After Nightfall

After Nightfall

by A. J. Banner


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781503949249
Publisher: Amazon Publishing
Publication date: 08/07/2018
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 85,700
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Born in India and raised in North America, A. J. Banner received degrees from the University of California, Berkeley. Her previous novels of psychological suspense include The Good Neighbor and The Twilight Wife, a USA Today bestseller. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and six rescued cats. Visit

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After Nightfall 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 22 reviews.
JHSEsq 21 days ago
The story opens with a small engagement party. Marissa, a speech pathologist, has agreed to marry Nathan Black, the divorced father of nine-year-old Anna. At the party are Lauren and her husband Jensen, Nathan's next-door neighbors. Lauren was also Marissa's best childhood friend, but became estranged in college and have only recently reconnected. Also present are Nathan's cardiac surgeon brother, Keith, and his skittish wife, Hedra. To say that the evening is awkward is a major understatement. And things only get stranger later that night when Marissa catches Nathan sneaking out at 2:05 a.m. and finds Lauren dead at the bottom of a steep, rocky cliff the next morning. Did Lauren fall? Or was she pushed? Where was Nathan going at that hour of the night? Has he been completely honest with her? What about Hedra's bizarre behavior, that included running from the dinner table to the bathroom, and whispering between her and Nathan in the hallway? The more Marissa seeks answers, the deeper into a mysterious web of lies, deceit, betrayal, and secrets she finds herself. And the investigating detective is becoming increasingly curious about the fact that Marissa manages to happen upon or be at the center of events that require police and medical intervention far more often than is remotely normal. In A. J. Banner's deftly-plotted mystery, every character -- without exception -- becomes a suspect and nothing is as it seems on the surface. At one point, Marissa finds her own footprints outside of Nathan's house and discovers her shoes are wet, with grass and debris clinging to them. But she doesn't remember donning them or walking through the woods. So how did they get that way? Is Nathan's wife, Rianne, really "unhinged," as he claims? Has he been faithful to her? And what did Lauren want to tell Marissa following the engagement party, when she promised they would speak the following morning? The story moves at a fast pace, never bogging down as the clues mount but then seem to lead to dead ends. Motives abound, but the questions that continue to nag Marissa believably center around Nathan's behavior. After all, what happened to Marissa in college is revealed, along with details about her relationship with Nathan, at expertly-timed intervals, demonstrating that her wariness is well-founded. When Banner finally reveals what happened on that fateful night, readers will be shocked and likely find themselves re-reading the opening sequence of the book. Because, after all, the conversation during that engagement party foreshadows what is to come and demonstrates Banner's intricate plot and nearly flawless manner in which she executes it in After Nightfall. Thanks to NetGalley for an Advance Reader's Copy of the book.
Anonymous 5 months ago
A.J. Banner has done it again. Murder is most definitely her cup of tea. Her latest offering, After Nightfall, had even more murder suspects than her previous twisty-mysteries. Which means more suspense. More nail biting. And more of a workout for the reader’s brain, if you are like me and simply must try to puzzle out who-dun-it and why before the big reveal at the end. This relative newcomer to the publishing world hit the floor running and just keeps gaining more momentum with each new book. I predict that she is here to stay. Let the psycho-thriller fans rejoice!s
MeganD916 7 months ago
Thank you to Lake Union Publishing for providing me with a galley of this book. This is a quick, twisty-turny tale the will keep you guessing until the very end. Even once the major twist was revealed, I had questions... but how... but why... And the last chapter wrapped it up without leaving you feeling like they just put the perfect little bow on it. The book leaves you wanting more! If you're the type of person who reads the last page right before you get started... Don't! Don't do it on this one! You will be so sorry that you ruined all the fun... seriously... don't do it.... When Marissa's best friend ends up dead at the bottom of a cliff the morning after her dinner party, she cannot stop trying to guess who dunnit, and in her mind, everyone's a suspect! Her own paranoia makes her real and keeps you raising your eyebrows at the others right along with her. If you like psychological thrillers (which I love), this page-turner is definitely one for your to-read shelves!
writertoreader 7 months ago
This was a fairly average thriller elevated by stylistic writing and good pacing. Although I will admit some parts were a little slow moving for my taste, overall I was spellbound by the story and definitely entranced enough to read the entire book in one sitting so I certainly recommend it if you're looking for a fun summer beach read in particular!
