Book Review: Aftermath by Kelley Armstrong

Summary: Three years after losing her brother Luka in a school shooting, Skye Gilchrist is moving home. But there's no sympathy for Skye and her family because Luka wasn't a victim; he was a shooter.

Jesse Mandal knows all too well that the scars of the past don't heal easily. The shooting cost Jesse his brother and his best friend--Skye.

Ripped apart by tragedy, Jesse and Skye can't resist reopening the mysteries of their past. But old wounds hide darker secrets. And the closer Skye and Jesse get to the truth of what happened that day, the closer they get to a new killer.

Release Date: May 2018
Age Group: YA, Thriller, Mystery
Source: Review Copy from Publisher/NetGalley
Reviewed By: Nat

I accepted Aftermath to read solely because it was by Kelley Armstrong and then I read the blurb... I had an "oh crap moment" and was very hesitant to read about a school shooting. I am not usually drawn to books that just make you weep and lose faith in mankind-- that's what I feel every time the news reports such a tragic incident. But as the title implies, this was a story about the aftermath of a dark situation.

What must it be like to be the family of the shooter? All the "Why's" and "What if's" and the "Did they know's" and then the terrible backlash that they must face as simply being family of the shooter. But Aftermath was everything I wasn't expecting-- love, loss, anger, confusion, deceit and redemption all wrapped into a thrilling ride.

The plot doesn't focus on the harrowing details of the school shooting but rather the effects on the family left behind but with a mastermind of a twist, a mystery. The plot was so well calculated that I didn't figure it out until the moment it clicked with the characters. So dang clever.

There is a quiet fondness for both Jesse and Skye who are in opposite positions after the shooting, one convicted & guilty by association and the other the tragic victim, the great loss to suffer. But whose loss is worse? One is allowed to mourn and the other is not.

The characters throughout were so well developed that at times I didn't know who or what to believe, what was truth and where were they headed. At times I suspected every single person! They were all guilty, of what I wasn't sure but they were all suspicious.

Aftermath is a diverse work of turmoil & hope and further proves that there really isn't any genre that Armstrong can't conquer. Fans of YA, Mystery/Thriller will love this standalone!


Also by Armstrong, Missing. A 5-Star Thriller!

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