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The Day I Died

3.51  ·  Rating details ·  1,952 ratings  ·  329 reviews
Anna Winger knows people better than they know themselves with only a glance—at their handwriting. Hired by companies seeking trustworthy employees and by the lovelorn hoping to find happiness, Anna likes to keep the real mess of other people’s lives at arm’s length and on paper. But when she is called to use her expertise on a ransom note left behind at a murder scene in ...more
Paperback, 408 pages
Published April 11th 2017 by William Morrow
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Average rating 3.51  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,952 ratings  ·  329 reviews

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2.5 stars

Once again, I am in the minority. This book has great reviews, but I struggled to get through it.

I love the title and the intriguing first page. The plot was alluring; a woman, Anna Winger, a handwriting analysis expert, gets pulled into a case after a two-year-old boy goes missing. Anna, single mother to 13-year-old Joshua, is on the run from her past. She has moved Joshua to town after town, trying to elude those who might be looking for her (although come to reveal, she only slightly
Lori Rader-Day
Aug 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2016
Look, it's my job to give this book five stars. Plus? Yeah, I like it. I hope you do, too.
Apr 21, 2017 rated it liked it
The author gave her own book a 5 star rating, (which irks me!) and though I wish I could agree (I loved Little Pretty Things!) it is just a weak 3 stars for me. I found myself wanting to skim ahead when it dragged, and then again, when it became implausible, so I could finish, and move on to the next book on my list!
Let me say up front that I adore Lori Rader-Day. She is a fellow Midwesterner who resonates well with me. However this wasn't one of my favorite books. The premise is a mother who is on the run from an abusive spouse. She now works as a handwriting analyst for FBI but lives in mortal fear that the abusive spouse will catch up to her current life. Of course her past life collides with her current one and that is where this story lies.

The first half of the book is incredibly slow and confusing. Ra
Jun 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars. Anna Winger gets involved in the investigation of a kidnapping of a little boy and the murder of his nanny. Anna works for the government and for corporations in reading handwriting samples. She gains all types of clues by analyzing people's signature and handwriting. Although she can read other people's secrets, she has some of her own. Anna has lived in multiple states with her 13 year old son and seems to be running from her past which is causing troubles in her own household.

I was
If you have a secret, and someone threatens to reveal it, would it feel "like the world was closing in"? Lori Rader-Day, award-winning author of The Black Hour and Little Pretty Things, takes readers into the life of a flawed, determined character in The Day I Died. It's a story and character that won't easily be forgotten.

Anna Winger and her son, Joshua, have been on the run for thirteen years. As a handwriting analyst, she can work and communicate with her government contact from any location.
This was the mystery selection in MyBookBox. I actually enjoyed it quite a bit. I think in part because Rader-Day makes her central character nicely flawed. At times, you can ever say she almost becomes unlikable with some of her decisions. On the other hand, many of the interactions feel organic and very realastic. Nicely done.
Aug 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: giveaways
I won this book in a goodreads giveaway.

I stayed up late to finish this story. The author’s writing style gripped me from the first and I wanted to keep reading to find out what was happening.

I don’t want to say anymore, because if I do I am sure to let a spoiler slip. And this book it too good to spoil.

Rachel León
I'll be interviewing Lori Rader-Day about this novel next month and I will post the link to the interview when it runs.

Here's link to the interview:

Apr 27, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: reviewed
Talk about long and boring. I kept stopping every so often but then would force myself to continue reading thinking (hoping) something more was to come. Unfortunately, there’s nothing I found to be exciting about “The Day I Died.” It’s just one long mundane story that is flat, almost lifeless like. I cannot believe this novel is described as “suspenseful” and “gripping.” Far from it.