LlamaJen 8 months ago
Loved the book!! Throughout the story I didn't know who to believe and I kept changing my mind on who killed Lauren. I didn't want to stop reading because I needed to know who was behind it all and why. I never guessed the ending and was taken by surprise. A good surprise because I was shocked at who was the killer. Marissa and Nathan are throwing an engagement party for a few close friends and family. No one seemed to really enjoy themselves at the dinner. Nathan's daughter was upset. Hedra, Nathan's sister-in-law, was also upset and became flustered when questioned about a bruise on her wrist. Then there was Lauren. She continuously flirted with Nathan and left early with the excuse of picking up her daughter. Lauren was once Marissa's best friend and they have recently become reacquainted. Before Lauren leaves she tells Marissa she needs to tell her something important. Marissa never gets to find out what Lauren was going to tell her. Early the next morning, Marissa finds Lauren dead on the beach, below a steep cliff. She immediately suspects murder and starts investigating on her own. Marissa keeps finding clues and always seems to be there to call 911 when someone is injured. The detective starts to suspect Marissa is involved in Lauren's death. Loved the story, writing style and characters. Marissa was my favorite by far, most of the others I would never want as friends. I'm not sure how Marissa could be friends with Lauren and Jensen again, especially with what happened in college. Lauren seemed like an awful friend. I wanted to feel bad for Hedra, but I just couldn't. The book was definitely full of twists and turns. It was a great mystery. I definitely recommend the book and can't wait to read more from the author. Thanks to NetGalley, Lake Union Publishing and the author, A.J. Banner, for a free electronic ARC of this novel.
CCinME 8 months ago
A.J. Banner has done it again! Compulsively readable with twists and turns galore. Finished in just two whirlwind sessions. Great follow up to The Good Neighbor!
AmberK1120 8 months ago
Thanks to Lake Union Publishers for sending me a free review copy of the book. Holy cats, Batman! Banner did a number on me with this one, and I couldn’t be happier about that. Fans of domestic thrillers, and suspenseful murder mysteries are definitely going to want to add this one to their reading lists. When it comes to this type of a book, the characters are the most important aspect for me. (Anyone surprised by this? Didn’t think so.) And Banner did a phenomenal job with this cast. Marissa, the main character, was a perfect blend of trusting, slightly naive, paranoid, and stubborn. Just when I’d start to think she was crossing the line into “too naive and trusting”, she’d do or say something to remind me, the reader, that she was, in fact, paying attention to all the little details. And we’d be back off and running. My other favorite part of this genre: not trusting a single character. I love it when this type of a story has me questioning the motives and actions of every single character; when the perpetrator is not blatantly obvious, and I cannot solve the mystery until it’s solved for me. And that’s exactly how this one played out. I was questioning everyone, scrutinizing everything they did, and I absolutely loved it. If you haven’t read any of Banner’s books, go get After Nightfall. I can’t promise you’ll get anything else done while you’re reading it, but I can promise you’ll lose yourself up in the Pacific Northwest and you’ll be so happy you did
DressedToRead 8 months ago
I read this in just over a day and found it to be engrossing. It had just enough drama to keep me guessing without getting repetitive or weighed down in details. I really enjoyed how the author threw in so many clues along the way that kept me guessing and wondering what would happen next. Lauren and Marissa were the best of friends until the sexy Lauren betrayed her in the worst of ways. Marissa does move on though and years later invites Lauren and her husband, Jensen to her engagement party. She can't believe it when Lauren proceeds to flirt with her fiance right under her nose. What is wrong with her? Maybe it is the wine or perhaps "her perfume is poisoning her brain." I just loved the setting of this neighborhood on the beach with a steep staircase leading to the water. It reminded me of a TV show I binged on called Revenge (which was so good btw). This one has a plot with many layers and perhaps a bit of revenge woven in. Marissa puts on her detective hat and she starts noticing some things that don't seem right. Nerves flare when she begins to question her fiance about his questionable behavior. A story of obsession and jealously with a surprising conclusion that left me saying but....wait.... If you like to be guessing until the end, this one is sure to entertain. Excellent summer read! Thank you NG for my copy!
