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The Life of Death

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  162 ratings  ·  63 reviews

One soul. One pact with the Devil. One chance at love.

Elizabeth Murray has been condemned to burn at the stake. As she awaits her fate, a strange, handsome man visits her cell. He offers her a deal: her soul in return for immortality, but what he offers is not a normal life. To survive Elizabeth must become Death itself.

Elizabeth must ease the passing of all th

Kindle Edition, 288 pages
Published May 2nd 2019 by Unbound
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Average rating 3.90  · 
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Apr 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
3.5 stars

When you have only one soul. When all hope is gone. When you are asked to choose, would you make a pact with the devil? What if you wanted love?

In the late 1500's Elizabeth "Lizzy" Murray was sentenced to burn at the stake for being a witch. While she listens to other women being burned, a man visits her in her cell. He has a proposal, her soul in exchange for a painless death and immortality. But immortality comes with a small price - she will be death itself. She will ease the passing
Amalia Gkavea
''I am there when you are born. When you cross the road. When the live wire frays in a Bakelite plug. I am there in the hospital canteen, by the frozen pond, in the carbon monoxide fug of a terraced living room. I am waiting, with open arms and solace. I am Death.''

Scotland, 1567. People have gathered in the market square to watch the witches burn. Young Elizabeth is waiting for her turn, chained in the dungeon when a strange visitor arrives with promises of a painless death and a rebirth in
Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by the publisher, Unbound, via Netgalley for an honest review.


“I am the woman you most want to see in those final seconds you live on this earth. I have been wives, daughters, best friends. I have been a beloved nurse, a primary school teacher. Your first love. I am the ultimate mother.

I am Death.”


Death is not the hooded figure you've heard about in stories. Death does not lurk in the shadows with a sadistic twinkle in it's hollow skull, awaiting bl
Kat Dietrich

The Life of Death by Lucy Booth is a fiction novel.

First, let me thank NetGalley, the publisher Unbound Books, and of course the author’s family, for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

My Synopsis: (No major reveals, but if concerned, skip to My Opinions)
Elizabeth Murray was born in 1567. She is only a young woman, but she has been condemned to burn at the stake, along with her mother and aunts. She doesn’t want to die, and there seems
Toni | Dark Reads
May 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Every action has a consequence

I found the whole concept of The Life Of Death really unique and interesting. We have the idea of death being portrayed by an ominous dark figure, in this book that preconception is turned on its head.

A thought provoking and heart-breaking story of love and loss, with a unique take on death.

See my full review here -
May 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: romance, gothic
Many thanks to Anne Cater for inviting me to join the blog tour for The Life of Death. I got the email, I read the blurb and I immediately knew I wanted to read this book. Having learned that the book is being published posthumously, I could link the setting, the characters, the emotion and thoughts around death, hope and hopelessness, and the yearning for love and life to reality. Because Lucy wrote something that spoke to my soul…

The main character in this book is Lizzy. The opening scenes ta
Apr 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
5 lives for 1 life. Liz sold her soul to the devil in 1590 when she was facing burning at the stake for witchcraft. Thing is, she really was the daughter of the devil, but she'd done nothing evil to deserve that title, she'd just dabbled in herbs to help villagers heal from small ailments. When the inquisition comes calling though, the villagers start pointing fingers, because of course they did. And for roughly 400+ years, Liz did her duty by the devil as his harbinger of death, and helped ushe ...more
Mar 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book has been posthumously published, the author having lost her battle with cancer in 2016, diagnosed in 2011. I believe it was her last wish to have the book she wrote during these five years published. But don't let that put you off. It really is a cracking read. Although death is a somewhat strange topic to write about when you are facing it yourself. But I appreciate the irony in that!
So, let's go back several hundred years to when witchcraft was unknown, scary stuff and witches were s
The Cats’ Mother
Where to start? I finished this last night, but needed to ponder this one overnight, and am still struggling with what to think about this remarkable but disturbing book. While it may be about a young woman who yearns to give up her job as the embodiment of Death because she has fallen in love, this ain’t no paranormal romance novel. It has been published posthumously by the author’s family after she died of cancer in 2016.

