After He’s Gone by Jane Isaac

Self-published | 2018 (18 June) | c.265p | Review copy | Buy the book

After He's Gone by Jane IsaacWhen Cameron Swift is shot dead outside his home by an unknown biker, his young family inside the house is devastated. DC Beth Chamberlain becomes their family liaison officer. After months of training, this is the first time she’s been given the role and it couldn’t have happened during a more high profile case. With the media parked outside the Swift home, the tragedy is being played out in public, but it’s just about to get even tougher for Sara Swift and for Beth. Cameron Swift was a man with secrets and they’re not going to be buried with them.

After He’s Gone marks a change of direction for Jane Isaac. After three DI WIll Jackman crime novels (one of my favourite crime series), the author turns her attention to the family liaison officer, one of the lesser known roles in a criminal investigation. It’s inspired, really, because this role brings an original and fresh perspective to a crime novel. The case in question is also perfect to show it off and demonstrates just how key this role can be. Arguably, nobody is closer to the victim’s family in these early days of grief, anger and pain than the family liaison officer.

Beth Chamberlain is such a fascinating character, trying to establish her place within the team and with this new role and knowing she must suppress some of her personal feelings in order to be taken seriously. There are a lot of people she must impress. This is a close team. It would be so easy to make an error of judgement. And matters aren’t helped by the fact that her sister’s ex-husband is being assigned to the team. There’s a history there that Beth would like to stay hidden.

The storyline in After He’s Gone is wonderful and kept me reading late into the night as the secrets of Cameron Swift’s life and death are revealed. It’s a compelling plot. I liked the way that the novel moves between Beth, Sara and other key members of the investigation. Nobody has the full picture but everybody, including the press, wants to know.

Jane Isaac is so good at creating characters we care about and Beth Chamberlain is no exception. She is very likable but she also makes mistakes and so seems very human and real. I also cared about Swift’s family. Their conflicted feelings are presented in a believable and sympathetic manner. There’s such an anger there, competing with the grief. And I loved how this played out, culminating in such a satisfying conclusion.

After He’s Gone is a hugely enjoyable and original crime thriller, very well written, with such a good story and intriguing characters. I do hope that we meet Beth again, and that she becomes more forgiving of herself. I want everything to be good for Beth. And that, I think, is a sign that Jane Isaac has done her job very well indeed.

This is a self-published book and its kindle edition, which I read, is of a very high standard.

Other reviews
Before It’s Too Late
Beneath the Ashes
The Lies Within

4 thoughts on “After He’s Gone by Jane Isaac

  1. BookerTalk

    That liaison officer does sound like an interesting angle. I’m just not sure how feasible it is as a series. It would be rather improbable for her to be able to ‘solve’ every crime in which she is called upon to act the role?

    Reply

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