SuperReaderChick 8 months ago
A dinner party with a myriad of characters is how this much-anticipated book began. I was quick to form feelings and assumptions about many of them. There were already secrets and mysteries woven into the story by Chapter 3 and I was hooked once again on A.J. Banner's words. Marissa's burning need to know what happened had me feeling so on edge. As with all of Banner's novels, I was never sure who to trust and was constantly shifting my thinking and suspicions. I am always a fan of how she holds me in complete suspense the whole way through the book. It really is quite brilliant. Towards the end, she really got my pulse racing. This was an epic read that took me on one crazy, wild ride. I cannot wait to see what Banner comes up with next!
Bonnie Franks 8 months ago
This book grabbed me right from the beginning and never let go. I formed my alliances, reformed my alliances numerous times, guessed and surmised and knew I was right and felt I was wrong.....and etc. Wow! Loved it. A great murder mystery for sure. Everyone is suspect. At some points I started to think maybe I did it. In all seriousness, this is a mystery not to be missed. It has it all and kept me reading until the very end for sure. Loved or hated the characters, formed attachments, just an enjoyable read. This book is great for anyone who ever had a friend or was betrayed by a friend. It's also great for anyone who ever fell in love. Alright, this book is great for everyone! Read it! You'll love it! This book was provided to me by NetGalley and the publisher.
Anonymous 8 months ago
Marissa and Nathan are engaged to marry. Nathan is divorced and the father of Anna who shares her time with him and her mother. Marissa has invited Nathan’s brother, Keith and his wife, Hedra, to dinner to announce their engagement. In addition, she has invited neighbors, Lauren and Jensen. When they were young girls, Marissa and Lauren were best friends. When Lauren betrayed Marissa, their friendship broke apart. Now that they are neighbors, Marissa wants to forgive her and bring her back into her life. At the party, Lauren drinks too much and ends up flirting with Nathan. This, in turn, angers Lauren’s husband, Jensen. Lauren gets a call from her teenage daughter, Brynn, and says she has to leave to go get her. Before she goes out the door, Lauren whispers to Marissa that she needs to tell her something about Nathan. But that doesn’t happen, because the next day Lauren is found dead on the beach having fallen off a cliff. Marissa is determined to find out on her own what happened to Lauren. Did she jump or was she pushed? When strange things occur, Marissa finds herself questioning everyone. This is a good story that makes the reader ponder who the possible murderer could be. I questioned all of the characters, including Marissa. They all seemed to have a motive for wanting Lauren gone. I think the story dragged in the middle and centered a bit more on Anna than was truly necessary. Marissa takes a lot of risks which is what I suppose the so-called heroine of a mystery book does. I’m sure readers will enjoy this story. Copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Candice_S 8 months ago
This was a book that surprised me entirely - the synopsis of the story had caught my attention, but I certainly didn't anticipate the amount of twists and turns that were going to be thrown at me. Synopsis: Marissa and Lauren were the best of friends in childhood, until Lauren betrays Marissa horrifically, ending their relationship. Years later, their paths have crossed again and they are on the path of forgiveness, until the night of Marissa's engagement Lauren ends up dead. This book was a quick, easy read for me - the perfect fit for a hot summer day, reading in the sun. I love books where you have a selection of characters who are all seemingly flawed, and you can clearly trust not one single one of them. There were so many terrific red herrings in this book, that I couldn't help but be completely surprised with each new twist. And that doesn't come close to my surprise at the end - the final twists are beyond crazy. Without question, this book is the perfect fit for readers who love a mix of mystery and character/domestic drama - you might find yourself like me, completely shocked when things start going right off the rails!
