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After I'm Gone

Cover of After I'm Gone

After I'm Gone

A Novel
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Laura Lippman, the acclaimed New York Times bestselling author of The Most Dangerous Thing, I'd Know You Anywhere, and What the Dead Know, returns with an addictive story that explores how one man's disappearance echoes through the lives of the wife, mistress, and daughters he left behind.

When Felix Brewer meets 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 his money—might be, she suspects one woman does: his 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.

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 stretching over three decades that connects five intriguing women. And at the center is the missing man 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.

Laura Lippman, the acclaimed New York Times bestselling author of The Most Dangerous Thing, I'd Know You Anywhere, and What the Dead Know, returns with an addictive story that explores how one man's disappearance echoes through the lives of the wife, mistress, and daughters he left behind.

When Felix Brewer meets 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 his money—might be, she suspects one woman does: his 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.

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 stretching over three decades that connects five intriguing women. And at the center is the missing man 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.

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About the Author-
  • Since Laura Lippman's debut, she has won multiple awards and critical acclaim for provocative, timely crime novels set in her beloved hometown of Baltimore. Laura has been nominated for more than 50 awards for crime fiction and won almost 20, including the Edgar. Her books have been translated into over twenty languages. Now a perennial New York Times bestselling author, she lives in Baltimore and New Orleans with her family.

Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from December 23, 2013
    On July 4, 1976, shady businessman Felix Brewer escapes the law by fleeing suburban Maryland, leaving behind his wife, Bambi; three daughters; and a mistress, Julie Saxony. So begins bestseller Lippman's finely wrought study of what it means to move forward without answers. When Felix met Bambi in 1959, it was love at first sight. Without telling her how, he promised they'd get rich. And they did, even if he wasn't often home to enjoy it with her and their daughters. Julie—a stripper who loved Felix, despite knowing he'd never leave Bambi—wasn't even Felix's only bit on the side. When he ran, Felix made sure, or so he thought, that all his women would be looked after. Ten years later, Julie disappears. At first, rumors swirl that Felix came back for her, but when her remains turn up in a local park in 2001, the word on the street is that he killed her. Adept as always with character nuance, Lippman (And When She Was Good) uses Roberto "Sandy" Sanchez, a consultant who used to be a Baltimore cop, to dig into Julie's cold case, and to uncover the secrets of the women Felix left in his wake. Agent: Vicky Bijur, Vicky Bijur Literary.

  • Library Journal (starred review)

    "Despite the murder at its center, this is less a suspenseful whodunit than a masterly novel of character, with secrets skillfully and gradually revealed. Revel in the pace and pleasures of this book [...] that should add to Lippman's literary luster."

  • Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

    "Lippman is a bet you just can't lose."

  • Anna Quindlen, New York Times bestselling author

    "I never miss Laura Lippman's novels."

  • Washington Post

    "She's one of the best novelists around, period."

  • Entertainment Weekly

    "Equal parts love story, tragedy and murder mystery, Lippman's latest thriller delivers twist and emotional depth with its tale of a philandering scheemer whose long-time mistress turns up dead years after he skipped town."

  • Washington Post

    "Lippman is as skillful at plot as she is at characters and setting, and the twists in the novel's final pages are both surprising and satisfying. [...] Like everything else Lippman has written, "After I'm Gone" transcends the limits of genre."

  • O, the Oprah Magazine

    "In this edge-of-your seat tale, a man's disappearance has unexpected consequences for the women he's left behind."

  • Houston Chronicle

    "enthralling"

  • Dallas Morning News

    "Lippman is one of the deftest hands at whodunit around, and the great characters make for an engaging read."

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A Novel
Laura Lippman
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