Thursday, January 30, 2014

After I'm Gone by Laura Lippman

One disappearance and then another ten years later.  Could both these disappearances have been planned far apart so no one would know the real reason?

Felix Brewer disappeared because he wanted to avoid going to jail for his misdeeds.  He left his wife and three daughters, but was his wife really surprised he had left?  He never really was with her in the first place.  He always had a mistress and was rarely home.  His mistress, Julie, was his most steady one.  To cause more heartache and questions after Julie’s disappearance, Felix's wife wonders if she may have gone with him.

The questions about whether they were together or not surfaced twenty-six years later when they found Julie's body.

AFTER I'M GONE moves from present to past and from character to character.   I actually was not swept away as I had been with Ms. Lippman's other books until the ending pages.

It was very confusing even when I was three quarters of the way into the book.  I had trouble following the storyline.  The detective, Sandy, made the book for me. 

I had to keep reading, though, just to see if they found out where Felix was and who had killed Julie.

I am not going to say I disliked this book, but it just didn't grab me, didn’t pull me back to reading, or have me thinking about the characters or story when I wasn't reading.  AFTER I'M GONE definitely has a character-driven storyline even though they were not likeable.  Most of them were only worried about themselves.

Ms. Lippman may have been trying something different with this book, but I have to say I was disappointed until the end.  Whenever I hear Laura Lippman, I normally know I am in for a real treat. The treat was late in coming as it came toward the end of the book as Sandy was wrapping up the investigation.  AFTER I'M GONE actually got quite good at this point, and the outcome of “who done it” was very clever.

As I turned the ending pages, I said:  "I know this person did it," and then I said: "no that person did," but I was wrong.  When you find out who really “did it,” you will love it.

My rating originally was going to be a 3/5, but the sensational, clever ending that kept me guessing is going to move it up to a 4/5.

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.

1 comment: