Monday, June 13, 2022

After Everyone Else

After Everyone Else by Leslie Hooton
6/28/22; 352 pages
Turner Publishing Group

After Everyone Else by Leslie Hooton is a highly recommended family drama.

Bailey has just been charges with the murder of her ex-husband. She knows she is innocent and can explain all the DNA evidence, but she is also concerned that someone she loves, either her husband of 23 years Griffin or their daughter, Charlie, is responsible for the death. This novel is about the intricacy and challenges of marriage and motherhood and the lengths Bailey will go to protect the ones she loves.

The narration alternates between chapters set in the past, which cover when Bailey and Griffin are first married, the arrival of Charlie, and their life leading up to the current situation, and chapters from the present, which cover the murder investigation. Frankly the current now chapters are not as interesting and don't hold the weight of the before chapters. The murder charges, although starting out the novel, are really more of an afterthought when actually reading. The true focus of the novel is the story of the family.

The quality of the writing is quite good and the plot and actions flows smoothly while reading. This is really more of a family drama/chick lit than murder mystery, so keep that in mind if you are looking for a novel featuring an intricate mystery and investigation. The interest and appeal are found in the family history and the investigation is simply an extension of the story of the family. After Everyone Else follows a previous novel, Before Anyone Else which also features Bailey's life. I felt like After Everyone Else worked as a stand alone, however I haven't read the first novel.

If you are looking for a tense, compelling murder mystery, pass this one by. If you appreciate women's fiction and family dramas that cover a span of years, this might be an excellent choice for you.

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Turner Publishing Group.

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