Thursday 14 March 2019

HERE AFTER by Sean Costello

4 out of 5 stars

On Amazon UK
On Goodreads

How I discovered this book: Amazon browse

In a Nutshell: Man whose son has just died goes on a mission to find the son of a friend who has been abducted.  Paranormal element.

I was attracted to this book because I'm a sucker for a cover with a road going into the distance, and I made the decision to buy because the reviews are so good.  I didn't realise until later that I'd read an earlier book by this author, Squall, that I thought only so-so; this book, though, is in a different class.

The early part, when main character Peter is dragging himself through his days after the death of his son, is so well done and believable.  I'm not usually much of a one for death-in-family dramas, but this is very readable.  At a group for parents who have lost children, he meets Roger, whose son was abducted.  Roger is a mess; aggressive, drinking too much.  Peter begins to see a connection with Roger's son and another boy abducted previously.

After the great start I felt my enthusiasm for this book ebb and flow; sometimes I was really enjoying it, other times I thought it needed a bit of editing down, as there is a fair bit of detail that I found too long-winded.  Then I'd start to enjoy it again, particularly in some terrific bits of dialogue with some people Peter meets on his search; small town types, and a great section in which some the policemen on watch outside another abducted child's house are killed.  You know when you read a few pages and find yourself sitting back, thinking, wow, that was good?

One thing I did like was that the paranormal element (only minor) is not over the top; it was just kind of touching.  And he never tried to explain it, which absolutely worked for me.

The last third of the book is the best, really gripping, and the plot unfolds in a way I would never have guessed; it would make a great TV series.  I definitely recommend!

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