The story is about Anna and her son, how she moves from town to town in order to not be found. It’s so obvious sh
Joelle Egan
Mar 03, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: library-thing
Lori Rader-Day introduces what might have been an intriguing new element for an overloaded genre in her latest novel The Day I Died. A handwriting expert with a traumatic history who consults with law enforcement, business and the private sector, Anna Winger can glean information from provided samples in a Sherlockian style. She is an eccentric, guarded and prickly character who over the past thirteen years been perpetually uprooting herself and her teenage son in order to escape a shadowy, mena ...more
3.5. I liked the writing and the characters but found the whole thing a bit drawn out and predictable.
“The Day I Died” is a thriller with a very slow start. The narrator is Anna Winger, a single mother with a fourteen-year-old son in a small town in Indiana. The reader soon learns that Anna moves frequently and she’s on the run. Author Lori Rader-Day is sparse with her clues about Anna’s past. The reader must have patience in the first half of the novel to really discern what is going on with Anna and her past.

That being said, I had very little patience with Anna. I felt she was self centered an
Karyn Niedert
"The Day I Died" was an absolutely phenomenal book that had me absolutely hooked, until it completely fell apart at the end. I'm not kidding, Rader-Day had my full attention until the last couple of chapters when things started to tie together just a little too conveniently to be believable or enjoyable.

Anna Winger is a handwriting expert, trained in examining the written word and explaining the intricacies of the person who wrote the words left on pages. Though she is a respected individual in
Jul 27, 2017 rated it did not like it

This belongs to the (perhaps unfortunate) hybrid genre of chick-lit thriller. It unfolds at the pace of molasses rolling uphill. The protagonist is a handwriting analyst who can tell everything about a person from the slant of their letters and whether loops are closed (controlling) or remain open (sexually frustrated, probably impotent). Her own son doesn't even want to reveal his handwritten items to Mom, understandably. But when juvenile delinquents begin tagging school walls and barn walls a
John W.
Feb 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lori Rader-Day’s THE DAY I DIED is a suspense thriller focusing on the sacrifices a mother will make for her son. The fast moving storyline follows the protagonist, Anna Winger, as she deals with secrets from the past that influence her life thirteen years later. The author transitions the storyline telling events in Anna’s past. She gives readers as much as needed to help them understand what Anna is processing at the time. Lori Rader-Day gives her readers Anna’s history including how she came ...more
Jan 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rader-Day's latest is gripping, fascinating, and will keep readers guessing until the end. There are a couple of plot twists that go a bit too far, but for the most part, the novel will give thriller readers exactly what they are looking for. Anna's job and abilities as a handwriting expert are unique and help to elevate this outside of the "typical" mystery story. Multiple storylines keep the plot briskly moving along; when one part comes to a crossroads, another picks up speed, all adding to t ...more
Holly West
Feb 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Day I Died is a crime novel, but more than that, it's an intimate look at the relationship between a mother and son, who have only each other to rely on. Their lives together work--if you can call living in fear and moving repeatedly to avoid detection working--until the boy is old enough to realize that their circumstances are strange and confusing to him. Why don't they have other family? Why don't they even have friends? Why haven't they put down roots anywhere? How does a mother satisfac ...more
Larry Sweazy
Jan 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
THE DAY I DIED firmly establishes Lori-Rader Day as one of the most important voices currently writing mystery fiction. Her taut prose grips the reader and never lets go as she focuses on Anna Winger, a handwriting expert and small-town single mother, who is pulled into a murder investigation that forces her to see the writing on her own wall. Anna not only has to solve the murder, but she has to save the person she loves the most. Rader-Day’s sharp understanding of the human condition has been ...more
*Note: I received a free copy of this book via a Goodreads giveaway.*

This was my first book by Lori Rader-Day. I was immediately intrigued by the premise and couldn't wait to dive in. Unfortunately, the book did not live up to my expectations. I was hoping for an edge-of-my-seat thriller and instead I found myself skimming just to get it over with. The pacing was slow and I struggled to stay engaged as the story went on.

