What to do When Someone Dies by Nicci French

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Heeeeellllo readers, hope you’re well! Today’s book is one by Nikki French and it’s actually pretty good! At home we have a book shelf where you can put books once you’ve read them but don’t mind if they’re borrowed, used, lost. It’s supposed to be a way of allowing you to keep the books you want safe and also share ones you don’t mind others reading; although it doesn’t always work that way – anyway, this is one that I borrowed from the shelf from my Mumma and it was pretty good.

‘This is not my world. Something is wrong, askew. . . I am Ellie Falkner, thirty-four years old and married to Greg Manning. Although two police officers have just come to my door and told me he is dead . . . ‘

It’s devastating to hear that your husband has died in a horrific car accident. But to learn that he died with a mystery woman as his passenger is torment. Was Greg having an affair?

Drowning in grief, Ellie clings to Greg’s innocence, and her determination to prove it to the world at large means she must find out who Milena Livingstone was and what she was doing in Greg’s car. But in the process those around her begin to question her sanity and motive. And the louder she shouts that Greg must have been murdered, the more suspicion falls on Ellie herself.

Sometimes it’s safer to keep silent when someone dies.


I’m not going to spend anytime re-writing the blurb because it’s allll there to read. The first thing to mention, is that although this is marketed as a thriller, it’s more of a find out the truth style book – Ellie’s husband Greg’s body is found in a burned out car with another woman; rather than taking the police’s belief that it is a simply a horrific accident and the two were having an affair, Ellie denies this and decides instead to take the investigation into her own hands.  From this point onwards the story is narrated by Ellie in first person narrative. She has a clinical and dry personality; she doesn’t cry at the funeral  she is consumed by proving that Greg wouldn’t , and couldn’t have had an affair.

The writing despite Ellie’s strained personality has a certain quality that draws the reader in. The word lyrical isn’t quite right but the contrast between her feelings; this constant desperation to find the truth in an almost soulless way and the writing style that is so engaging and interesting to read. Her constant rejection from the police’s discussions, they’re rejection of her desperation saying it is all grief and nothing else contrasted with the lyrical writing style is incredibly engaging. Lots of the reviews on Goodreads say that it’s too cold and un-engaging but I found that the stifling lack of emotion of Ellie just helped to prove the true roots of the love between Ellie and Greg and her constant persistence to clear his name.

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Yes at times what she does it a little bizarre and it does make her come across a little deluded but there’s such a devotion to Greg and because he’s not there tell his side of the story it’s difficult to get a feel for Ellie before the terrible event happens. We learn more about her through her actions; sneaking herself into the place where the woman that died with her husband worked, meeting Frances, mix in the friends and family around her and the authors manage to construct a really true and intriguing character. YEs, she might be a little difficult to warm to, but in her position it is understandable.

Did I work out who did it? Yes, I did I have to admit and it wasn’t too difficult to but I didn’t think that hindered the plot or my enjoyment on the book on the whole. I must admit that I enjoyed this, but only really as a calm, interesting thriller-ish book. It didn’t really rock my world, it didn’t feel like a punch you in the face book, and on the whole it’s a little tame but it’s definitely an exciting read and definitely if you want a book that really plays with the feelings of the main character it’s on to definitely pick up.




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