I’m torn on how to review this story.
It was an exceptionally well crafted and entertaining read/listen (my review is on the audiobook version). The narrators were excellent… except for Cole. He was supposed to be 10 years younger than the mid-forties Diana and his voice sounded like a 50 something chain smoker. Yes, I do realize that in the story Cole smoked, however his voice still sounded a good 2 decades older than what his character was meant to be. Plus, to be completely honest, I believe the story could have easily been told with only Val and Diana’s POVs. Cole’s was an unnecessarily addition late in the book and for only a few brief chapters.
I’ve had this struggle with other psychological thrillers and I definitely had a read on exactly who the true “villain” here was long before the big revelation. For me, when I am reading a book that carries a psychological thriller tag, I am expecting a massive head canon moment where the entire script we’ve been fed is flipped on it’s head and everything we once knew is now actually a lie. Even if it isn’t quite to that degree, I still feel like I need that “whoa” moment and it was missing here.
The entire premise of a medically induced amnesia stealing away a very specific chunk of memories was absolutely fabulous and led to a brilliant story. With threads such as adultery, forbidden love, and passionate sex scenes, I’d much rather see After All I’ve Done listed as a women’s fiction or family drama.
Mina Hardy (the pseudonym for NYT bestselling author Megan Hart) is clearly a truly gifted author with beautiful prose and stunning story construction that are both an obvious testimony of her natural talent. While the ending was “meh” and the lack of reaction by the characters to what the villain’s machinations translated to in terms of what the implications were for Diana and her husband Jonathan was a bit unbelievable, this was still a story that drove me to listen more and kept me going until the very last page.