Book Review: What to do when Someone Dies

Title: What to do when someone dies
Author: Nicci French
Publisher: Penguin Books
ISBN: 9780141020921
Pages: 344
Price: 350 INR/ £6.99
Source: Personal Copy

What to do when Someone Dies is a novel with a gripping plot by Nicci French. It is a Crime Fiction, which keeps you engaged till the end. It is, indeed, a compulsive page- turner.

About the Author(s)

Nicci French is the pseudonym for the writing partnership of journalists Nicci Gerrad and Sean French. The couple are married and live in Suffolk. Nicci and Sean, both have studied English Literature at Oxford University. The couple was married in 1990 and have some works published separately too. Their novels are International Best Sellers.

The after and the before…

What to do when Someone Dies is the story of Ellie Faulkner after her husband, Greg dies in a car crash. What makes this accident interesting is an unknown lady who was found dead along with Greg in his car. Ellie knows nothing about this mysterious lady called Milena Livingstone. Everyone comes to the obvious conclusion that Greg was having an affair with Milena. But Ellie refuses to accept this.

While people are mourning Greg’s death and offering condolences to Ellie, she is determined to prove Greg’s innocence. She sheds no tear and behaves rather abnormally in this situation. What happens next is all about the story of the novel. Now obviously it is not going to be an accident because this is a crime fiction (so there has to be a crime… lol).

The novel as a whole is complete package of elements like Love, Sex, Infidelity, Treachery, Impersonation, Forgery, Murder, etc. It keeps our interest till the end just the way a crime fiction does. We do not get even the slightest clue about the real culprit.

Final Verdict

The first half of the novel seemed to be unamusing and slow. However, the later half is full of unexpected twists and turns. It becomes an unputdownable book as we move towards the mid of the novel. For me, the real action began when Ellie started visiting Milena’s office. She goes there impersonated as Gwen- her own friend.

I liked the opening line of the novel very much. It starts with ” Moments before your life changes: there will always be a before and an after, separated, perhaps, by a knock at the door.” And there was actually a knock after this line. The novel is basically all about what Ellie finds out by relating the before and the after.
The ending of the novel, though quite surprising, was not a very good one. It seems the authors have written the ending without putting any efforts, after writing such a fascinating novel. I did not find the writing style to be engaging. It was neither gripping nor very lame. The writing style is somewhat deterring.

The final revelation was very much disappointing for me. The other twists and turns were much better than the final one. All in all, it was not a great book. With so many better books, by authors like Agatha Christie, available in the market, I dont think I’ll pick up any book by the author, in future.

My Rating: *** (3/5)

What do you think about the book? Did you find the storyline interesting? Do share your thoughts. Thanks. 

Available for purchase on Amazon.inWordery and Book Depository.


11 thoughts on “Book Review: What to do when Someone Dies

  1. Pingback: Wrap Up: Jan- June ‘17 | Books N Me

  2. I am surprised that you chose to give this a rating of 3/5 after stating you would not be interested in reading any future work by the authors! I think 3 is way too generous a rating for what you described!?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know that. It does seem generous. But that is what it deserves.

      I’ll not read any other books by the authors beacuse there are many better authors writing in this genre. There is Agatha Christie. Why should I spend time on a 3⭐ book, if there are 5⭐ books available in the market.

      I hope you got my point now.


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