You need to know who your husband really was…
When Paula Gadd’s husband of almost thirty years dies, just days away from the seventh anniversary of their son, Christopher’s death, her world falls apart. Grieving and bereft, she is stunned when a young woman approaches her at the funeral service, and slips something into her pocket. A note suggesting that Paula’s husband was not all that he seemed…
When the two women eventually meet, a series of revelations challenges everything Paula thought they knew, and it becomes immediately clear that both women’s lives are in very real danger.
I'd like to thank Anne Cater from Random Things Through my Letterbox for inviting me to be a part of this blog tour and Orenda Books for my ecopy of After He Died to review.
I've not read anything by Michael J Malone before as Louise reviewed A Suitable Lie, his first book with Orenda which I also have a copy of, and the copy of House of Spines that I bought and got signed at Crimefest is still sat waiting for me in my TBR pile. So it was with fresh eyes that I went into reading After He Died and boy was I in for a treat as this menacing tale unfolded showing that you don't always know what's going on before your own eyes as was the case for the central character in this book, Paula Gadd.
When we first meet Paula she's in the depths of grief at the funeral of Thomas, her beloved husband of almost thirty years, and totally alone now as she'd had to bury her only son Christopher seven years before after he was killed in a hit-and-run accident. But a note slipped into her pocket from a mysterious woman who approaches her casts doubt as to whether Paula really knew the man she had loved for all those years.
What follows is a murky tale as Paula contacts Cara. the woman who gave her the note, to find out what she meant by the note. Even though she struggles to believe everything she is being told by her, silent phone calls, mysterious events and the feeling of being followed, make her begin to wonder if there is any truth to Cara's claims after all. Just what had her husband gotten into, and just who can she really trust as it would seem that those she would normally turn to for support might be caught up in the midst of it all too.
The contrasts between the two central characters couldn't have been more different, the only thing the two women had in common was grief as both had lost someone close to them. Paula having lived a privilege lifestyle where seemingly money is no object at first seemed lost but she soon found an inner strength to deal with everything that was unfolding and turning her life upside down. Whereas Cara has worked hard to make something of herself after a childhood living in a rough estate, she was a strong and resilient woman who was determined to get to the answers she was looking for no matter what it might cost her.
After He Died was a dark, atmospheric story that dealt with some serious issues at its core and totally had me in its grip and wouldn't let me go until the last secret and lie was revealed. My first read by this talented author but it certainly won't be my last.
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