Saturday 2 July 2011

Afterwards by Rosamund Lupton

Pages 472
Published by Piatkus in June 2011
Book kindly sent by publisher for review

I couldn't move, not even a little finger or a flicker of an eye. I couldn't open my mouth to scream. 
I struggled, as hard as I could, to move the huge heavy hulk that my body had become but I was trapped under the hull of a vast ship wrecked on the ocean floor and moving was impossible. 
My eyelids were welded shut. My eardrums broken. My vocal cords snapped off.

Grace is desperate. After watching sports day, she is shocked to see that the school is on fire. She becomes horrified when she realises her teenage daughter Jenny is still in the school. Grace runs straight into the burning building to rescue her.

Afterwards, Grace becomes determined to find out who the arsonist is and to keep her children safe from further attacks. The arsonist is still out there and wants revenge. 


Rosamund Lupton amazes me! She can create crime investigators out of normal everyday people and make it look extremely natural. You would think that would be enough of a talent for an author, but then Rosamund twists every thing leaving you in complete shock by the end of the book as you would never have guessed that  the person responsible was even involved in the crime. 

I loved Sister so much that I was worried that Afterwards wouldn't be able to live up to its predecessor, but it does it with ease. The whole book was a completely fresh and original approach to a thriller with a touch of the supernatural thrown in. 

I am so reluctant to say too much about this book, because I was shocked and gasping from the first page and  bursting with excitement about the way that Grace would solve the crime. I have honestly never read a book where the case has been solved in such way.  Grace is a brilliantly created character, who will stop at nothing to keep her children safe. I was amazed by her Goliath style strength of character when the situation became so difficult. If she were a real person, she would be receiving a Pride of Britain award for being so courageous. 

The plot moves along at quite a fast pace where you need take cover from all the red herrings that are thrown at you, aiming to lead you astray. I would put money on no one being able to guess who the arsonist is until you are told at the end. I can't help but compare Afterwards to a blank canvas, with each new layer of watercolour added, you notice something you hadn't realised was there before.

There are a couple of tearful scenes within the book which really moved me and found me reaching for my box of tissues. So be warned now and be prepared.

 If you love a thriller with a difference then read this book. I think what I love about Rosamund's writing is that you never know if it it will end happily or not. She doesn't necessarily wrap up the story in a way that you would like, instead she makes it real, gritty and very emotional. Rosamund is quickly becoming one of my favourite  authors within the thriller genre and I can't wait to see what else she writes in the future.


  1. Great review! (I had just started writing mine as I saw that you posted yours on Twitter - spooky!).

    She's definitely becoming one of my favourite authors, too. I'm already excited about her next book.

  2. Pretty Books - me too! She is just so original with her ideas.

  3. I have been tempted by both Sister and Afterwards. They both sound great (after reading your review). I really don't know what I'm waiting for.

  4. Sounds very exciting. So glad you enjoyed it so much :D

  5. Sister has been on my wish list for ages, and I really like the sound of this one too. I'll have to read one of them soon!

  6. I have never read a book by her. yes ok not my genre but still...I do make exceptions :)

  7. great review. Obviously this isn't really my type of book at the minute but you will be happy to know that I bought my friend Sister (I believe its called) by the same author on your recommendation! :D

  8. I'm drawn to this book because of that cover, so I'm glad to see it's so good. It sounds like my kind of book!

  9. Wonderful review, Vivienne. This author sounds truly terrific!

  10. I loved the story so suspenseful especially towards the middle when it really got good! I recommend it to everyone who loves a unique teist on a suspense story.


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