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Tuesday, 15 August 2017

‘After I've Gone’ by Linda Green

Published by Quercus,
27 July 2017.
ISBN: 978-1-78648-303-4

On the way to work with her friend Sadie, Jess is given a bunch of flowers by a man who introduces himself as Lee. He heard her verbally attacking another man who had been groping her as they got off the train and admired her for it. Lee then asks her out and she accepts.

The next day Jess has a shock when she receives a post on Facebook dated eighteen months in the future and supposedly from her friend Sadie. It says R.I.P. and so sorry that she is gone. When she rings Sadie she denies it and on looking at her computer says there is nothing there. Things get worse as more and more people post the same kind of messages including one from her dad. Everyone is devastated. When she tries to show Sadie they all disappear, she is momentarily relieved, but they reappear when she is on her own again.

We then learn that Jess was only fifteen years old when her mother died of cancer and it lead to her having a mental breakdown and being admitted to a psychiatric ward. Could her mind be playing tricks on her again and it is all a figment of her imagination?

She goes out with Lee and they hit if off immediately. Now the posts get more intense. They start to show pictures of her wedding to Lee and then of a little boy H, who she apparently gives birth to the following year. Now she is really spooked especially when her and Lee do get married. She falls in love with the dear little baby and when the posts keep on even more about her dying and suggesting it's not an accident, she starts to believe them.

Can she find out what actually happens and try and prevent it or would that mean that H would never be born at all? She decides she will do anything to make sure he does exist, even if it means sacrificing her own life.

I enjoyed this book immensely, it’s such an unusual story line. I found it very creepy and at times very moving. It was hard to put down as everything the posts' forecast slowly start to happen. The tension mounts and mounts. Will she prevent her death, will H be born? I really couldn't decide for sure until all was revealed.

I don't go on Facebook, and this story has put me off for ever!

Highly recommended for those who like something exciting and a bit different.
Reviewer:  Tricia Chappell

Linda Green was born in North London in 1970 and brought up in Hertfordshire At sixteen she embarked on 'A' levels and a journalism course at De Havilland College, Hertfordshire. She joined her local newspaper, the Enfield Gazette, as a trainee reporter at eighteen. During a ten-year career in regional journalism She worked as a reporter on the Birmingham Daily News, news editor on the Birmingham Metro News and Chief Feature Writer on the Coventry Evening Telegraph, winning Highly Commended in the Feature Writer of the Year category of the 1997 Press Gazette Regional Press Awards. Although she loved working on regional newspapers by 1998 her features were getting too long and the urge to write a novel had become too great so she left her staff job to write her first novel and work as a freelance journalist. She has written for The Guardian, The Independent on Sunday, The Times Educational Supplement, The Big Issue, Wanderlust and Community Care Magazine. She found the writing and working from home a very solitary process so also worked as co-ordinator of the Birmingham Bureau of Children's Express (a national charity which ran a learning through journalism programme for young people) and taught journalism to schoolchildren for the National Academy of Writing. After she moved north in 2001 she qualified as an adult education tutor and taught creative writing classes to students aged between 18 and 82 for the Workers Educational Association across Calderdale, West Yorkshire.
After more than a hundred rejections from agents for her first novel she  finally got an agent but still couldn't get a publisher. She started work on her second novel I Did A Bad Thing in 2003 and finally obtained a two-book deal with Headline Review in 2006. Massive sigh of relief! After six years with Headline She left to join Quercus in 2011. Her current novel While My Eyes Were Closed was published in ebook in January 2016 and paperback in May 2016.
Linda Green lives in a village near Halifax , West Yorkshire. She is married to Ian Hodgson, a sports photographer for a national newspaper.

Tricia Chappell. I have a great love of books and reading, especially crime and thrillers. I play the occasional game of golf  (when I am not reading). My great love is cruising especially to far flung places, when there are long days at sea for plenty more reading! I am really enjoying reviewing books and have found lots of great new authors.

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