Review: After I’m Gone by Laura Lippman

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow (February 11, 2014)
  • ISBN-10: 0062083392
  • Source: Publisher

Felix Brewer sustains his family, including wife Bambi and three daughters, via a lucrative, yet not necessarily legal, business. Facing jail time, he disappears without a trace leaving his family and stripper mistress, Julie, in his wake.  Despite his lucrative business, Felix’s family doesn’t have a dime to survive on, Bambi assuming Julie has somehow obtained his fortune. Then, exactly ten years later, Julie disappears and everyone assumes she has left to meet up with Felix. Their assumptions are contradicted when, 26 years after Felix’s disappearance, Julie’s body is found in a wooded area.

Sandy Sanchez, a retired detective, decides to take on the cold case. A widower, Sandy has his own share of ghosts in his past.  He begins to interrogate anyone with any sort of involvement in the case. He soon discovers that Felix’s family members have their own secrets to hide, from both the public and one another. Slowly but surely, he is able to meld their stories together and recreate what happened that fateful day Felix disappeared.

Lippman is skilled at crafting a well-paced thriller, bits and pieces evenly and painstakingly revealed just at the right moment. This slower pacing allows her to develop and introduce a dynamic cast of characters and granting a number of voices the opportunity to tell their story. The storyline alternates between past and present, allowing characters both alive and deceased, to share their point of view without judgement.

The pain that the women in this thriller experience is quite evident and intensely moving and heartbreaking. Felix’s disappearance made a huge and lasting impact on their lives, each of them reflecting on how things could and would have been different had he not disappeared. Readers can’t help but feel for each of them, wanting to comfort them through the pain.

While After I’m Gone is a thriller at the core, it is also an intense character study. Readers learn not only about Felix and his surviving family members, including the five women in his life (wife, three daughters, and mistress) but also of Sandy and his immigration from Cuba. I’m honestly hoping we see more of Sandy’s character!

Fans of Lippman’s writing will be pleased to know that the twists and turns in plot are evident and abundant in this read.  Also apparent are characters from her other series, a real treat for long-time fans. Readers new to Lippman’s work can use this stand-alone as a jumping point into her truly talented writing. Highly recommended!

Thank you to TLC Book Tours for providing me the opportunity to review this title! Make sure you check out the other stops in this tour!

The publisher is hosting a sweepstakes for reviews of AFTER I’M GONE. Any review posted  before March 1st and submitted to TLC Book Tours is eligible for a chance to win a $100 Visa gift card! If you have reviewed this title, , please fill out this form to submit your review for the sweepstakes!

3 Comments to "Review: After I’m Gone by Laura Lippman"

  1. Anita's Gravatar Anita
    Twitter: anitalovesbooks
    February 27, 2014 - 12:33 PM | Permalink

    Nice review Jennifer, and thanks for the link, I added my review to the list!

  2. Heather J. @ TLC Book Tours's Gravatar Heather J. @ TLC Book Tours
    Twitter: age30books
    February 28, 2014 - 11:55 PM | Permalink

    Can you believe that I haven’t read Lippman yet? Living so close to Baltimore I really should make the time for a hometown girl!

    Thanks for being on the tour Jenn. I’m featuring your review on TLC’s Facebook page today.

  3. March 6, 2014 - 1:31 AM | Permalink

    Great review – I thought all of the same things when I read this book!

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