Monday, February 20, 2017

After She's Gone by Sheryl Browne - Book Review, Excerpt & Giveaway



Book review

Choclit Goodreads

Review by Suze

Matthew Adams and Patrick Sullivan have a long history. Patrick is a bully who turned into a dangerous criminal. He's a pimp, he's dealing drugs and he's a cunning murderer. Matthew wants to catch him and lock him up for good, but he also fears Patrick. The man doesn't have any scruples and Matthew knows that his loved ones aren't safe. In his battle to catch this awful man his daughter has lost her life. Patrick wants to make Matthew suffer. He holds him responsible for the death of his brother and want to pay him back. Matthew's wife Rebecca isn't safe and Matthew can't protect her the way he should.

Matthew is after Patrick because he suspects him to have committed several murders. They've found the heavily abused dead bodies of some of Patrick's prostitutes. This time Matthew is going to catch him and because of his personal involvement he's willing to go far, to cross the line if he has to. It's a battle of life and death. Who will win, the good cop or the bad criminal?

After She's Gone is a gripping thriller about a sick killer and a wonderful and sweet cop. Matthew and Rebecca are a great couple. After the death of their daughter they're devastated, but they keep going. They open their home for Matthew's niece. Unfortunately they can't give her the safe haven Matthew wants to give her because of Patrick Sullivan. He's always near and he's keeping an eye on them. It's seriously creepy and I loved how Sheryl Browne kept building the tension and the uneasiness. It was like I could see Patrick Sullivan looking through my window.

After She's Gone is a book you shouldn't read at night, it's that scary. Sheryl Browne gives her reader the chance to look inside the bad guy's mind as well as the good guy's. I think that's an interesting angle. Patrick Sullivan is a creep who's seriously messed up. It was interesting to see what his motivations were and how his twisted mind worked. It kept me on the edge of my seat. If you're looking for a gripping, disturbing thriller, get this book, it's fantastic.

Review by Anniek

Matthew and his wife Rebecca are trying to deal with the grief and pain after losing their daughter in a tragic accident. Matthew is a police officer and he knows that it wasn't really an accident. His daughter was murdered by a long life enemy and Matthew will stop at nothing until he can put the murderer behind bars for the rest of his life. When an informant is also killed Mathhew knows he has no time to waste. Matthew know he normally has the support of his wife, but how far is he willing to go this time and will he and Rebecca still be such a strong team when their lives are on the line?

Patrick Sullivan doesn't know anything but violence. Ever since he was a child he's been told time and time again how much of a disappointment he is for his father. This toughened him up and he became a bully at school. Trying to make his dad proud somehow, Patrick takes over the family business. This family business contains prostitution, erotic dancers and drugs. Patrick is a dominant boss who will take nothing less than respect. If you're standing up to him this will cost you. Will Matthew be able to catch this dangerous man?

Matthew is a man with a heart of gold. He's a good cop and he doesn't let go before his case is solved. He tries to be there for Rebecca and she's his rock. Without her Matthew probably wouldn't be coping with his life the way he does now. Matthew's sister is addicted to alcohol. Matthew and Rebecca found out that she had a child. Her daughter Ashley has been in child care, but now they know about her existence Matthew and Rebecca don't want to leave her there and like to take care of her. Rebecca selflessly opens her heart and her home. She has been through so much in her life and a lot of people would not have the strength to keep going. She's so incredibly brave and I admired her for that. She stands by her man and his niece in such a loving way that it's impossible not to like her.

Patrick Sullivan is just straight out evil. Even though I felt for him about the way he grew up I still couldn't get over the things that he did. The only person he cares about is his daughter, but to anyone else he's cold and emotionless. He's a predator and will take down everybody who's weaker than him. I felt a deep disgust when I was reading about him. In the back of my mind I was still thinking, he doesn't know any better, but this doesn't justify his actions. Has Patrick met his match in Matthew? Will he finally pay for all the hurt that he's caused?

After She's Gone is a gripping heartbreaking crime story. When you read the blurb the first question is: He’s killed your child and kidnapped your wife. What would YOU do? Well I would probably do the same as Matthew did. I wouldn't rest until he got his punishment. Sheryl Browne already had me crying on the very first page and I found myself in tears several times throughout the story. Matthew and Rebecca are a great couple and it filled my heart with warmth when they took in Ashley. I wished for them all to come out on top. Ashley is different and even though this isolates her from other kids I loved this about her. She's a great young girl and deserves to be loved. After She's Gone grabbed me from the very first page and didn't let me go until I finished the story. Sheryl Browne is an experienced and skillful writer and she has written another brilliant story that I highly recommend.

Advice

If you love to read a gripping and thrilling crime story I highly recommend After She's Gone. Please take in consideration that this is a story that covers some very difficult topics.

Are you ready to take an all-consuming journey into the mind of a madman?

 
About Sheryl Browne

 
Heartache, humour, love, loss and betrayal, Sheryl Browne brings you edgy, sexy, heart-wrenching fiction. A member of the Crime Writers’ Association, Romantic Novelists’ Association and shortlisted for the Best Romantic e-book Love Stories Award 2015, Sheryl has several books published and two short stories in Birmingham City University anthologies, where she completed her MA in Creative Writing.

Recommended to the publisher by the WH Smith Travel fiction buyer, Sheryl’s contemporary fiction comes to you from award winning Choc Lit.


Links
 
 
Excerpt
 
‘Oi, you can’t park there!’ a police officer yelled as Matthew mounted the kerb, careering his car haphazardly to a stop on the pavement.

