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.
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 story starts off at the funeral of Paula’s husband Tommy. Straight away I could feel the emotions building up inside of me. Losing a loved one is never easy but a husband is more than just that, usually they can be a soul mate or best friend. Not only is she having to deal with the death of her husband, she is still dealing with the loss of their son from some years before. How does one person deal with that? It soon becomes apparent that Paula doesn’t really have any friends and also isn’t close to other family members or her in laws.
Tommy has two surviving brothers, Joe and Bill. Joe I took to straight away. Priests usually scared me when I was younger with them being someone in authority but there is a certain warmness that comes from him that I couldn’t help liking him from the start. Bill and his wife I could sort of understand why Paula would probably not have too much to do with them. It made me intrigued to find out why these people were not closer than they should have been though.
Cara is another stand out character in this book. I loved the job she does, trying to help the people that need it the most. It was good to get an insight into her job and I think it will make people sit back and reflect about the differences we can do in this world.
It soon becomes apparent that Paula may not know everything about her husband and boy how the author draws this out throughout the story. It was frustrating but in a good way as I was dying to know what secrets and lies were about to be unveiled but the author keeps things very close to his chest not letting anything slip until he wanted to. When all becomes clear, I hadn’t worked out one bit of it. With every revelation I was like ‘WHAT!!’. I just didn’t see any of it coming until it was right there before me.
After He Died is such an enthralling read that kept me on edge at all times. Packed full of suspense it had me gripped all the way through. Set in Scotland you really get the whole sense of environment and dialogue which really brings the story to life. Another great read from the author.
My thanks to Anne Cater and Orenda Books for a copy of this book. All opinions are my own and not biased in anyway.
After He Died is available to purchase from Amazon. (Please note that link used is an affiliate link).
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.