If you’re looking for a fast-paced domestic thriller then look no further. I found “After He’s Gone” to be a compulsively readable novel – though a tad predictable. There were no jaw-dropping plot twists, but there was an engaging protagonist, albeit one with little self-esteem.
The story is set in California and is told via dual timelines. We are introduced to Abby when she first meets Charles, a fellow law student. She feels unworthy of him as he is popular, rich, handsome, and ever so charming. Completely bowled over by his forceful personality, it is not long before they are married. Well folks, the honeymoon is well and truly over. His forceful personality turns out to be one of a narcissistic and controlling man. A man who uses mind games to keep Abby dancing to his tune.
Abby is prone to blackouts and with an infant daughter in the house, that is scary indeed. After one such blackout she is confronted with the dead body of her husband lying in a pool of blood… The story is split between events before and after his death.
This was a real page turner, though not highly original. I guess that is a testament to the clever writing. Charles was a character that left the reader with no remorse that he died. In fact if you were the type to dance on someone’s grave, you’d be doing a jig on his.
The ending of the book was a bit too tidy, too unlikely, in my humble opinion. However, the denouement didn’t preclude me from giving this domestic thriller a four star rating, for pure reading enjoyment. I wouldn’t hesitate to read more of this author’s work.
This review was written voluntarily and my rating was in no way influenced by the fact that I received a complimentary digital copy of this novel from Severn House via NetGalley. Publication date: April 4, 2023
ISBN: 9781448310333 – ASIN: B0BKLDJBWM – 224 pages
Katherine Bolger Hyde is a natural born redhead who lives in California. In addition to traditional mystery, she writes picture books, middle-grade fiction, and contemporary fiction. She has a degree in Russian Literature from Reed College. On Sundays, you can find her singing soprano in her local church choir. She has four children and four grand-children who she claims are all above average.
Connect with Katherine Bolger Hyde via her website or on Facebook.
Great review, Lynne. I love a good “popcorn” book, where I just go with the story and enjoy it. This sounds like one that fits that bill perfectly.
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