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.
After I'm Gone is one of those books that grabs you from the first chapter and doesn't let go. It is very reminiscent of What the Dead Know also by Lippman. The story flips between several different times in the past and the book's present. During the entire book I'm wondering if they're ever going to reveal what really happened to Felix and I had to live in suspense the whole time. I zoomed through reading this one and had to shake myself awake just so I can keep reading because I had to know what happens next and couldn't afford to sleep.
The ending wasn't at all what I expected but it was very satisfying and now I can safely say I'm a Lippman fan. After reading What the Dead Know I was super excited to read Life Sentences but that one really fell flat for me. Now I'm safely back to being a Lippman fan and will definitely be reading more of her works.
I absolutely loved this book and am sharing it with all my friends. This is a must read for suspense lovers.