After He Died by Michael J. Malone #BookReview #Giveaway #BlogTour

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...

I'm delighted to be hosting the blog tour for After He Died by Michael J. Malone today. My grateful thanks to the author, publishers and Anne Cater for inviting me and for my advance copy of the novel.

I loved Michael J. Malone's previous books, A Suitable Lie and House of Spines but After He Died is possibly my favourite yet. There are some novels that resonate personally with a reader and this is one such book for me.
Michael J. Malone is an author who seems to be able to get to the heart of the most complicated, damaged people and does so in a way that means their lives aren't sanitised but neither are they dehumanised. Some of the characters in After He Died live on the edges of society, they are the sort of people that others hurry past but here they are written about with honesty and compassion. One of my brothers was a drug addict who eventually died by suicide and this meant I felt a particular affinity with Cara. The people she comes into contact with through her role as an advocacy worker may be dismissed as no-hopers but Michael J. Malone ensures that their strong sense of community is also portrayed here. This is something I saw first-hand after my brother's death - the prayers at his funeral may have been accompanied by the sounds of Special Brew being opened but the love his friends had for him was very clear that day. After He Died is an exciting and tense domestic noir novel but it's also beautifully crafted, empathetic writing.
The central themes to the novel are grief and secrets and poor Paula certainly suffers here. Her husband, Thomas dies suddenly of a heart attack almost seven years after the tragic loss of their son, Christopher. Paula could have been a difficult character to identify with - she lives an affluent lifestyle far removed from the daily struggles  many people experience and acknowledges that she turned a blind eye to her suspicions that not all his business dealings were strictly above board. However, as she slowly begins to discover dark secrets about her husband which threaten to tarnish her memories of their years together, she somehow finds an inner strength which meant that as well as feeling sorry for her, I also grew to admire her.
After He Died is a compelling and tense thriller with a dark and surprising mystery which kept me engrossed throughout. There's something particularly sinister about learning that those closest to you harbour the deadliest secrets and it wasn't just Paula who wasn't sure who she could trust, the twists and turns kept me guessing too. Michael J. Malone has written a book which is a chilling psychological thriller while also being a warm and sympathetic look at grief, that most shared of human experiences. I truly loved this gripping yet deeply touching novel and highly, highly recommend it.

I'm thrilled to be able to offer a brand new arc copy of After She Died to one lucky winner. Just retweet my pinned tweet to be entered into the draw to win this fabulous book. Competition is only open to UK residents I'm afraid and will close at midnight on 25th September 2018. Good luck! (Terms and conditions can be found here)

Giveaway now closed, congratulations to the lucky winner, @liveotherwise!

After He Died is published by Orenda Books and can be purchased here.

Don't forget to check out some of the other stops on the blog tour, details are below.

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.
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