1590, Scotland, and 23 year old Lizzy awaits her fate in a prison cell. H
Keith Chawgo
May 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Booth’s posthumous novel The Life of Death is really a treasure to behold. It is poetic in nature and reminds me of one of my favourite books ‘ The Book Thief’.

The story opens up in the 1400’s with a woman accused of being a witch and the pack she makes for eternal life which brings us to the meat of the story. We then follow ‘D’ with her new mission in life or death that she is to help people pass to the next when coming to death. She then falls in love and wants to go back to being mortal but
Bookish Chat
Apr 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
When Unbound contacted me to ask if I would like a copy of The Life Of Death to read and review, I went away and did a bit of googling to find our more. The premise is fairly simple yet fascinating and I decided to give it a go.

It's the 1500's and Elizabeth is to be burnt at the stake as a witch. Always a very intuitive child with a talent for healing and a close connection to Lucifer himself (if gossip is to be believed). On the day of her impending death, The Devil visits her and gives her a w
Jun 27, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
3.5 stars
Cheryl M-M
May 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It is awful that Lucy Booth will never see the reaction readers will have to her book, because I am certain there will be plenty of accolades and positive words. It's also a loss for readers that she will never be able to share more of her words and talent with us. Those thoughts, my thoughts, don't come from a place of pity or generosity due to her tragic death either. I can be quite critical at times, but I know a writer and good storyteller when I encounter one, and Lucy Booth was a good one. ...more
Nov 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
Elizabeth-Lizzy-Death is caught in a whirlwind of her job of easing the passing of souls when she falls in love. She only has to gain her soul back from the Devil..

Being from the 16th century, Lizzy expresses herself lyrically, and has some outdated notions of propriety and human conduct (stalking is romantic!!) - which is expected. Death is capricious, dramatic, and quite captivating. The plot flows, dealing with some quite uncomfortable themes. Only thing that bothered me was some idiotic, out
4.5/5-Lucy Booth dabbled in various occupations-freelance production, blogging, and advertising, just to name a few, until her untimely demise at the age of 37 in 2016. Those who knew her well stated that despite success in her chosen field of studies, she always felt compelled to write a novel. Unfortunately, her only novel. ‘The Life of Death.’

Its 1567 and Scottish beauty Lizzy (or ‘Little D’ as she will later be known) has just been accused of witchcraft. She has two choices: suffer the conse
Gayle Noble
Elizabeth Murray is set to die alongside her mother and the others who have been branded witches in the 16th century witchhunts. She is offered a reprieve by a mysterious stranger (the rakishly charming Devil) and the chance to become immortal and help those fated to die cross over peacefully. This she does for 400 years until one day she falls in love with a bereaved mortal. Elizabeth wants to renege on the deal but He says this is only possible if she will kill 5 people of His choosing.

Wow, wh
Anna K. Amendolare
Mar 06, 2020 rated it it was ok
I really wanted to like this book, in fact, I did stay up way past bedtime to continue reading. However, when it was over, there were things I questioned and I didn't like the ending.

The premise is good: death is a woman who falls in love. But, can you really 'fall in love' in an instant? Love hard enough, passionately enough - unrequited, by the way - to try to get out of your deal with the devil? It's a risk, and one I question whether a person would chance. Wanting to quit her day job, I be
Lolly K Dandeneau
May 02, 2019 rated it liked it
via my blog:
'For I am there to carry you through those last moments, through the screaming and the seeping, through the fog, and deposit you softly, gently on the other side.'

The story begins in 1590, twenty-three year old Elizabeth “Lizzie” Murphy of Scotland is condemned to burn at the stake for witchcraft. A woman who has ‘a talent for poultice’, along with her sisters, aunts, mothers and women from the village took care of their people, who desperately
May 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Where to even begin dear reader. My heart is still shattered across the floor and I am struggling to slot the pieces back together. This book has changed me, made me view so many things differently. Life is too short. Far too ridiculously short.

The Life Of Death is an unique story that had me intrigued the moment I read the blurb. I was completely engrossed and refused to sleep till I had finished. I was transfixed. I could smell the burning of hair and skin off the page. It pushed my senses ou
Thank you to NetGalley and Unbound for a Kindle ARC of The Life of Death.

