REVIEW: AFTER I’M GONE, BY LAURA LIPPMAN

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When Felix Brewer met Bambi Gottschalk in 1959, he fell in love. And even though they married and began having children, and she was the love of his life in his heart, there were indiscretions.

But who could have predicted what Felix would do in July 1976? Headed to prison for his many financial crimes, Felix ran. And left behind his wife, three daughters, and his mistress, Julie Saxony.

When Julie herself disappears almost exactly ten years later, the police and others suspect a connection. Did Felix send for her? And what had happened to the alleged suitcase of money left behind when Felix disappeared? And why had Bambi been forced to struggle financially all those years, with a little help from Bert, his best friend and lawyer?

After I’m Gone: A Novel takes the reader through the years and back again, driven by the cold case investigation of Police Consultant Sandy Sanchez. We learn about how the years have treated our main characters: Bambi and her three daughters, Linda, Rachel, and Michelle, as well as some of their secrets, slowly revealed. In the end, when the last of them is uncovered, and the pieces of the puzzle come together, the final chapter shows a surprising conclusion.

I loved learning about the various people left behind, as their fates were more interesting than what might have happened to Felix. And the unexpected reveal about the money and what happened to Julie came out of left field for me. I also liked how a character from another series by this author shows up to suggest what might be future events for the characters. Despite loving this book and engaging with the characters, I had trouble connecting at times because of the numerous flashbacks, therefore, four stars.

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