When Felix Brewer meets nineteen-year-old Bernadette "Bambi" Gottschalk 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.Read more...
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More About After I'm Gone by Laura Lippman; Linda EmondOverview
When Felix Brewer meets nineteen-year-old Bernadette "Bambi" Gottschalk 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 in 1976, Bambi's comfortable world implodes when Felix, facing prison, vanishes. Though Bambi has no idea where her husband--or his money--might be, she suspects one woman does: his devoted young mistress, Julie. When Julie disappears ten years to the day after Felix went on the lam, everyone assumes she's left to join her old lover--until her remains are discovered in a secluded park.
Now, twenty-six years later, 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 of bitterness, jealousy, resentment, greed, and longing stretching over five decades. And at its center is the man who has never been forgotten by the five women who loved him: the enigmatic Felix Brewer.
Felix Brewer left five women behind. Now there are four. Does at least one of them know the truth?
Publishers Weekly Reviews
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2014-06-30
- Reviewer: Staff
Lippman’s latest crime novel begins as more of a family drama, focusing on shady businessman Felix Brewer. The story opens as Felix flees suburban Maryland to escape the law, leaving behind his wife, Bambi; three daughters; and a mistress, Julie Saxony. When Julie disappears 10 years later, it is assumed that she joined Felix. The whodunit aspect of the narrative kicks in when her skeletal corpse is discovered in one of the city’s favorite body dumps, Leakin Park. Enter Sandy Sanchez, a retired Baltimore police detective who supplements his pension by closing the department’s cold cases, who reopens the investigation of Julia’s death. Emond reads the character-rich story with just the right amount of emotion, catching Bambi’s youthful infatuation, her smug comfort in a seemingly idyllic marriage, and, finally, her disillusionment. The actress is just as effective in portraying Felix’s brash scoundrel’s charm and the various moods of the very different daughters. As for Sandy Sanchez, the guy’s a dogged sleuth who saves his emotion for his work. Emond catches his faux empathy in interviews, his elation in uncovering decades-old clues, and his determination to get the job done. A William Morrow hardcover. (Mar.)