It’s always exciting to read the latest book by Michael J. Malone and I am delighted to be part of the blog tour today for his latest novel After He Died.
My thanks go to Karen Sullivan at Orenda Books and Anne Cater at Random Things blog tours for the advance copy and for inviting me to take part in the tour.
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…
You know your partner inside out, right? And, of course, you trust them implicitly don’t you? Imagine your partner suddenly died and while trying to get through the funeral you are slipped a note by a person you don’t know who suggests that your partner wasn’t who you thought they were. This is what happens to Paula Gadd in Michael J. Malone’s latest book After He Died.
As Malone sets up the premise of the book, starting at the above-mentioned funeral of Thomas Gadd, you may be forgiven for thinking this is going to be your fairly average ‘how well do you know your partner’ domestic noir, but this is Michael J. Malone and of course there is going to be nothing standard about it. The emotion hits you straight in the face as Malone perfectly describes the grief Paula is feeling in the opening lines. Immediately you empathise with this woman you do not yet know. And from there you can’t help but want to read further.
One of the things that always sets Malone’s work apart is his skilled use of words. He is able to make his characters multi-faceted and rounded and Paula Gadd is no exception. She is not a particularly likeable character but you cannot help but feel for her. Malone’s ability to describe the full range of emotions Paula goes through from her grief to each horrifying discovery about her deceased husband and his family members is outstanding as he writes with sensitivity and feeling.
Again, Malone has managed to combine gripping thriller with character driven humanity. After He Died is as much a comment on social class and the issues that arise in each as it is a piece of domestic noir. In Cara Connolly he has created the antithesis to Paula and I warmed to her completely.
As each revelation and family secret is revealed, you can’t help but be completely hooked on After He Died and Malone has you having to read just one more page.
Another great read from Michael J. Malone, After He Died is completely different from his two previous books published by Orenda, and his talent lies in being able to produce something totally fresh and totally brilliant every time. If you want a domestic noir that is well-written, keeps you hooked and also makes you think and feel deeply check out After He Died.
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 soon
followed suit. A former Regional Sales Manager (Faber & Faber) he has also
worked as an IFA and a bookseller.
After He Died was published on ebook on 30 July 2018 and is published in paperback on 30 September 2018 by Orenda Books. You can get your copy HERE.