If I Should Die Before I Wake by Gabriel Boutros is a novella fantasy thriller about a hit man, his prey, and a most disturbing hunt.
Simon Wallis, a former gangster’s accountant caught embezzling from his unforgiving boss, runs for his life. Killer for hire Frank Burke, a sociopath with a predilection for Hawaiian beaches, tracks Simon. Nightmares plague both men in their desperate chase-and-elude game that ends in an unforgettable showdown in Montreal.
If I Should Die Before I Wake plunges the reader into a noir world of shadows and pursuit. From the start, Simon’s desperation and regret taste like a shot of rotgut whiskey whose burn lingers too long in the gut. When we see the story through Frank’s eyes, the sensual and entrepreneurial criminal oozes self-confidence. This professional killer is despicable and fascinating.
But the killer and quarry share reciprocal nightmares. Each man crumbles as the hunt draws to its close. In the end, the disturbing dreams merge in a most unexpected way.
Boutros spins a dandy thriller that greatly satisfies. If I Should Die Before I Wake left Lita uneasy, glancing over her shoulder before pouring another shot of rotgut to calm her nerves. Lita recommends this story for noir fans who love thrillers mixed with a touch of unsettling fantasy.