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I Like To Keep Readers Guessing

Author Interview
Eleanor Kelley Author Interview

Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead follows a divorced widow who questions if her ex-husband is actually dead and becomes the prime murder suspect. What was the inspiration for the setup of your story?

Having read more than my fair share of crime novels and murder mysteries, I know it usually is the spouse who is the prime suspect. Using that idea, I morphed it into a story where the spouse appears to be an unlikely suspect, yet appearances are not always what they seem. I then introduced a few other characters to add to the mystery and keep the reader guessing just “Who done it?”

Was there anything from your own life that you put into the characters in your novel?

I feel most comfortable writing what I know, so I tend to take things I’ve experienced and embellish them to fit into the story. Such was the case with the incident of Kate’s mother’s ashes getting lost in Ireland. My friend and I also lost someone’s ashes we promised to spread in Ireland. Fortunately, it wasn’t our own mother’s remains!!

As for the characters themselves, all are based on people I’ve met or that have been part of my life. I pick out certain nuances, enhance them and add to them into the story.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

I’m not sure there were any themes I consciously tried to develop. It was more a case of writing a story that would appear to be headed one way, turn around the other way and then end up in a place one might not expect.

Where do you see your characters after the book ends?

I see my characters reappearing in a third book. I hope to use their past trials and tribulations as background for a new successful mystery.

Author Links: GoodReads

Is Harry Johnson really dead? If so, how did he die and who or what killed him?

Kate O’Brien’s ex-husband Harry Johnson died while she was in Ireland spreading her mother’s ashes. No one—not even Harry’s lifelong friend Bishop George—will give her details of his death and burial. Why all the secrecy? When a series of Harry sightings occurs, Kate begins to believe Harry isn’t really dead.

What happened to Harry? Could Kate’s newfound friend Ettie have a role in this mystery? Is she somehow connected to Harry? As Kate struggles to find answers, the police confirm Harry’s death and she becomes the number one suspect in his murder.

In Before The Devil Knows You’re Dead, Eleanor Kelley weaves a tale of intrigue where first appearances deceive many as the truth has been carefully hidden.

Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead

To say that Kate’s divorce had been acrimonious would be a laughable understatement. In Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead by Eleanor Kelley, Kate’s ex-husband Harry has taken his money, the loyalties of their adult children, and Kate’s sense of worth regarding the past 25 years of her life. When Harry suddenly passes away after a debilitating stroke, Kate hopes to finally put all that hurt behind her. Instead, the arrival of an oddly familiar new “friend” and a series of bizarre events leaves Harry at the forefront of her mind. Did he fake his own death, or were there reasonable explanations for everything? Was Kate possibly going crazy? And how did Ettie, who breezed into town as all of this was starting, fit into the puzzle? Kate couldn’t stop until she knew.

As Kate tries to remain positive and live her life, she ruminates on all she’s lost- not only the years of her marriage and all that it meant but, more recently, the death of her beloved mother, which made Kate a relatable character. Yet, even at times when it all seems too much, Kate knows that the support system she has in the way of family and friends helps tremendously.

Kelley’s writing style is warm and engaging, making the characters feel like old friends. Although some of the characters could have been more developed, Kate’s relationships with her family and friends provide a comforting and grounding force throughout the book. The story itself is intriguing and full of twists and turns, with enough suspense to keep readers on edge. I found this book to be a page-turner that is hard to put down. The book is well worth the read for anyone who enjoys a good mystery with plenty of intrigues. I couldn’t put the book down because I couldn’t wait to find out more, but by the end, there was so little explanation for anything it just left me wanting more.

I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a thrilling and engaging read. Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead by Eleanor Kelley is deep, filled with dark family secrets, odd happenings, mystery, and intrigue; readers will keep guessing until the end.

Pages: 240 | ISBN : 9781639887972

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