Let’s chat about books: After I’m Gone


Mia Bolyard

Picture of cover made by Sunil Manchikanti.

Man goes missing. Ten years later his mistress is missing too, until her remains are found.

After I’m Gone by Laura Lippman is a story about a murder, secrets, and desire. Felix Brewer is the patriarch of the Brewer family. Faced with spending time in jail, he plans an escape on July 4th 1976. He leaves behind his wife Bernadette “Bambi” Brewer and his three daughters Linda, Rachel and Michelle. But he doesn’t just leave behind his family. He also leaves behind a mistress, Julie Saxony, who was convinced one day he’d come back for her. On July 4, 1986 after seemingly disappearing out of thin air, all assumed Julie had met up with Felix. That is, until her dead body is found at a park.

Fast forward to 2012, where retired detective Roberto “Sandy” Sanchez has taken on the cold case of Julie’s murder. As Sandy follows every lead he gets closer and closer to finding out what happened that fateful night.

The book follows a format where it transitions from the “past” events leading up to Felix’s disappearance and Julie’s murder to the “present” where Sandy is finding more clues allculminating with the reveal of the culprit. I really like this aspect as I was able to come up with my own theories as Sandy made his own up. What can I say? I love a good flashback.

The characters were all very well written and all the details remained the same across the differing perspectives. The different perspectives were well done and I felt as though I was in different characters’ heads the entire time. The tangled web of drama each character had was skillfully woven. Some reveals were so drastic I almost gasped aloud whilst reading.

The overall flow of the mystery really must be praised. I’ve only recently begun admiring the suspense/mystery genre; however, I thought the progression of details were handled excellently, as well as the constant shift of who did it towards the end of the book. I had a revolving door of suspects in the fourth to last chapter and almost none of them were correct. So A+ for not being too predictable.

I honestly give this book a 5 out of 5. It was so good from start to finish. The first and last chapter, which were the only two times we were in Felix’s (or Felix adjacent) perspective really sold me. The first chapter sets up the drama to come, and the last one really wraps it all up after Julie gets the justice she deserved after 20 years. And also because of the killer, who I truly never saw it coming!! Check it out when you get the chance.

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