The Afterthoughts by Rene Fenner

The Afterthoughts starts as it means to go on, opening with a violent confrontation in a hospital where our narrator, Resi Kepler works and involving the Wolves, a clandestine group who appear to be randomly killing civilians, primarily in Houston but with incidents cropping up in other American cities as their assassinations become more widespread. Armed, armoured and attacking with purpose and precision, the Wolves are a threat to all as there seems to be no pattern to their killings. They appear, they kill, they disappear which is a tense premise for a book.

Resi, with her friends, finds herself determined to discover who the Wolves are, what their purpose is and who is controlling them, having personal motives for doing so. Whilst attempting to find out more about the Wolves, she also finds out something about herself which gives the book its title.

The action moves forward at a great pace throughout, each discovery that Resi makes adding more pieces to the puzzle and moving her closer to her uncovering the identity and motives of the Wolves.

Rene Fenner has also created a likeable group of characters who are as keen to find out what is happening with a view to stopping it as Resi, these being her work colleagues, Brandon and Edda as well as Resi’s love interest, Cole and Edda’s husband, Coen. The dialogue that they exchange and their interaction with Resi as our heroine is all well realised and credible. Besides the main plot where everyone is driven to stop the Wolves, there is some light relief in the camaraderie between Brandon and Resi as well as their mutual attraction, which is a small subplot to the main action.

Fenner does a great job at keeping you guessing about the whole reason for the Wolves and the revealing of their identities and purpose is very well done. Throughout, it is not easy to second guess her plot and I was genuinely surprised at some of the twists and turns that manifested themselves in the book.

I would thoroughly recommend this book, especially if you enjoy a mystery thriller which is not too gory or threatening and has the right amount of suspense and nasty incident to keep you reading.

This review was first published on Reedsy Discovery where I was privileged to read it as an ARC.

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