This was the first book I’ve read since finishing The Goldfinch by Donna Tarte. I can honestly say I prefer After I’m Gone. I know you’re thinking “How can you compare the two books?” Well, let’s start with the characters. Theo Decker in The Goldfinch is just not likeable and neither are any of the other characters in the book. On the other hand, After I’m Gone has a few likeable characters beginning with the former police doing the investigating. You can actually sympathize with the characters in Laura Lippman’s book, not so much with the characters in The Goldfinch.
The book begins with the flight of Felix Brewer, a family man facing a ten-year prison term for gambling and racketeering. He is helped in his escape by his mistress and her sister. Ten years later to the day, the mistress, Julie also disappears. Eventually Julie’s remains are found, but the investigation into her death becomes a cold case.
Twenty-six years after Julie’s disappearance, Roberto “Sandy” Sanchez, a retired Baltimore detective working cold cases for some extra cash, begins investigating her murder. What he discovers is a tangled web stretching over three decades that connects Felix Brewer’s wife, three daughters, and his dead mistress. Somewhere between the secrets and lies connecting past and present, Sandy works to find the truth.
Just like any booklover, I have my favorite authors and Laura Lippman is one of those favorites for me. If you are a Tess Monagham fan, don’t despair, she makes a brief appearance in Afer I’m Gone and I have to say that Laura Lippman handles it beautifully. You definitely need to read this novel. It is a perfect diversion from the everyday and you will grow to care about Bambi and her daughters, they seem so much like some of the people you may know.
Book Details: Published by William Morrow (February 11, 2014), 352 pages, ISBN: 0062083392.