A Year Of Orenda – After He Died by Michael J Malone

Day three of Michael J Malone week and it’s back to Mandie for her thoughts on After He Died. We’re both quite familiar with some of the settings in this book now, so I’m as intrigued as you all are to hear her thoughts on how Mr Malone has recreated it on the page. You can read my thoughts here, but here’s more about the book.

Source: Amazon

About the Book

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…

Mandie’s Thoughts

When Paula Gadd is approached by a total stranger at her husband Thomas’s funeral and told that her husband was not who she thought he was, she was left totally confused. Already struggling with his sudden death, she refused to believe that he was anything other than a loving husband. Yes,they had got a little bit distant over the years, but she knew him well enough to know this person was lying…. didn’t she?

I am currently in the middle of a Michael J Malone catch up reading session and I can honestly say I am loving every single one of them. Once again you are taken on quite a ride as you watch Paula try to work out what was going on and who she could trust. First of all, there is Cara Connolly, the stranger from the funeral, is she telling the truth or is she just out to make trouble. Initially she is quite abrasive towards Paula but over time they seem to form some sort of bond. Then you have Thomas’s brothers Joe and Bill, whilst she has always been close to Joe, Paula is convinced that he knows something about Thomas that he won’t share with her and with Thomas’s business partner Kevin acting strangely, Paula just doesn’t know where to turn.

Although this is not a fast paced book it is not short on action and just as Paula did you find that not everything and everyone is what they seem and you are not quite sure who can be trusted. There is something special about Michael’s books as they deal with all kinds of emotions and take the reader into the world of the characters that seem so real. You can really feel the despair and conflicting emotions that Paula is feeling as she tries to understand what is happening around her. The relationship between her and Joe is quite charming and the fact that they can turn to each other for support is comforting for them both.

With all that is going on Michael Malone still manages to give a true sense of place and his descriptions of the locations are such that at one point I was transported to the lovely island of Bute and made me realise just how much I had missed the trip there this year for the local book festival. Even if you have never visited you will certainly be able to tell just how beautiful the island is.

I have come to the conclusion that I will never know what to expect when I pick up a Michael J Malone book other but with each one you are guaranteed a thrilling and compelling read.

About the Author

Michael 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 and After He Died soon followed suit. A former Regional Sales Manager (Faber & Faber) he has also worked as an IFA and a bookseller. Michael lives in Ayr.

Books by Michael J Malone:

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