After I’m Gone, by Laura LippmanRead about another entry on the list.
Bambi Gottschalk thought she’d stumbled across her ideal future when, in 1959, she met charming Felix Brewer. But the ways Felix made his money were too often unscrupulous, and in 1976 he fled Baltimore for Canada, leaving behind his family as well as his stripper girlfriend, Julie Saxony. When Julie later disappears, it’s assumed she’s rejoined her paramour; only the subsequent unearthing of her corpse revises that conclusion. And it’s not until years afterward, when a retired police detective, Roberto “Sandy” Sanchez, starts digging into Julie’s slaying, that answers are finally paired with the profuse questions left behind in Felix’s wake. Bouncing between time periods, Lippman does a brilliant job of imagining how Felix’s desertion affects his loved ones. She further enriches that plot line with the often tender story of Sanchez rediscovering the value of his own life.
After I’m Gone made Melissa Albert's list of five dark thrillers to soothe your Valentine’s Day hangover.