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After He Died

Published Date: 7th March 2018

Available in

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EBook
9781912374342
£5.99
30 July 2018
Paperback
9781912374335
£8.99
20 September 2018
Audiobook
Coming Soon

Description

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 they 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…

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‘A stark, gripping storyline’ Scots

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‘A fine, page-turning thriller’ Daily Mail

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‘Vivid, visceral and compulsive’ Ian Rankin

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‘A terrific read … I read it in one sitting’ Martina Cole

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‘An expert plotter; twists and turns feel properly embedded in the story. It’s a tough high-wire act, balancing believability with surprise, but the author pulls it off with aplomb’ Doug Johnstone, Big Issue

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‘Another book full of suspense, characters on the edge, and a plot that takes you in the opposite direction to where you expect; it’s also one that’s littered with the kind of language that reminds you Malone is at heart a poet. Each of Malone’s books are very different, and this is no exception, but they’re united by the great writing and the passionate story. Highly recommend’ Louise Beech 

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‘Stinging, compelling, dynamic… excellent … There is an immediacy, a powerful edge to the storyline that feels so very real and wonderfully different too. Glasgow sits centre stage, vibrantly punchy and full of life. Michael J. Malone has created a dramatic and thrilling family tale that just sings with intensity. I thoroughly enjoyed picking my way along the razor wire of uncertainty that my thoughts and feelings teetered on. ‘After He Died’ is an explosive tale, one that takes hold, bites, and doesn’t let go’ Love Reading

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‘Malone’s previous thrillers, A Suitable Lie and House of Spines, may have raised expectations for this new novel to unreasonable heights, but his winning streak continues … Set in a dark and dangerous Glasgow where both ends of the social spectrum are prey to organised crime, it’s gripping and suspenseful fare that reinforces Malone’s renown for producing psychological thrillers’ The Herald Scotland

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‘Malone’s latest standalone is a dark and twisty thriller that drew me in with beautiful writing, slowly dripped revelations and seeringly beautiful understanding of grief and loss. While regular readers will know I’m a fan of Malone’s writing, they’ll also know that I expect the highest of standards from my favourites. Malone doesn’t disappoint on any level. Paula Gadd’s plight is terrible to behold as she learns secret after secret while grieving for the loss of her husband. I think the author’s decision for Paula’s marriage not to have been perfect is a genius touch that adds a depth of realism to the story. With his ever-exacting prose driving the story forward through revelations and twists, ‘After he Died‘ is a fantastic read packed with engaging characters and a compelling narrative. If Malone was a chef, he’d have at least 2 Michelin stars and a meal for two would cost a week’s wages. His books are as good as any culinary recpe. Now go and buy his book’

 Crime Squad

Author

Michael Malone is a prize-winning poet and author who was born and brought up in the heart of Burns’ country, in Ayr. He has published over 200 poems in literary magazines throughout the UK, including New Writing Scotland, Poetry Scotland and Markings. His career as a poet has also included a (very) brief stint as the Poet- In-Residence for an adult gift shop. Blood Tears, his bestselling debut novel won the Pitlochry Prize (judge: Alex Gray) from the Scottish Association of Writers. Other published work includes: Carnegie’s Call (a non-fiction work about successful modern-day Scots); A Taste for Malice; The Guillotine Choice; Beyond the Rage and The Bad Samaritan. His psychological thriller, A Suitable Lie, was a number one bestseller on AU/UK ebook charts, and House of Spines soon followed suit. Michael is a regular reviewer for the hugely popular crime fiction website www.crimesquad.com. A former Regional Sales Manager (Faber & Faber) he has also worked as an IFA and a bookseller. Follow Michael on Twitter @michaelJmalone1

Online Reviews

‘There is so much bubbling under the surface in After He Died. Just when I thought I had it sussed, Michael J Malone threw something else into the mix. The suspense escalates until the final crescendo – as all of the strands come together, Paula’s world falls apart and things turn much more sinister. A reminder that we don’t always know the ones we love as well as we think. There are also some powerful social messages here. An insight into independent advocacy services created a sense of realism and kept the plot grounded. It provided a deeper understanding of inequality and the social divide, and how some people help to make the world a better place for those in need. After He Died is a thought-provoking read – well researched, well written and well done!’

