Book Review: After I’m Gone
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.
This book is classified as a mystery/crime novel but in reality it is fascinating character study of the five women in Felix Brewer’s life – his wife, three daughters and mistress. I was most intrigued by Bambi’s story. It really made me think how hard it would be to be wealthy one minute and have it all suddenly taken away. She goes from a mentor to some of the newer mobster wives to being pitied by them. All of the characters are wonderfully layered and developed like Bambi. Because this IS a crime novel and written by Ms. Lippman, it has surprising twists and turns as well. I enjoyed this book on many levels. I love this author and her style and I am thrilled with her latest release.
(I received this book courtesy of the Amazon Vine program.)
Another book I’ve reviewed by Laura Lippman: