Dying to See You by Kerena Swan #BookReview #BlogBlitz

He’s Watching, He’s Waiting, She’s next.

When Sophie is told to organize care for elderly Ivy, she is unaware that by meeting Max, Ivy’s grandson, her life will be turned upside down.As Sophie’s involvement with Max and Ivy increases she becomes more distracted by her own problems. Because Sophie is certain she is being watched. For a while Ivy relishes Sophie’s attention, but soon grows concerned of the budding relationship between Sophie and Max. Torn between Sophie and his grandmother, Max cuts ties with the care agency, leaving Sophie hurt and confused.

Meanwhile there is a murderer killing women in the area. Is there a link between Sophie’s stalker and the killings? Soon Sophie will learn that appearances can be deceiving.

I'm delighted to be one of the hosts for the blog blitz for Dying to See You by Kerena Swan today.
Many thanks to the author, publishers and Sarah Hardy for inviting me and for my copy of the ebook.
I'm sure many people reading this review have experienced that prickling uneasiness when it feels like somebody is watching you. Sophie suspects somebody is secretly observing her - but is it really the figure in the shadows she needs to fear?
Dying to See You is a dual narrative story; some chapters are told in the first person from Sophie's perspective, the others are written in the third person and mostly follow Max's activities. This means the reader is often ahead of the characters which makes for a tense and creepy read. I really don't want to give anything away about the plot other than to say the sense of foreboding slowly grows as it seems to become ever more inevitable that Sophie will unwittingly find herself in terrible danger.
Dying to See You is a sinister psychological thriller which cleverly examines the essence of evil and what drives people to perform terrible acts. However, it is also a compelling domestic drama with Sophie's personal life taking centre stage. There's been some criticism recently of violence towards women in crime fiction but Kerena Swan proves that authors can write thrillers in which women are victims or targets without the book ever feeling gratuitous. Sophie is a fully formed character, her fears and wants are fully explored and her character undergoes significant growth as the novel progresses. She is a single mother to two daughters, little Mia and teenager, Tilly and having been let down in the past is wary of trusting again. She is constantly wracked by guilt and anxiety as the demands of her job working for a care agency impact on family life but she needs the little money she earns just to keep their heads above water. Max is obsessively drawn to this strong and capable woman whose deeply caring, empathetic nature means she is ideally suited to working with older people. She is thrilled when he appears to be interested in her but has to balance her desire to get to know him better with her fear of being hurt again and the wishes of her children, particularly Tilly who has her own questions about love as she endeavours to discover more about her father. I would actually have enjoyed just reading about the dynamics of this little family as they adjust to new relationships even without the added bonus of a serial killer plotting against Sophie! Mia is delightful and although I felt that occasionally Tilly's character veers a little into stereotypical teen territory, on the whole she is a multifaceted young woman who contributes much to the story.
The relationship between Max and Ivy is equally as fascinating, at first glance it's hard to believe that such darkness could come from this apparently normal household but it gradually becomes clear that the past has much to answer for.  Towards the end of Dying to See You I actually felt the tears pricking my eyes; it is undoubtedly a rather creepy story, which if it were a film I'd watch with my fingers over my eyes, but there's also something really quite poignant about it as it questions whether things could have been different should life had taken a different turn. The wicked acts perpetrated can't be excused and yet readers as much as characters will question their instincts and ponder forgiveness.
Dying to See You is a deliciously dark thriller in which the tension is allowed time to steadily increase until the suspense becomes almost unbearable, and the conclusion is absolutely shocking. Cleverly plotted, thoughtful and unsettling, I read Kerena Swan's gripping debut in a day and can't wait to see what she has planned next.

Dying to See You is published by Bloodhound Books and can be purchased here. Don't forget to check out some of the other blogs taking part in the blog blitz, details are below.

About the Author

Kerena lives on the Bedfordshire/Buckingham border with her husband, son and two cats. She also has two daughters and two granddaughters.
12 years ago, following a life-time career in social work and management, Kerena set up a company providing support for children with disabilities.  Highly successful, the company is rated ‘Outstanding’ by the Care Quality Commission, which Kerena considers her greatest achievement thus far. However, following serious illnesses last year she decided to attempt to fulfil her long-held ambition of writing a novel and getting it published. She has yet to tick off other achievements from her bucket list such as playing Moonlight Sonata on the piano all the way through and being stopped for speeding in a red Ferrari at the age of 80 but can tick off building a brick wall.
After many years of writing professionally in the course of her work, Kerena has discovered the exhilaration of writing fiction and can be found at all hours in front of her computer.  Her husband (worried about his dinners being cooked) has threatened divorce if she writes another book so she’s told him she will write a trilogy.
‘Dying to See You’ is Kerena’s first novel and she has already started work on her second book ‘I Let You In’.  Drawing on her extensive knowledge and experience in the problematic world of social work, Kerena adds a unique angle to the domestic noir genre.


  1. Thanks Karen for being part of the blitz x

  2. Thank you Karen for your amazing review. You experienced the book exactly as I intended and your comments make all the hard work worthwhile.

    1. I'm so pleased to hear that, I enjoyed reading it so much x


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