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After He’s Gone by Jane Isaac

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Article by Swirl and Thread ©.
Posted in | .

‘You think you know him. Until he’s dead.’

After He’s Gone is a police procedural featuring DC Beth Chamberlain, as she takes on her first case as a Family Liaison Officer. Author Ruth Dugdall said ‘A refreshing female protagonist with guts and a heart…I was gripped.’

My thoughts:

‘His body jolted with each impact, sending sprays of red leaping into the air before he folded to the ground. Ribbons of blood curled and coiled on the tarmac.’

Cameron Swift, forty-six years old, a man with a wife, kids and a beautiful home leaves quietly one Sunday morning with his golf bag on his back ready to load up his car. But Cameron’s life comes to an unexpected and brutal end when he is ruthlessly cut down on his drive way, in a seemingly very targeted and cold-blooded manner.

DC Beth Chamberlain receives an early call from control room informing her of a shooting and to immediately come in to join forces with the newly formed homicide team for the case. Cameron Swift lived in a very exclusive estate in an area where shootings like this were extremely rare. The community of Collingtree Park would be horrified and concerned for their safety, but also this was going to attract the attention of the media, bringing with it the inevitable bank of journalists and news cameras.

With very little to go on initially, the team must pull out all the stops and unearth the truth behind what appears to be a very professional job. The killer escaped on a motorbike leaving no trace of their identity behind. There is no obvious reason why Cameron Swift, an apparently successful businessman, would be the target of such a callous death.

Beth is appointed as Family Liaison Officer to work with Cameron’s family who are left behind traumatised and in deep shock. But Beth soon realises that her presence isn’t welcome as she attempts to uncover the truth. Why was Cameron Swift targeted? What secrets was he carrying? Who really was Cameron Swift?

After He’s Gone is a police procedural but it is also a book that focuses in on family and relationships. Beth Chamberlain has a complicated personal life and is trying to keep it at a distance from her workplace but at times this proves to be challenging. As a reader, we are slowly fed snippets from her past and her present, leaving us wanting to know more when we turn the final page. Beth is a wonderfully likable lead character in this series. She is real, she is very personable and has a very generous heart, yet also is quite clearly very talented in her role on the force.

Jane Isaac has written a very solid opening book in a new series. I really like Beth Chamberlain and found myself rooting for her from the very beginning. As Beth digs deeper into the murder of Cameron Swift, we see how her understanding of other people and her ability to pick up on situations, leads her to unearthing very unexpected truths. After He’s Gone kept me guessing right to the end, as Jane Isaac sent me off in all sorts of tangents as I attempted to figure out the who and the why of Cameron Swift’s death.

A thoroughly enjoyable and gratifying read. Perfect for all who love what I loosely term a ‘good old-fashioned’ crime novel. There is a very human element to this book that I felt absolutely grounded it in reality and just added to the credibility of the plot-line.

Authentic. Well-balanced. Gutsy.

(c) Swirl and Thread

Order your copy online here.


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