Off-the-Shelf Books

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‘Michael J Malone’s recent psychological thrillers have given a new spin to well- worn themes, and After He Died follows the trend too. Paula Gadd is devastated when her husband of 30 years dies suddenly. They were a tight unit, particularly since the death of their son, seven years previously, and she loved him dearly. But at the funeral someone slips her a note which forces Paula to take a closer look at her marriage and what she discovers is set to put her life in the firing line.’ After He Died is recommended at Crime Fiction Lover

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After He Died is a fantastic read that is very difficult to put down…this is addictive reading at its best complimented by short, sharp chapters that I adore! I was desperate to find out the truth alongside Paula but also not wanting the brilliantly complex story to end. Malone has crafted interesting and well-rounded characters who come alive off the page … After He Died certainly keeps it’s reader on the edge of their seat throughout with its twists and turns. It certainly had me guessing throughout and I truly cannot get enough of this author’s writing. Another brilliant read from Michael J. Malone’ Have Books Will Read

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After He Died kept me on the edge of my seat throughout as the tension slowly built towards some rather shocking revelations. I suspected everyone and trusted no one as I cheered Paula on towards making her most unsettling discoveries … This is a great psychological thriller with a gripping storyline and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. But I have to admit that I would probably buy and read a shopping list if it was written by Michael J Malone! He is a master craftsman of his art and he creates such perfectly poetic material that his words slowly draws you in until before you know it, you’re lost in his fictional world. Well written and intuitive, this is another great read by Michael J Malone’ My Chestnut Tree Reading

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‘This is quite a quick read due to the short,snappy chapters that give the reader a very bad case of just one more chapter syndrome. It’s a well written,character driven,gripping thriller that held my attention throughout the whole book. This is the first book that I have read by this author and it most definitely will not be my last. Highly recommended by little old me’ Nicki’s Life of Crime 

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‘Stinging, compelling, dynamic… excellent … There is an immediacy, a powerful edge to the storyline that feels so very real and wonderfully different too. Glasgow sits centre stage, vibrantly punchy and full of life. Michael J. Malone has created a dramatic and thrilling family tale that just sings with intensity. I thoroughly enjoyed picking my way along the razor wire of uncertainty that my thoughts and feelings teetered on. After He Died is an explosive tale, one that takes hold, bites, and doesn’t let go’ Liz Robinson, LoveReading

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After He Died will keep you guessing, trust no one is all I will say! … A really intriguing story you will keep turning the pages but you will never guess what was going on. An engrossing read that keeps giving, quick to get through so make yourself a mug of tea and settle in’ Not Another Book Blogger

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‘The pacing was really good especially with the shorter chapters which helped to keep the momentum going. I loved how the mystery, twists and revelations all came together to make this book so compelling. I thought that the contrast between both Cara and Paula’s character added an extra depth to the story … I have to mention the setting as all of the places in this book are beautifully described and make the story extra special in my opinion. An intriguing character driven story that will pull you in and not let you go until the very last page!’ Rae Reads

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‘It was definitely not fast paced, but more of a slow burn, with hints and clues dropped along the way … After He Died was a dark and brooding novel, that read more like a contemporary piece of work than an outright thriller. The narrative is fantastic, the characters engaging and full of wonderful flaws, that are laid bare for the reader to see. The plot required close attention from the reader but the final reveal was deeply satisfying. Michael J Malone is an author I have not read before but he will definitely be an author I shall read in the future’ My Bookish Blogspot

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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 … 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 DiedBloomin Brilliant Books

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After He Died was a dark, atmospheric story that dealt with some serious issues at its core and totally had me in its grip and wouldn’t let me go until the last secret and lie was revealed.  My first read by this talented author but it certainly won’t be my last’ Shaz’s Book Blog

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Michael takes part in an interview as part of the blog tour. Love Books Group

