In Another Light by AJ Banner, 3.5 Stars

Three years ago mortuary cosmetologist Phoebe Glassman lost her husband in a tragic accident. No longer the hopeful wife and mother she once was, Phoebe is disappearing into her grief and into the quietude of her job—restoring to the dead the illusion of life. Then the body of a woman named Pauline Steele arrives in the mortuary, and for Phoebe, everything changes.

Pauline is unmistakably Phoebe’s mirror image and bears an alarmingly familiar tattoo. Even more startling is that among Pauline’s effects is a faded photograph of Phoebe. Aided by an eccentric colleague, her curiosity sparked, Phoebe investigates her doppelgänger’s life and death—and uncovers surprising clues to a shared past.

Phoebe’s emotional journey soon leads to shocking revelations about those closest to her…and even herself. When she’s driven to the brink, how much of what she discovers can she trust?

Advanced Praise:

“The twisty plot builds to a satisfying resolution. Banner knows how to keep the reader guessing.” Publishers Weekly

“What a beautiful…and completely engrossing book this was…It’s a heavy hitter, this book, and one you shouldn’t expect to come out of unaffected…the heavier moments are interspersed with some gorgeous interludes of beautifully written moments of normal life…A. J. Banner has written something very special here.” Mystery & Suspense Magazine

“A riveting psychological thriller that slowly unwinds a woman’s deepest grief and haunted past in a series of shocking discoveries that keep you guessing till the very end.” —Lisa Gardner, #1 New York Times bestselling author

“The visceral force of a mother’s grief propels this riveting, hall-of-mirrors thriller, where death and life are never what they seem, and uncertainty leads to a palpable darkness. A gorgeously written page-turner, In Another Light refuses to divulge its secrets until the final chapter.” —Erica Ferencik, author of Into the Jungle and #1 pick, The River at Night

“A. J. Banner is at the top of her game with her latest. Equal parts tense and mesmerizing, In Another Light is a masterful depiction of skewed perceptions wrapped in a pulse-pounding, compulsively readable mystery. You’ll stay up late to finish this in one go!” —Kerry Lonsdale, Wall Street Journal and Washington Post bestselling author of Last Summer

“Heartrending and utterly compelling from the first page, In Another Light is the poignant and gripping story of a woman on the edge. Consumed with grief over the loss of her family, she clings to her memories of her young daughter and the husband she once had, but when even these are torn away she’s left to wonder how well did she know her husband, really? In her role as a mortuary cosmetologist, she speaks to the dead. Mysteriously, one in particular may hold the key. Deftly plotted and achingly suspenseful, this novel explores the boundaries of grief and betrayal…and lies…those we tell each other and those we tell ourselves.” —Barbara Taylor Sissel, bestselling author of Faultlines and The Truth We Bury

My Review:

Phoebe is a mess. Understandably so. She’s a widow that is having a hard time getting over her husband He had everything going for him. He was handsome, charismatic and was Pheobe’s world. She even got licensed to work with him restoring bodies at the funeral home, rather than work on her art. It was a practical move, but she also did it for love.

Even after her husband dies, she stays on at the funeral home, either out of obligation or the inability to do anything to move past her previous life. And when a body that looks eerily similar to her shows up on her slab one day, things don’t seem right. The experience opens a can of worms that Phoebe follows down a foxhole.

I really appreciated In Another Light for how unique the plot was. Banner also did an amazing job switching things up just enough to keep the reader guessing the whole time. Ultimately, it’s more of a domestic thriller. One that’s might be a little far fetched for real life, but I could totally see it happening.

I would recommend In Another Light to fans of Lisa Jewell and Shari Lapena. Special thanks to Netgalley and Lake Union Publishing for an advanced e-galley in exchange for my honest review. This one releases on Tuesday, October 5. Get your copy!


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