Bernadette “Bambi” Brewer takes the concept of “standing by your man” to new heights in this latest Laura Lippman novel. Bambi met Felix Brewer in her late teens and the couple was soon married. The mother of three daughters has stood by her husband through the good times and the bad.
Then in 1976, with prison facing him for shady business practices, Felix suddenly went missing. Bambi had no idea what happened to her husband, but his mistress apparently knew more than she was sharing with her boyfriend’s family and the authorities. Then, a decade later, Julie, the mistress, vanished also. Everyone assumed she finally joined Felix where ever he was hiding out until the woman’s remains were discovered in a secluded wooded area.
Fast forward twenty-six years after Julie’s disappearance and we find that Roberto Sanchez, a retired Baltimore detective working on cold cases for a little extra money, has decided to look into the woman’s unsolved death. As he pokes around the old records, Sanchez discovers a shoebox with old receipts that ultimately unlock the mystery to the decades old crime and shed some light on the Brewer family’s long held secrets.
In this story a number of the characters, not just Felix, make some very bad choices that alter their lives. In the wake of the wreckage her husband leaves behind, Bambi must try to hold her family together but, obviously, that decision exacts a high price.
Unfolding across generations, “After I’m Gone” is more than just a murder mystery. It is a heartfelt tale of devastation and redemption, misplaced loyalties and one family’s deep sorrow and their attempt to find closure from a major, emotional upheaval.
Laura Lippman, the acclaimed New York Times bestselling author of The Most Dangerous Thing, I’d Know You Anywhere, and What the Dead Know, returns with an addictive story that explores how one man’s disappearance echoes through the lives of the wife, mistress, and daughters he left behind.
When Felix Brewer meets Bernadette “Bambi” Gottschalk at a Valentine’s Dance 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 on the Fourth of July, 1976, Bambi’s comfortable world implodes when Felix, newly convicted and facing prison, mysteriously vanishes.
Though Bambi has no idea where her husband—or his money—might be, she suspects one woman does: his mistress, Julie. When Julie disappears ten years to the day that Felix went on the lam, everyone assumes she’s left to join her old lover—until her remains are eventually found.
Now, twenty-six years after Julie went missing, 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 stretching over three decades that connects five intriguing women. And at the center is the missing man Felix Brewer.
Somewhere between the secrets and lies connecting past and present, Sandy will find the truth. And when he does, no one will ever be the same.