#BlogTour: AFTER HE DIED by Michael J. Malone @michaelJmalone1 @OrendaBooks @annecater #RandomThingsTours

thumbnail_AFTER HE DIED coverPublication: 30th September 2018 by Orenda Books

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 she 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…

 

This is my first Michael J. Malone’s novel and I am happy that I got the chance to read it because now I can’t wait to read everything else this author wrote. AFTER HE DIED is a twisty and suspenseful domestic noir, but it’s not just that because the author focuses not only on the mystery of the story, but also on the grief of a woman who just lost the man she spent the last thirty years with. Her pain, her emotions, and her sense of loss are very-well described and it’s almost heartbreaking reading about it.

The protagonists of this novel are two women and they are completely different from each other. The first one is Paula Gadd. She met her husband, Thomas, when she was 16 years old and they have been together ever since. Thomas was a successful businessman so Paula had led an easy and sheltered life that, at times, makes her look a bit naïve. The novel opens during Thomas’s funeral. Paula is wondering how a fit and healthy man like her husband could die of a heart attack when a woman she’s never seen before approaches her and slips a note into her pocket. That woman is Cara Collins. Unlike Paula, Cara grew up in one of the poorest part of Glasgow, raised by an addicted single mother. Despite her difficult childhood, Cara grew up to become a tough and smart woman who wants to help and improve her community. Both women are strong and determined and, as they look for the truth, things spiral out of control. I admired Paula’s loyalty to her husband. Despite what people told her, despite the evidence, she refused to think that the man she had spent most of her life with was anything other than a good man.

I liked the setting of Glasgow. With its slums, gangs, corruption, and with its dark and claustrophobic atmosphere it is the perfect frame to this compelling and beautifully written novel. Add the multi-layered characters with secrets and dark sides that lead to a final surprising twist that I really didn’t see coming and you have a gripping and immersive novel.

I’d like to thank Anne Cater and Orenda Books for inviting me to take part in the blog tour.

After He Died Blog Tour Poster

thumbnail_Michael MaloneMichael 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.

 

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