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After He Died is another top-notch domestic thriller from the twisted mind and pen of Michael J. Malone. Another page-turner full of secrets and lies; you never know what to believe! … After He Died is bulging with secrets, it has a wonderfully Scottish edge that will appeal to many readers – you feel as though you’re reading something very special. Recommended’ Damp Pebbles

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After He Died isn’t just a story of secrets being exposed and the threats contained therein, it is also a story about class and the rich/poor divide, in this case in Glasgow … With After He Died, Michael continues that winning streak with another brilliantly constructed psychological thriller that keeps you guessing all the way through with believable characters in believable situations, behaving, er, believably … It’s brilliant and will linger in your mind long after you finish the last chapter. But then this is Michael J Malone and Orenda Books – what else would you expect? Beardy Book Blogger

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‘Aside from larger than life characters this book is chock full of plot twists. Tense and gripping, especially in the latter chapters, this story will keep you guessing throughout. It’s difficult to know who to trust and who to believe, you can really feel Paula’s confusion and bewilderment … As with all good action packed thrillers, this one is pacey and full of momentum. Just when you think you might have it all sussed out you’re back at square one. Tense and full of twists, this is a great thriller to get your hands on. I would thoroughly recommend it’ Bookish Chat

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‘WOW!!! What a roller coaster of a read, a novel bursting full of secrets, lies, thrills and spills. I absolutely LOVED it and as I was reading it I could feel my heart beating on occasions and I had to remind myself to breath a couple of times as I was holding my breath with anticipation of what was around the next page as the suspense just kept building … After He Died is also a chilling reminder that the people we trust the most can harbour the deadliest secrets, now I’m beginning to look at people especially the ones closest to me with suspicion and in a different way so thanks for that Michael Ashamedly, this is the first novel I’ve read by Michael but after reading this one it definitely won’t be my last.  I think I’ve found another favourite author. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED’

 Celeste Loves Books

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‘The author does the most amazing job of building up tension and suspense and at the same time sows so many seeds of doubt along the way. The plot is deliciously deceptive and twisted, but never once did I feel confused, the writing simply flowed as the story was revealed … If you are a fan of crime, mystery, thriller, and suspense with a good helping of domestic noir then you will absolutely want to read this one. An absolutely fantastic read that I would highly recommend’  Me and My Books

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‘I was most surprised by how evocative Paula’s grief was. An unusual theme to be tackled in such depth by a book of this genre, it was really well written and Malone dealt with it realistically and sympathetically … It was tense, twisty and everything a soul starved of suspense thrillers needed but with a little bit extra’ Cramlington Book Club

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‘The twists and turns throughout the book is more than a rollercoaster and I loved every single second of it. I gasped in shock and in horror throughout as I was pulled deeper into the web that has been created. Michael’s writing is just perfect, it flowed seamlessly and after reading half the book in one sitting, I just had to carry on … After He Died is a riveting, compelling and addictive thriller that will really make you think, can we really trust our loved ones 100%? It’s eye-opening, dark and tense that will have you turning the pages long into the night. If you’re a fan of twisty psychological thrillers that will leave you wondering which way is up, this one is just perfect!’ Katies Book Cave

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After He Died – another brilliantly entertaining read from Michael J Malone … This is one of those stories where assumptions are dangerous, surprises keep coming and the characters spring from the pages as they are entirely believable and wonderfully defined. If you enjoy a thriller which delivers twists and turns and icy chills then this is the giant slalom read for you. Cracking stuff from an author who knows how to hook his reader’ Grab This Book

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‘This is a fast-paced read which kept me turning the pages with its twists and turns. Michael J. Malone withholds just enough information to make it bearable and I was furiously trying to work out how everything linked together. It is a wonderful piece of crime fiction and I also thought it was a compelling slice of social history highlighting injustices and the security and greed of money’ Beverley Has Read

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‘Malone weaves mystery and trickery throughout the beautifully written narrative. I had no idea whether characters were trustworthy, whether narrators were reliable, what lay ahead in the darkness that loomed, but I did know that I wasn’t able to put this book down for long. This is an addictive read that has everything I look for in a domestic noir thriller!’ The Quiet Knitter

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‘There were so many twists and turns that by the end I was dizzy! A sense of mistrust developed throughout the book as I met each character, who to trust and who to fear? The moments of suspense slotted in effortlessly providing an authentic and compelling reading experience. Once again Michael J Malone has wowed me with another irresistible read!’ Chapter in my Life

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Michael writes a guest post about his research into independent advocacy, and the important role that advocacy plays in society as part of the blog tour.

