Book Review: After She Wrote Him

Sulari Gentill really knows how to mislead yet captivate her audience in this new mystery crime story. It already won a Ned Kelly Award for best crime fiction in 2018 with its previous title: Crossing the Lines. Gentill takes the aspects of any crime book and twists it with two writers and only truth remaining. It leaves readers in doubt and clearly wanting more with every chapter!

If you get lost in a book, be sure you can find your way back . . .

Madeleine d'Leon doesn't know where Edward came from. He is simply a character in her next book. But as she writes, he becomes all she can think about. His charm, his dark hair, his pen scratching out his latest literary novel . . .

Edward McGinnity can't get Madeleine out of his mind--softly smiling, infectiously enthusiastic, and perfectly damaged. She will be the ideal heroine for his next book.

But who is the author and who is the creation? And as the lines start to blur, who is affected when a killer finally takes flesh?

Thank you to NetGalley who approved my request to read this wonderful book and to Poisoned Pen Press who provided a digital copy! Once I saw the cover, I knew I had to read the blurb. For a crime fiction novel with the small aspects of romance, mystery and thriller, Gentill paced it out really well. From the first chapter, we’re thrown into the night of the murder. As soon as that chapter has ended and we get a feel of our characters, then the investigation starts. It leaves readers figuring out the evidence given to them by themselves rather than the classic way of our characters finding out. That only added more mystery to it. I admired Gentill’s way of switching characters so it’s clear enough for the reader but not too much as to give reality away from the story. It also saved a lot of chapters and was easy and more enjoyable to read. Madeleine d’Leon, our writer and lawyer, becomes infatuated by her protagonist to a point where Gentill leaves the readers questioning the reality of the story. Maddy alone is a sweet woman who’s been through so much with her miscarriages thus Edward becomes her solitude. As the story progressed, I sympathised with her and wanted her to reach her goals. Gentill has a way of writing to persuade a reader to pick a side and follow their gut, and that’s a unique trait to have whilst writing crime fiction. Edward McGinnity, a wealthy writer who's been in love with his best friend since forever, is pulled into a murder that occurs at his best friend’s gallery show. He does anything and everything to get both of their names clear. He’s not your typical crime protagonist. As Maddy describes him, he’s smart and alluring. He, too, gets swooped up by Maddy. Soon they’re divided by each other’s worlds, and as the reader, we have to figure out—or choose—which one we’re rooting for.

This review is spoiler free as I don’t want to get into the juicy bit. It’s highly recommended to read with a five star rating. There’s a bit of everything, from romance to thriller, mystery and crime!

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Perth WA 6000, Australia