Thank you for stopping by I'm thrilled to be one of the bloggers taking part in the blog tour for After He Died by Michael J Malone and sharing my review today. First of all though let's take a look at the description for the book...
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 she knew, and it becomes immediately clear that both women’s lives are in very real danger. Both a dark, twisty slice of domestic noir and taut, explosive psychological thriller, After He Died is also a chilling reminder that the people we trust the most can harbour the deadliest secrets…
The premise instantly had me intrigued what could be more distressing than after the death of your husband realising that he may have been keeping some pretty dark secrets. I couldn't wait to see how the story would play out and what follows is a very tangled web of secrets just waiting for Paula to discover. Within a couple of pages I knew I didn't want to put this book down and I was completely right as it became such an addictive kind of read. When Paula and Cara's paths cross this made me even more curious especially with little snippets of information given to the reader which built up a brilliant tension.
The pacing was really good especially with the shorter chapters which helped to keep the momentum going. I loved how the mystery, twists and revelations all came together to make this book so compelling. I thought that the contrast between both Cara and Paula's character added an extra depth to the story. We see the very different lives they lead although they do have a connection that we see slowly but surely revealed. Paula is completely immersed in her grief and this gave the story an emotional edge which definitely made her more likeable and along with her flaws I felt she was a truly balanced character. Cara was the most likeable of the two especially as she has such a feisty personality but to be honest I enjoyed the story from both perspectives as they each brought something to the story. I have to mention the setting as all of the places in this book are beautifully described and make the story extra special in my opinion.
An intriguing character driven story that will pull you in and not let you go until the very last page!
Five stars from me!
With thanks to Anne Cater and Orenda Books for my copy.
Michael Malone is a prize-winning poet and author who was born and brought up in the heart of Burns’ country. He has published over 200 poems in literary magazines throughout the UK, including New Writing Scotland, Poetry Scotland and Markings. Blood Tears, his bestselling debut novel won the Pitlochry Prize from the Scottish Association of Writers. Other published work includes: Carnegie’s Call; A Taste for Malice; The Guillotine Choice; Beyond the Rage; The Bad Samaritan and Dog Fight. His psychological thriller, A Suitable Lie, was a number-one bestseller, and the critically acclaimed House of Spines soon followed suit. A former Regional Sales Manager (Faber & Faber) he has also worked as an IFA and a bookseller.