Portable Magic

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‘It was superb!! The writing style was absolutely spot on, it flowed so well and I was completely immersed in the story.  The characters are very well developed and work so well with the plot.  The setting was spot on and it all worked so well together that it created a book I certainly did not want to put down. No hesitation in giving this one five stars – another fabulous books from this author – very enjoyable and very highly recommended!!’ Donna’s Book Blog

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‘This is not a fast paced action book, this is a beautiful slower burner, it is one that reveals secrets slowly, luring you in, and then bam. This is character driven, and it is a story that really needs to be, you need to have the people you like and the ones you don’t and the writing reinforces this. The short chapters hold so much information but because they are short they let you fly through the book without taking a breath’ ZooLoos Book Diary

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‘As with A Suitable Lie, and more recently, House of Spines, Malone has again showcased his abilities as a fantastic storyteller. His novels never take the path you’d expect them to, and it is always all the better for it. He wraps up the mystery perfectly and you leave the novel having had a very satisfying reading experience’ Segnalibro

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‘I liked the character of Cara, a strong determined advocacy lawyer who first breaks the news to Paula about her husband’s actions. Joe, the flawed parish priest brother of Thomas was also an interesting character, whose humour and turn of phrase made me laugh out loud. This author gets right inside the heads of the characters he writes about. A tense mystery thriller. Another Malone masterpiece’ Mrs Bloggs Books

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‘If you are looking for a beautifully written, atmospheric, tension filled slice of perfect domestic noir then this is your book. I love how this book quietly pulled me in and played with my sense of what I thought was real. I love how it makes me even more determined to go back to Bute (like that was in question). I love how Michael J Malone has constructed a complicated web of secrets and lies on which to build Paula’s life, only to carefully break each connection at its root and watch the web come tumbling down’ Jen Meds Book Reviews

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‘Overall, I found After He Died to be thrilling and shocking in equal measure. Malone is definitely not one to shy away from hard-hitting storylines. Much of what took place was a surprise to me. Whilst this book was not my favourite of his (for that read House of Spines) I recognise the quality of his writing and the ability to craft an intensely gripping tale’ Short Book and Scribes

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‘After He Died is a real page turner. But it is also has a clever and intricate storyline that is not swamped by the thrills, or defined by them. It builds like a classical thriller over the cause of the book, as the layers of the story and slowly peeled away revealing a web of betrayal and lies. Multiple threads are combined together to form the story and they draw together perfectly leaving me astounded at the web of treachery all the characters had been caught up in’ Books are my Cwtches

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‘With every revelation I was like ‘WHAT!!’. I just didn’t see any of it coming until it was right there before me. After He Died is such an enthralling read that kept me on edge at all times. Packed full of suspense it had me gripped all the way through. Set in Scotland you really get the whole sense of environment and dialogue which really brings the story to life. Another great read from the author’ By The Letter Book Reviews

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‘The use of Scots dialogue also made the experience more immersive, for me anyway, certainly made the characters come alive. You definitely won’t regret picking up this book, with its lyrical writing and range of fascinating characters it’s the kind of book that you’ll be thinking about long after you’ve finished reading’ Everywhere and Nowhere

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‘The threads of this story link together in such a way that come the end you need a moment to ruminate on the sheer brilliance of what you’ve just read. I certainly did! As such a huge fan of House of Spines, the author’s previous book, I was so excited to start his new one. What a book it is! After He Died is a riveting new novel from wordsmith Michael J. Malone. I just love it. Thrilling, compulsive and often shocking, After He Died is utterly wonderful! Fully recommend!’ Ronnie Turner

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This is a very sensitive novel, where the pain after someone’s death is very raw and haunting, but at the same time, it is a great thriller filled with very realistic and casual characters and a very unexpected plot. I really liked this novel, and I hope you will give this book a try and enjoy as much as I did’

