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Leonardo Cantrell is a painfully shy sixteen-year-old who cannot look people in the eye. One night while he’s volunteering at a homeless shelter, an old man forces eye contact and gives Leo the power to see Death.
His best, and only, friend—J.C. Rivera—thinks this new power is cool until Leo accidentally looks into J.C.’s eyes and “sees” his murder, a murder that will occur in less than two weeks. Stunned and shaken, the two boys sift through clues in Leo’s “vision” in a desperate effort to find the killer and stop him before he can strike.
Aided by feisty new-girl-at-school, Laura, the boys uncover evidence suggesting the identity of the murderer. However, their plan to trap the would-be killer goes horribly awry and reveals a truth that could kill them all.
A Note From the Publisher
"Because I Know When You’re Going to Die is written in the first-person, Leo’s perspective, the reader enjoys a deep introspective look into his psyche as he processes the implications and repercussions of the ability he didn’t ask for, but nonetheless has. It’s an intimate way to tell such a heart-pounding tale that centers on the ideas of fate, decency, and humanity. Leo grapples with what is right, with what it means to have the power to look into someone’s eyes and see their death. He struggles with whether or not to warn them. Would he want to know, were he in someone else’s shoes? When it comes to his closest friend in the world, though, the choice is clear, and that choice informs and drives the remainder of the narrative into complex and interesting places heretofore unimagined by other novels of the same genre. Death is an inevitability, but this coming-of-age YA novel explores the very real lengths to which we will go to preserve love, life, and all that is precious within those concepts. Beyond the scope of the narrative, the language of I Know When You’re Going to Die captivates and enthralls the reader to the very end. It’s the kind of literary style that gets wonderfully stuck in your head and entreats you to keep reading well past the time you told yourself you would stop."
–Red City Review
"I Know When You're Going To Die by Michael J Bowler is a fabulous story with an incredibly unique plot. Written in first-person, from Leo’s point-of-view, the story grabs hold of you straight away. The story centers on the main protagonist, his friends, and enemies, all of whom are exceptionally well-developed. The action is constant, with never a dull moment or any dead spots, and there are plenty of twists and turns, especially the ending. There are several threads running through this story – rich, so-called privileged kids who aren’t quite as privileged as you might think, bullying, friendship, and perhaps the overwhelming thread is that people aren’t always who you think they are and we should never take anyone at face value. This is an excellent story, adults young and older will enjoy it – I did and I look forward to reading more from Michael J Bowler."
"This is a powerful story with a very strong premise and Michael J Bowler does an impeccable job in capturing the interest of the reader. I wanted to know what will happen to Leonardo's friend. The characters are well-explored and they inspire sympathy in readers. The friendship between the two boys grows stronger from day to day as they seek clues to identify the murderer and Laura, the new girl in school, helps in beefing up the plot and deepening themes. Friendship, death, and murder are themes that are beautifully developed. Each chapter is well crafted with an ending that forces the reader to turn to the next page. I Know When You're Going To Die is deftly written, suspenseful, and featuring characters that are easy to root for; a very engaging and delightful read."