There are some authors whose books you just want to read without even finding out what they’re about, just because they wrote them. For me, Clare Mackintosh is one of those authors. I found her three previous books to be really gripping page-turners which I found hard to put down. This book is very different, which was something of a surprise as I hadn’t read the book description. Rather than being a psychological thriller like the others, this is more of an emotional family drama.
When I first started reading and realised what the book was about, I must admit that I was a bit worried I would find it just too difficult. At the heart of the story is a very sick little boy, Dylan, whose parents Pip and Max disagree about the best course of treatment for him. With the hospital trust agreeing with one of them, the case goes before the court. The book follows the family as Dylan’s illness progresses and in the aftermath of the court’s decision.
I don’t really want to say much more about the story as it really is a book you have to read for yourself. It is very cleverly written and one of these books that makes you think what you would do in the same situation. And the thing is, as I think comes across in the book, it is a virtually impossible decision to make. I could completely understand why both Pip and Max felt they were doing the right thing for their son. Clare Mackintosh has written so convincingly about their convictions and feelings that as I read their chapters, I was totally on their side, whoever’s side I was reading about at the time. It was also interesting to read about the thoughts of the doctor involved in the care of their little boy and to realise the effect that the case had on her, both while she was caring for him and after the court case.
This is an utterly heart-breaking story yet so compelling and ultimately hopeful. It is a powerful portrayal of a couple pushed to breaking point in a devastating situation and how life works out for them afterwards. A gripping and convincing story of loss and of love, After The End shows that Clare Mackintosh is just as skilled at writing about a sensitive and emotive subject as she is at writing a psychological thriller.
My thanks to publishers Sphere (Little, Brown) for my review copy of this book via Netgalley. After The End will be published in hardback and ebook formats on 25th June 2019. It will be available to buy or order from your usual book retailer or you can pre-order a Kindle copy now: After The End
From the back of the book
Max and Pip are the strongest couple you know. Only now they’re facing the most important decision of their lives – and they don’t agree.
As the consequences of an impossible choice threaten to devastate them both, nothing will ever be the same again.
But anything can happen after the end . . .
About the Author
Clare Mackintosh spent twelve years in the police force, including time on CID, and as a public order commander. She left the police in 2011 to work as a freelance journalist and social media consultant and is the founder of the Chipping Norton Literary Festival. She now writes full time and lives in North Wales with her husband and their three children.
Clare’s debut novel, I Let You Go, was a Sunday Times bestseller and the fastest-selling title by a new crime writer in 2015. It was selected for both the Richard and Judy Book Club (and was the winning title of the readers’ vote for the summer 2015 selection) and for ITV’s Loose Women’s Loose Books. It is a New York Times bestseller, with translation rights sold to more than 30 countries.
Her second psychological thriller, I See You, was a number 1 Sunday Times bestseller and Audible’s best selling psychological thriller in 2016. Translation rights have been sold to almost 30 countries.
Clare is the patron of the Silver Star Society, an Oxford-based charity which supports the work carried out in the John Radcliffe Hospital’s Silver Star unit, providing special care for mothers with medical complications during pregnancy.