful New York City actress. And flower-shop owner Laurel Damron, still living in Wheeling, may be next. She has gotten a chilling message in the mail. She knows a killer is watching her. But who? Only by searching the past can she uncover a haunting truth...only by looking deep with herself can she uncover a lost memory...and only by suspecting everyone she knows, does she have one slim chance of staying alive...
Profile Image for Zarmeen.
30 reviews1 follower
August 22, 2022
This was a very fun and intriguing thriller novel. Definitely giving the feels of the late 90's. The mystery kept me on my toes the whole time and I just couldn't put the book down.
The characters and the setting of the town of Wheeling was very great and the writing was very easy to follow along as it was third person you get the see the POV of almost every one. You can never trust these people they have alot of secrets.

Definitely Laurel was one of my favorites, she was such a strong and smart female character. And the slight romance subplot was also cute.

Although the story was slow at some parts and could definitely be shorter with some of the irrelevant scenes to be taken out.
All in all a 3.5 or 4 star read.
Profile Image for Sam Coil.
27 reviews
November 8, 2021
This one is a keeper. One of my favorites to recommend to family and friends! I have thoroughly enjoyed this book each time I’ve read it, which is now twice. I like how the current timeline is so deeply connected to the event from 13 years ago, and the secret that the girls swore to keep. I find Laurel very relatable from a personality trait perspective which made this an even better read for me as I can really put myself in her shoes. The author does an amazing job in creating a mystery you can’t wait to solve all the while sprinkling in scary occurrences that keep you on the edge of your seat. I will definitely reread this one time and time again. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Profile Image for Rose Direk.
18 reviews5 followers
February 25, 2019
Sadly the interesting part of the book came at around page 200-250. Until then I was worried if I'm reading Mystery or a book about 30+ old women talking and worrying all the time if they'll get married or have kids. I liked the end a lot, no matter the fact that the reasons for the deaths were pure stupidity from the killer character, but I'm accepting that only because life is full with people like the killer and we meet one similar person at least once in a year.

Maybe it's not my type of book, but I'm recommending.
Profile Image for Samantha B.
101 reviews3 followers
November 23, 2021
It's been awhile since I've read a thriller and this one hit the mark. The story is compelling, the cast of characters interesting, and there is a dry humor that actually made me laugh out loud a couple times. If I have any gripes it's the fat-phobia that comes from the main character on a few occasions. This book was published in 1999 which explains it, but it still irritated me.

Overall this entertained me on a level a lot of more recent thrillers I've read haven't, so if I come across more of Carlene Thompson's books while thrifting I'll definitely pick them up.
Profile Image for Lauren Boughner.
72 reviews1 follower
May 7, 2022
Overall: girl-group-vibes & 90s vibes mystery. This was recommended by a friend and it was a fun little mystery. The dialogue felt old-fashioned like I was watching an older TV show. (It was published in 1999 so it’s not even that old of a book though!) I enjoyed the spunky yet average protagonist. There was a very manageable number of characters compared to some mysteries, and figuring out the past of the Six of Hearts was intriguing. I liked it.
Profile Image for Kristy.
655 reviews40 followers
December 2, 2022
I had to skip ahead on this to find out what happened because while the plot was intriguing, the writing was not. There were many grammatical errors and none of the characters were all that likable. I was surprised by who ended up being the killer but the reasoning and the ending was just juvenile. I was very disappointed in this book and definitely won't be recommending it. Though you may have a different opinion.
Profile Image for Gianluca .
27 reviews
October 13, 2021
Carlene Thompson è magnifica, come sempre. Trama congegnata bene, quasi tutti gli autori di gialli hanno provato ad architettare una storia del genere, in pochi ci sono riusciti e Carlene è una di loro. Molti sostengono che sia il suo romanzo migliore, per me "Nero come il ricordo" e "Non chiudere gli occhi", sono leggermente superiori per vari motivi.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 87 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.