Book Inspector

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‘I couldn’t help but feel sorry for Paula either as her emotions were extremely conflicted, and whilst that made my intrigue of the book grow, it was quite heartbreaking to witness. Overall, ‘After He Died’ is an intense, rollercoaster ride of a novel which had me falling off the sofa in shock multiple times. Michael Malone has set the bar high with this one, I am so looking forward to what journey he takes us on next’ The Writing Garnet

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‘This isn’t a fast paced book, instead there is an underlying sense of unease and a feeling that something is going to happen.  The tension gradually increases as things become more and more complicated and the truth about Thomas is gradually revealed’ Over the Rainbow Book Blog 

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‘WOW oh WOW this is the first book I’ve read by Michael J Malone and I’m sure it won’t be my last. I loved this page turner and couldn’t put it down. It’s a really great fast paced and twisty read … I was constantly wondering what was going to happen next – it really is an edge of the seat read! When I thought I’d worked something out things would happen which would totally alter the way I thought the story was going. An absolutely brilliant read which I highly recommend. Loved it’ Beauty Balm

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D’espite what people told her, despite the evidence, she refused to think that the man she had spent most of her life with was anything other than a good man. I liked the setting of Glasgow. With its slums, gangs, corruption, and with its dark and claustrophobic atmosphere it is the perfect frame to this compelling and beautifully written novel. Add the multi-layered characters with secrets and dark sides that lead to a final surprising twist that I really didn’t see coming and you have a gripping and immersive novel’ Book After Book

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‘The author weaves a brilliant story, and the use of Scottish phrases and dialect during conversations sucked me right in. This is a stomping read, and even though I say this quite a bit lately, I could not tear myself away from it. I managed to read it in two days, and could not wait to dive straight back in having been rudely pulled away (by my proper job no less!!!).  A Five Star read it there ever was one. Highly Recommended’ Don Jimmy Reviews

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‘Paula might have had no money worries but unlike Cara and the people she knew she had no friends to support her. But as well as the grieving and betrayal there is some good humour. a few phrases I had to use the kindle dictionary for but the message came through regardless. Another fantastic novel from Orenda that I’m sure will be popular’ Stephs Book Blog

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‘Absorbing, disturbing, and utterly unputdownable, AFTER HE DIED by Michael J Malone tackles the tough issues of grief, poverty, drugs, and betrayal while keeping the reader hooked from start to finish … An engrossing story that is certainly making my top ten list for books to read this year – at this rate they will all be Orenda Books!!’ Books of All Kinds

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‘Once again, Malone has created a world in which the reader is captured and thrown from pillar to post by the unease he steeps into each and every page. As the plot thickens and revelations are made, it’s beyond brilliant how Malone manages to pull you into the pages and keep you on your toes the whole way through. I flipping loved it! It’s a shocking, twisty, and compelling read that you absolutely HAVE to get!!!’ Emma the Little Bookworm

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‘A mystery within a mystery, a web full of lies and secrets… this is what you’ll find in the new book of Michael J. Malone, a twisted and touchable book that will keep you awake till the last page … This story is engaging and bittersweet, twisted but real, Paula is a loving character that makes you re-think about your life, friends and family, and what would you do to keep your family safe. Ready to know the truth?’ Varietats

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Michael takes part in a Q & A as part of the blog tour. Murder and Moore

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‘I’ve read and enjoyed two of Michael J Malone’s previous novels, House of Spines and A Suitable Lie, both of which, in my opinion, were strong 4 star reads. I’m delighted to write that his latest, After He Died, is even better. In this stand alone, the two main characters drive the plot. Both are well drawn, making the psychological elements of the book impactful. There’s emotional power in the writing which begins at a funeral, the grieving widow living the experience through a medicated fog … The settings are vivid. Revelations are revealed at a good pace and the emotions attached are always well portrayed. Thomas’ brothers, themselves as different as Paula and Cara, are also interesting characters who raise more questions as the story progresses. It’s a murderous tale of high stakes, well-crafted and convincing … an excellent read’ Crime Thriller Hound

Reviews