Second blog post of the day is for #TeamOrenda and ‘After He Died’ by Michael Malone. Thank you to Anne Cater for the blog tour invite and the ARC. Here is my review:
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…
What does TWG think?
When a storyline starts with a funeral, you can’t help but feel a little bit emotional, regardless of the circumstances. I mean, it’s not like we know anything, right? We’re not associated in any way. We don’t have any insider information. All we know is that someone has died, with their loved ones and possible acquaintances coming together to give them a send off. However, Michael Malone isn’t the type of author who would leave this type of setting without doing something with it. No. The funeral is a small teaser. An amuse bouche if you will.
Paula has just lost her husband. The man she knew inside out. The love of her life. Her lobster….you catch my drift. However when a random person passes her a note on the day of her husbands funeral, everything Paula had ever known is thrown into turmoil. Has her marriage been a waste of time? With a bucketful of questions looming over head, Paula has to decide whether the random stranger is attempting to throw a spanner in the works because she missed an episode of Emmerdale, or because they know more than they’re letting on..
Michael Malone certainly hit the ground with ‘After He Died’, raising the suspense level with every turn of the page. I cannot help but be impressed by this authors writing style as he always delivers with everyone book he releases, and I have to say that, despite having only read a couple of this authors novels, ‘After He Died’ has got to be my most favourite so far.
I loved how the author kept me guessing for the entire duration of the novel! Although I think my heart rate may have been raised to a dangerous level, but that’s neither here nor there ;). I have no doubt that many readers may relate to the theme running throughout the book as we have all come across someone who has more skeletons in their closet than a dress up shop, whilst also keeping the truth under lock and key and pretending to be someone they’re not. I couldn’t help but feel sorry for Paula either as her emotions were extremely conflicted, and whilst that made my intrigue of the book grow, it was quite heartbreaking to witness.
Overall, ‘After He Died’ is an intense, rollercoaster ride of a novel which had me falling off the sofa in shock multiple times. Michael Malone has set the bar high with this one, I am so looking forward to what journey he takes us on next.
About the author.
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.