It's so hard to find a good scary book that will intrigue me and keep me interested. I don't have to be scared, but I do have to be invested in the story and/or characters.

I'm glad to say that The Life of Death kept me reading and thinking long after I finished the last page.

** Minor spoilers ahead **

Lizzy made a deal with the Devil over 400 years ago to spare her life from a horrific death. In return, she is Deat
May 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
The Life of Death by Lucy Booth is a hauntingly beautiful novel, made all the more poignant by the knowledge that the author herself was battling cancer at the time she wrote it and was bravely staring her own mortality in the face. A battle she sadly lost as her life was cut tragically short in 2016 at the age of just 37.

The author’s voice comes through loud and clear in this novel and you can sense Lucy’s own inner turmoil as you’re reading, something that turns The Life of Death into a book e
Jul 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I mainly read and review fantasy but every now again a book drops into my inbox and I’m intrigued enough to give it a go. The Life of Death was one such book and it certainly didn’t disappoint.

The Story

We meet Lizzy in the 1500’s, accused of witch craft and awaiting her sentence. To be burnt at the stake. She sells her soul to the devil in order to die painlessly and in doing so becomes Death. She gets pulled from one death to the next appearing as the woman the dying person most wishes to see.
Apr 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Daringly original, The Life Of Death by Lucy Booth casts the bad guy as the protagonist. Everything on paper would suggest Death isn't at all likable. Her story not worth following. However, Booth writes her with rapt attention to minute details. Such is the true nature of Death revealed, allowing us to see the meticulous care with which she has executed her job, ushering departing souls warmly and safely into the black.

Even more, it does not take long for the story to unleash the plot when Dea
Cassandra MADEUP BookBlog
There are some stories that you pick up and expect something from them, with a thriller you expect there to be twists and turns to shock and stun, with comedy you expect to laugh your way through it, with fantasy you expect out of the ordinary. When starting this, I really didn’t know what to expect. The premise sounded a bit different, and held the promise of something surprising.

I wasn’t disappointed.

We join our MC in the times of witchcraft and witch trials, where anyone who tried to help oth
May 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I received a copy from Netgalley to review. Here is the blurb

"One soul. One pact with the Devil. One chance at love. Elizabeth Murray has been condemned to burn at the stake. As she awaits her fate, a strange, handsome man visits her cell. He offers her a deal: her soul in return for immortality, but what he offers is not a normal life. To survive Elizabeth must become Death itself. Elizabeth must ease the passing of all those who die, appearing at the point of death and using her compassion to
Jun 13, 2019 rated it liked it
I was given an ARC of this book by NetGalley. All opinions are mine.

I saw the ending to this one coming, but it didn't make it suck any less. (I mean the ending, not the book itself. It was rather good).

Our main character, Lizzie, trades her soul to the Devil to keep from dying when she is burned at the stake for a witch. In exchange for his help, she works with Him to ease peoples' transitions into death. To do this, she essentially turns into the person they love most, and comforts them unti
Layla Rodgerson
Apr 14, 2019 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019
The Life of Death is a dark, gothic tale of love, longing and the suffering in death. It's a frank and disturbing story about one young woman's decent into a life that is plagued with demons and darkness. This is made even more poignant when you know that the author wrote this story while undergoing treatment for terminal cancer. It's hard to put this real life perspective out of your mind as you read, as you are very aware that real life impacted upon what we see on the page. And what we see is ...more
Aaron Nash
Nov 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
I honestly don't know how to review or rate this book. What I will say is that I've never read anything quite like it.

The story of death coming to people during their last moments on earth is nothing new, but Lucy Booth adds her own twist, this being that death is actually the devil's servant, someone that he manipulated into becoming death rather than to go through the agonising death that they themselves were about to endure. After centuries of doing the devil's work, they want out, so that th
May 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-netgalley
3.5 Stars rounded up to 4.

We start the story with Lizzie, a woman accused of being a witch in the late 1500s. Lizzie is waiting to be burned at the stake when the Devil himself shows up and makes her a deal she can’t refuse, eternal life as long as she helps usher the dying to death. For hundreds of years Lizzie flits about performing her job until one day she comes across Tom and has an instant connection. Lizzie decides she doesn’t want this deal with the devil anymore and asks him to make a
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