His gut twisting violently inside him, his head reeling, Matthew ignored him, ramming his door open instead to scramble from the car and set off at a run.

‘What the …?’

Vaguely aware of the man giving chase, Matthew kept going, attempting to push past another officer closing in in front of him, only to be caught from behind.

‘Whoa. Come on, mate, you need to get back.’ Taking hold of his arm, the officer behind attempted to steer him away. ‘There’s been an accident up ahead. We need to clear—’

‘Shit, it’s Adams.’ The officer in front intervened.

‘Who?’ The man still hanging on to his arm asked.

‘Detective Inspector Adams,’ the officer in front supplied warily. ‘Let him through.’

Stumbling forwards as the guy behind relaxed his grip, his legs like dead weights beneath him, Matthew forced himself on, bypassing other officers, who now stood respectfully aside.

His wife was with her. Matthew swallowed back a hard knot in his throat. She was crouched over her, holding her impossibly small hand in her own. She didn’t look up. Rebecca kept her gaze focussed on their daughter. His daughter. Matthew felt something break inside him as he took in his baby’s injuries, her broken body, the slow trickle of lifeblood pooling beneath her, staining the drab, grey road crimson.

Please don’t. Matthew prayed hopelessly as he moved closer. Please don’t do this. The world seeming to slow to a stop around him, the use of his legs finally deserting him, Matthew dropped to his knees at the side of the child he’d loved with every fibre of his being ever since he’d first glimpsed her tiny form on the monitor.

‘Hey, Tigerlily,’ he said, his voice cracking as Lily’s eyes fluttered open. Wide blue eyes, once crystal clear with the innocence of childhood, they were filled with confusion and pain as she looked pleadingly up at him, silently begging him, her daddy, to fix it. His heart turned over as her lips parted. She wanted to speak. She couldn’t. Please don’t try to speak, baby. Tears he couldn’t hope to hide streaming down his face, Matthew leaned towards her, brushing her blood-matted, beautiful blonde hair gently away from her face. ‘Daddy’s here, darling,’ he choked. ‘It’s going to be just fine.’

Lies. Lies. He screamed inside. It was going to be fine. It could never be. He couldn’t fix it. How could he let his little girl go knowing he couldn’t? Cradling his baby gently in his arms, Matthew’s heart splintered inside him as he watched her life ebb away.
 
****
 
They were taking her away in an ambulance. What use was an ambulance? Panic engulfing him, Matthew took a faltering step towards it, and stopped. He couldn’t. Couldn’t ride with her, watch as the warmth drained from her body, her baby-soft skin turning blue and cold. Life fucking extinct.

‘Matthew!’ Rebecca called to him as, his chest heaving, Matthew turned away. Terrified of what he might see in her eyes, he couldn’t turn back. This was his fault. He should have been there. He’d promised to drive them to the cinema. He’d known Patrick Sullivan might make good his threat. He should have been there! A potent mixture of grief and rage broiling inside him, Matthew recalled his last encounter with the sadistic piece of scum with sickening clarity. Sullivan’s expression hadn’t altered when he’d informed him his brother had been an unfortunate casualty in a drug bust gone wrong. Matthew had been surprised. Sullivan’s hatred of him went way back since they were kids in school. Guessing he would hold him personally responsible, Matthew had been bracing himself for Sullivan to reach across the table and attack him right there in the prison interview room. Instead, Sullivan had reached casually for a cigarette. Lighting up, he’d glanced down and scratched his forehead slowly with his thumb.

‘How’s that pretty young wife of yours, DI Adams? Pregnant again, isn’t she?’ he’d enquired eventually, blowing smoke circles into the air as he’d looked back at him. ‘Give her my regards, won’t you?’

Sullivan had then leaned forwards, a twisted smirk on his face, his eyes as black as molasses and swimming with pure evil. ‘I would do it myself, but I’m a bit busy … banged up … in here.’

It had been a threat. Innocent to all ears but Matthew’s, it had been a direct threat. And now, still sitting pretty in prison with a cast iron alibi, Sullivan was no doubt congratulating himself on a job well done, imagining that he’d also succeeded in warning Matthew off pursuing him once he got out. Wrong, you bastard.
 
Giveaway
 
One very lucky winner will receive a digital copy of After She's Gone by Sheryl Browne.
 

12 comments:

  1. Thrillers are one of my favourite genres because they often have complex storylines, so as a reader you are always guessing what's going to happen next. This unknown aspect can be quite exciting.

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  2. I enjoy some suspense but it's not my favorite genre.

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  3. That not my favorite, but I do like them. They're exciting and hard to put down.

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  4. I enjoy thrillers, but they are not my favorite genre. They are a very exciting and suspenseful read.

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  5. Thrillers are definitely in my top 3. I love books that keep your curiosity and suspense throughout.

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  6. Romance is my genre (with several different sub- genres under that broad heading that are my favorite niches). But Thriller/Mystery Horror is my second love because when I was younger it was my top number one genre to read.

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  7. Thrillers (especially crime and suspense) are absolutely my favourite genre; I have to force myself to read other styles sometimes (though I do love plenty of other genres too, just get a bit one-track-mind sometimes!)

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  10. This one sounds like a gut-wrenching, but intriguing gritty crime thriller, which makes it a must read for me. I love a thriller with a deranged and nasty bad guy playing cat and mouse with a hard-working, good guy, who is flawed and damaged by the constant demands put on him by the bad guy and everyone surrounding him. Both reviews made me want to start reading right away.

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