Anne coming to terms with her past and facing her fears was anticlimactic a
3.5 stars

Leeanna Winger analyzes handwriting for the FBI, lonelyhearts, as a parlor trick as a mom. Sheriff Russ Keller needs Anna to analyze some writing that may lead to a missing two year old boy believed to have been taken by his mother. Leeanna is on the run from a past that is hinted at.
Aidan being missing was overshadowed by the relationship between Anna and her son Josh which was far more interesting in my opinion. I felt Josh's teen anger with having no answers, past, relatives or perm
Lisa Alber
Mar 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love Rader-Day's protagonists -- they're conflicted yet vulnerable, sometimes difficult but ultimately likable. They're like us -- contradictory, fallible, yet doing their best. Unlike her first two novels, in THE DAY I DIED, she tells the story of a mom. Anna's troubled relationship with her son is at the heart of this mystery that is more than a mystery. I admire the way Rader-Day developed the various threads in her story: Anna's past, Anna's relationship with her son, a murder mystery, a m ...more
Jan 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read the last 150 pages in one sitting because I couldn't put it down. I was completely absorbed in the world of the characters, the plot, the pacing, all of it. I can't remember the last time my pulse actually jumped up from reading a novel. Makes me think I've missed out by not digging into more mysteries. Have to fix that in '17.
How to start the review of a book that is so special you held it to your bosom after finishing it. Well, luckily the brilliant author, unbeknownst to her, provided me with the perfect opening. Lori Rader-Day recently posted a previous piece she had written about repeatedly watching a Prince guitar performance and why she kept watching it. She stated,
“Mastery shows. Mastery is worth the effort. When an artist is in command of his or her form, you want to be a part of it.”
Yes, mastery does show,
Lori L (She Treads Softly)
The Day I Died by Lori Rader-Day is a very highly recommended compelling mystery/novel psychological suspense. I found it compulsively readable and unputdownable.

Anna Winger is a handwriting analyst who sometimes works with the FBI and law enforcement as well as for private citizens. Anna can look at original samples of handwriting and deduce more about a person than they may want to reveal. She has also been constantly on the move for the last thirteen years in an attempt to hide from her forme
Cindy Roesel
Apr 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“On the day I died, I took the new oars down to the lake.” THE DAY I DIED
Yes, I can say that first line kind of spooked me. It also gave me a good idea of what to expect when I read Lori Rader-Day’s, novel, THE DAY I DIED (WilliamMorrowPaperbacks). It had me buckle up and get ready for an e-ride of a suspense thriller that didn’t let up until I turned to the last page.
The author of PRETTY LITTLE THINGS is back with a gripping novel about a mother’s desperate search for a lost little boy. In THE
May 10, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition

Leanna is a single mom of one, Joshua. she is also an expertise in handwriting (she can tell a lot about a person from their handwriting)

She is called to another state to investigate the case of a missing child.

There is so much wrong in Anna's life, she keeps changing residence like she is running from something or someone.
She has no friends and no relatives.

I don't know the essence of this story, no twist, too many loose ends that were not neatly tied.

i think the author could have done better

Did not finish. I was in the mood for a page-turning thriller and at 35%, there had been no developments in the main mystery case, nothing interesting had happened in conjunction with it, and the page count had mostly been dedicated to the MC's listless, passive ruminations about her unsatisfying relationship with her teenage son. Not what I was looking for.
2.5 sluggish stars

Such a sloooow read for me. I actually got excited when Anna made yet another weird, stupid decision and got her head bashed. My thoughts after head bashing... Yay!!!! Things have got to amp up now! Don't they? Please? They don't? Well, shit. (((heavy sigh))))
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LORI RADER-DAY is the Edgar Award-nominated and Anthony Award and Mary Higgins Clark Award-winning author of The Lucky One, Under a Dark Sky, The Day I Died, Little Pretty Things, and The Black Hour. Lori’s short fiction has appeared in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, Time Out Chicago, Good Housekeeping, and others. She lives in Chicago, where she is the co-chair of the mystery reader conference Mu ...more

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