After I'm Gone: A Novel by Laura Lippman

By Laura Lippman

While Felix Brewer meets nineteen-year-old Bernadette "Bambi" Gottschalk at a Valentine's Dance in 1959, he charms her with wild delivers, a few of which he really retains. because of his lucrative-if now not all legal-businesses, she and their 3 little women stay in luxurious. yet at the Fourth of July, 1976, Bambi's cozy global implodes whilst Felix, newly convicted and dealing with felony, mysteriously vanishes.

Though Bambi has no inspiration the place her husband-or all of his money-might be, she suspects one girl does: his dedicated younger mistress, Julie. whilst Julie disappears ten years to the day that Felix went at the lam, everybody assumes she's left to hitch her outdated lover-until her continues to be are ultimately present in a secluded wooded park.

Now, twenty-six years after Julie went lacking, Roberto "Sandy" Sanchez, a retired Baltimore detective operating chilly circumstances for a few additional cash, is investigating her homicide. What he discovers is a tangled net of bitterness, jealously, resentment, greed, and longing stretching over 3 a long time that connects 5 fascinating girls: a loyal spouse, a useless mistress, and 3 very diverse daughters. And on the middle is the fellow who, notwithstanding gone, hasn't ever been forgotten by means of the 5 ladies who enjoyed him: the enigmatic Felix Brewer.

Somewhere among the secrets and techniques and lies connecting prior and current, Sandy will locate the reality. And whilst he does, not anyone will ever be an analogous.

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A bit of trouble arose when we put Chilsung in the back. The young Party worker sitting with Father in the cab of the truck objected: ‘What’re you packing the dog for? You should give it to your neighbours. ’ ‘You’re right. But the kids have been raising it like it’s part of the family …’ I was crouching right behind the cab, holding on tight to Chilsung, so I heard everything they were saying. Judging by the worried looks on their faces, my sisters heard them too. Our mother shook her finger at me, and Grandmother pulled a skirt out from the bundle of clothes and tossed it over.

They were ready to be weaned, after all, and besides, Hindungi knew it was coming. One day, around the time that Chilsung’s legs had just grown long and his ears were standing up, Mama Hindungi disappeared. Of course, by that I mean that Mother and Grandmother gave her to someone, not that she left on her own. Hindungi was moving sluggishly with age and had some kind of skin disorder: the hair on her rump had fallen out and the pink skin underneath was showing. Bathing the dog in water used to boil adzuki beans was supposed to help, but by then we were well into the days when such things as rice cakes piled high with the sweet mashed beans were a thing of the past, so how were we supposed to find so much as a single adzuki bean?

That’s when she gave in and tottered after him. ’ When we heard that Hindungi had followed our uncle because Grandmother told her he was taking her to get healed, but still had to be dragged away because she suspected it wasn’t true, my sisters and I turned our backs on our grandmother and burst into tears. There was no mystery about what middle-aged men planned to do with an old dog. They would gather on a riverbank somewhere, pass around bottles of cheap soju, light a bonfire, fill a big iron pot with water and get it boiling as they laughed and cackled … Fortunately, we still had Chilsung.

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