After I’m Gone

Author:  Laura Lippman
Publisher:  William Morrow                        after i'm gone
Pages: 352
Genre: Mystery
Source:  Harper Collins

Goodreads:   When Felix Brewer meets nineteen-year-old Bernadette “Bambi” Gottschalk at a Valentine’s Dance in 1959, he charms her with wild promises, some of which he actually keeps. Thanks to his lucrative-if not all legal-businesses, she and their three little girls live in luxury. But on the Fourth of July, 1976, Bambi’s comfortable world implodes when Felix, newly convicted and facing prison, mysteriously vanishes.

Though Bambi has no idea where her husband-or all of his money-might be, she suspects one woman does: his devoted young mistress, Julie. When Julie disappears ten years to the day that Felix went on the lam, everyone assumes she’s left to join her old lover-until her remains are eventually found in a secluded wooded park.

Now, twenty-six years after Julie went missing, Roberto “Sandy” Sanchez, a retired Baltimore detective working cold cases for some extra cash, is investigating her murder. What he discovers is a tangled web of bitterness, jealously, resentment, greed, and longing stretching over three decades that connects five intriguing women: a faithful wife, a dead mistress, and three very different daughters. And at the center is the man who, though long gone, has never been forgotten by the five women who loved him: the enigmatic Felix Brewer.

Somewhere between the secrets and lies connecting past and present, Sandy will find the truth. And when he does, no one will ever be the same.

Ope’s Opinion:  Laura Lippman wove a web of family secrets.  She kept me reading right to the end.

The pace of this book was a steady build of interest and intrigue.  Getting to know all the family dynamics made the investigation and outcome all the more intense.

The book moved from present to past and from one character to another.  Although there were all these changes, I felt like Lippman made it easy to follow.  At times the story lulled me into thinking it was just another book about a family and not a murder.  Then it would go to a chapter from the investigators perspective – at that point I was reminded where the story was really going.

I followed Laura Lippman down the path of who did it – and I was wrong.   The person who did it makes absolute sense and after the fact, I can totally see it.  The book did not end at who did it.  It was very interesting…  you will want to read it.

Rating:  Four Chairs –  I like this book so much I know several friends to share it with.
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