Everyone thought Bambi and her husband Felix had it all. They had money, great friends, and three excellent children. That all changes when Felix is threatened with prison time because some of his business enterprises are not entirely legal. Before he can be sent to prison, he mysteriously disappears. This leaves Bambi and their three daughters without an income, or very much money in savings. Bambi suspects that Felix's mistress Julie has taken their money or knows where it is.
Julie vanishes on the tenth anniversary of Felix's disappearance. Everyone thinks she has gone to join him, until her body is discovered in a park. Twenty-six years after Julie goes missing, her case is reopened. Sandy is a retired officer that works on the city's cold cases. He must figure out who killed Julie, and there are plenty of suspects. He must work through old jealousies, and lies to discover what really happened.
I liked the idea of having a character solve a cold case to tell this story. I thought it was an unique approach to a mystery novel. The story was well balanced with hints about how it would end, but obscuring it with various aspects of the story. I was only able to guess part of the end, which was good. I like it when a mystery does not give everything away too soon.
I was impressed by Lippman's ability to build up to the suspenseful moments. This is not a fast paced thriller. To really enjoy it, you have to be willing to let the suspense build, and devote some time to reading it. There is a switch in what time period it is with every chapter, which I am not a fan of. It was a little distracting at first, but I got used to it as I continued to read. The continual change from past to present actually worked really well for this mystery.
After I'm Gone was the first book I have read by Laura Lippman, and I liked it. I would be willing to read more of her books.