Jayme Reviews: After She Wrote Him by Sulari Gentill

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If you get lost in a book, be sure you can find your way back . . .

Madeleine d’Leon doesn’t know where Edward came from. He is simply a character in her next book. But as she writes, he becomes all she can think about. His charm, his dark hair, his pen scratching out his latest literary novel . . .

Edward McGinnity can’t get Madeleine out of his mind–softly smiling, infectiously enthusiastic, and perfectly damaged. She will be the ideal heroine for his next book.

But who is the author and who is the creation? And as the lines start to blur, who is affected when a killer finally takes flesh?

After She Wrote Him is a wildly inventive twist on the murder mystery that takes readers on a journey filled with passion, obsession, and the emptiness left behind when the real world starts to fall away.


While writing this all I could think about was the Oscar Wilde quote: “life imitates art far more than art imitates life”…

In this case, the “art” is Madeleine d’Leon’s own crime novel. As her marriage deteriorates she pens her perfect man, in her protagonist, Edward McGinnity, called Ned by his friends.

Or is the “art” Ned’s book? His love for Willow is unrequited, so he settles for being her best friend. As she pulls further and further away from him, he begins to fall for the protagonist in the crime novel he is writing…Madeleine d’Leon.

Who is real?
Who is imagined?

An exploration of how a book, or a protagonist, takes on a life of its own as it is being created, and what happens when the lines of what is real and what is fiction, get crossed for the author…when they cannot bear to let go of their creation in the same way that we the reader, sometimes hate to say “goodbye” to characters that we have become attached to.

The “whodunnit” crime novels being penned by the characters felt timeless in style to me, yet trying to figure out which character existed and which was the creation, was a COMPLETELY UNIQUE concept, for today’s mystery reader, and I was captivated by it!

Sulari Gentill, an author living in South Wales, was the 2018 Winner of the Ned Kelly Award for Best Crime Fiction, with this book, first published August 1, 2017 under the original title, “Crossing the Lines”.

It will make its US debut, April 7, 2020 under this title.

Thank you to both Netgalley and Edelweiss, the author and the Poisoned Pen Press for the digital ARC I received in exchange for a candid review!

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