Advance Reader Copy, 334 pages
February 11th 2014
Received from publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Laura Lippman’s After I’m Gone is one of those books that slowly creep up on you and sucks you in without you even realizing it. Well at least that was the case for me. When I first started reading it, I thought the premise was interesting, but the pacing was a bit slow. In fact, I felt like I was waiting for the story to pick up at the beginning.
I think what I disliked about the start of the story were the chapters that focused on the past and on characters such as Bambi and Michelle whom I did not like early on. However, both grew on me at the present time as it was clear that they have matured and evolved over time and they truly did care about their family. There were also a great number of chapters told from the perspective of other characters connected to Felix and I found that they worked because they gave us more clues as to what actually happened in addition to giving readers more characters to suspect that were responsible for Julie’s death.
What I did like throughout the book were the chapters that took place in the present where readers are introduced to Roberto “Sandy” Sanchez who is a retired detective working on the cold case that is the murder of a woman named Julie who was the mistress of Bambi’s husband, Felix Brewer. I enjoyed reading those chapters more because they focused on the investigations and Sandy was a more likeable character than several of the other major players in this book. In the end my most favourite part of this book was the lead up to the reveal of the killer, as the two timelines start converging it got me excited to see who murdered Julie. And while the identity and motive of the person who killed Julie was not shocking it was definitely satisfying and made perfect sense.
What started off as an ordinary story slowly grew into a more complex story over time. As well, I was surprised to discover that After I’m Gone is for the most part loosely based on the true story of Julius Salsbury, who was the head of a large gambling operation in the 1970s. Like Felix in After I’m Gone, Julius disappeared and left behind his wife and three daughters when it looked like he would be caught. However in real life there wasn’t a murder. Knowing this after I finished reading After I’m Gone makes this book all the more fascinating and I wonder if it would have affected my reading experience if I had known about this before I started reading the book.
If you like this book, you’ll love: Blood Always Tells by Hilary Davidson
Regardless of how this book came into my possession, the above review consists of my honest opinion of the book and my opinion only.