Good morning, everyone! Today I'm excited to be part of the TLC book tour for Laura Lippman's latest stand alone, After I'm Gone.
In 1976, Felix Brewer fled the country to avoid prison time. He left behind a wife, three kids, and a mistress, Julie Saxony. When he left, with Julie's help, he set her up with one of his businesses. He also left cash and instructions for his family - but they never received them. The Brewer family struggled for years after Felix's disappearance and more than one of the Brewer women laid the blame on Julie.
Almost ten years to the day after Felix's disappearance, Julie Saxony was reported missing. Then in 2001 Julie's body was discovered. Everyone thought she'd been with Felix all along. Everyone except her killer. Her case was never solved and never closed but in 2012, retired detective Roberto "Sandy" Sanchez reopens the case.
After I'm Gone is split into two timelines - the past, and the investigation in 2012. The past chapters begin with Felix's leaving but then actually go back to his meeting Bambi Brewer in 1959. Through those chapters we learn about their relationship, their family, and how Felix's business, habits, and fleeing affected and continues to influence everyone around him.
And while it's the Brewer family's story that really drives the mystery, Sandy Sanchez is not left out. Here we have a retired detective who spends his time working as a consultant investigating cold cases. He's widowed and we discover that he's an immigrant who once upon a time tried his hand at being a restauranteur, which provides a surprising little connection to Lippman's famous series lead, Tess Monaghan.
I've been a fan of Lippman's work for quite some time now and I'm always completely in awe of her talent. She has this ability to draw readers in with such ease - or at least what seems like ease. I find it's pretty impossible to start one of her books and not read straight through, or as close to as day to day life might allow. And it's a good thing that I started After I'm Gone on a Saturday considering it was no exception. I was consumed by the story, sucked in from page one! And yes, mystery/thriller fans, Lippman has an almost perfect ability to keep readers guessing until the very end. She does feed us crumbs along the way but there is always plenty left to be revealed as the story progresses. I don't know if I've teased out the real whodunit or why early on in any of her books so far.
To see what others on the tour thought, be sure to check out the official TLC tour page here.
For more on Lippman and her work you can visit her website here. You can also like her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter.