After is not your typical police procedural.
Yes, it has a crime and a police investigation with complicating factors, and it’s a murder mystery with all the twists and turns you might expect. But, the police investigation plays second fiddle to the main story, which is Paul’s story.
While Inspector West and his team work on solving the mystery of Josie Ford’s murder, you’re taken into the world of Paul Ford to explore the impact an unexpected death has on the family of the victim.
If you’re like me, you probably have a few secrets like Josie Ford. I think that’s part of human nature.
Maybe you know couples who put on a front to keep their families happy. Nobody wants to admit their relationship might be on shaky ground when it’s no-one else’s business. Sometimes, it’s easier to pretend everything is okay and not rock the boat.
This is where Paul Ford is when you meet him. His relationship with Josie has become routine. They’re working well as a family unit raising two teenage boys, but he’s not aware of their relationship breakdown or that she’s having an affair right under his nose. And, thanks to their ability to put on a good front for the outside world, everyone thinks they make a great couple and that they’re great parents.
Then, Josie gets murdered.
Unexpected events often fracture the facades we present to the world, and Josie’s murder is one of those events for Paul. He’s able to hold things together at first, but then Josie’s secret life becomes public knowledge and he can no longer pretend. He even has to contend with her lover telling him the truth about their relationship.
I was kind to Paul. I gave him a supportive family, an understanding priest as a friend, and a new girlfriend from an unexpected quarter, so there’s a bit of a love story in there as well. I’m not sure how anyone would cope with his situation without that level of support.
Paul’s story is a journey of resilience and a new start. I hope you enjoy it.
The police investigation takes a few interesting turns but, in the end, you get to learn who killed Josie and why.
I could have released After as a standalone story but I wanted to know more about Carl West, Nina Strong, and some of the other supporting characters associated with the police investigation, so it became book 1 in the Inspector West series.
I decided to set the series in The City, without naming what city it was so you could imagine the stories taking place anywhere, although I’m sure there is an unmistakable Australian flavour to my writing.
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Come back when you’ve read After and leave a comment to let us know where you imagined the story being set when you were reading it.