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Monday, September 24, 2018

BLOG TOUR & REVIEW: After He Died by Michael J. Malone @orendabooks @michaelJmalone1 @annecater

After He Died
by Michael J. Malone

Thanks to Anne Cater and Orenda Books for this stop on the blog tour!

Publisher:  Orenda Books
Publish Date: September, 2018
Kindle Edition
276 Pages
Genre: Domestic Noir

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…

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.

My Review:

Imagine your son dies and you have to deal with the aftermath with your husband.  This obviously strains a relationship but also can bring a couple closer together.  Then imagine your husband dies and now you're left all alone.  

This book opens at the funeral of Paula's husband.  At the funeral, she's given a note that her husband is not who he seems.  First of all, that's not a great place for someone to do this - isn't she going through enough already?!  Then people start showing up and you're hearing from a strange woman about a somewhat conspiracy theory on something that happened that connects them.  SAY WHAT?!

Yeah, if that didn't confuse you… then you need to read this book and figure it all out!  A solid look into domestic noir/suspense and how you never, EVER, fully know someone completely.  I did think some of the writing got a little choppy - but I think that's because everything happened so fast at the beginning... funeral, note, Cara, crazy eyed drunk guy rummaging through drawers when she comes home.  WHAT IS HAPPENING?!  But as you read further, you start to get fully invested in what is going on and the MANY surprises that comes about.

My favorite character is Joe.  While he might not a front runner character compared to others, I just love him.. and how he has his moments of "taking a break" from being a priest and being what Paula needed at times.

Overall a compulsive read with short chapters that keep you turning the pages.  While I felt the beginning was a bit blunted, the rest of the read really pulls everything together and delivers that one, two punch.


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