Candice_S 8 months ago
This was a book that surprised me entirely - the synopsis of the story had caught my attention, but I certainly didn't anticipate the amount of twists and turns that were going to be thrown at me. Synopsis: Marissa and Lauren were the best of friends in childhood, until Lauren betrays Marissa horrifically, ending their relationship. Years later, their paths have crossed again and they are on the path of forgiveness, until the night of Marissa's engagement Lauren ends up dead. This book was a quick, easy read for me - the perfect fit for a hot summer day, reading in the sun. I love books where you have a selection of characters who are all seemingly flawed, and you can clearly trust not one single one of them. There were so many terrific red herrings in this book, that I couldn't help but be completely surprised with each new twist. And that doesn't come close to my surprise at the end - the final twists are beyond crazy. Without question, this book is the perfect fit for readers who love a mix of mystery and character/domestic drama - you might find yourself like me, completely shocked when things start going right off the rails!
SheenahM 8 months ago
After Nightfall is a thriller with more than enough twists to keep you on your toes. Marissa Parlette discovers her former best friend's body the morning after an unsuccessful engagement party. The shock is so great that she ends up thinking everyone in their circle could be a suspect. I have to admit, I jumped around in who I thought the culprit was as I read as well. This book kept me reading, and guessing, until the very end.
LGandhi 8 months ago
Psychological thrillers are one of my favorite genres. I'm not 100% sure I would classify this as a psychological thriller. Some of the characters were bat-you-know-what crazy - yes! There was a murder mystery to solve - yes! More than one mystery - yes! You have several options of "who did it" - yes! But to say for me this was a thriller, I'm just not there. I was excited to read this book after reading the description, I thought this book is right up my alley. Also, I was seeing a lot of strong early reviews on this book, something that caught my attention. I couldn't wait to dive into this book. This is my first book by A.J. Banner. The beginning starts off really strong. The author hooks you good on the line. The problem for me is I don't feel she set the hook strong enough, and this fish got off. I had to set the book down several times out of either frustration with the characters or slight boredom of where the storyline was going and how long it took to get there. Even though I did set the book down several times, ultimately I did finish it - the author peeked my interest enough throughout the book to want to know what happens and how it ends. Without giving away any spoilers, I will say she starts strong and ends strong. I always enjoy it when I am completely stumped by who the bad guy is, and for this story I truly didn't see that one coming. It's the in-between that feel flat for me and didn't keep me on the edge of my seat the way I had hoped for, making it not a thriller for but just a decent mystery. My thanks to Netgalley, A.J. Banner and Lake Union Publishing for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
lsmoore_43 8 months ago
Thank you to #NetGalley and #Lake Union Publishers This book was the first I have read by this author and it did not in any way disappoint. It will pull you in and take you for a ride you won’t soon forget. A thriller that will keep you guessing until the end when you find out who did what to who and who was just in the wrong place many times. I was shocked at who was the bad person and also the very end who possibly could have saved someone. It’s a very well written book with characters you will love and others you will not like at all. Some you will think are bad but turn out to ones that really needed help. I loved this book from start to the very end. I stayed up late to finish this one. I just had to know what happened and boy it did not disappoint at all. A 5 star book. I look forward to reading more books by this author. A. J. Banner sure has a way of writing that kept me turning pages.
Alfoster 9 months ago
As I absolutely loved Banner's first two books I had high expectations for this one and I was not disappointed! Newly engaged Marissa and Nathan are shocked when Marissa's ex-best friend, Lauren winds up dead on the beach. Was it suicide or murder? And what secret did Lauren want to share with Marissa the night before her death? Lots of suspects, lots of secrets, lots of suspense! This is what I love about Banner's novels; they are beautifully crafted with witty dialogue and just enough clues to convince you that you know the truth. But of course you don't! I eagerly await her next one! Thanks to NetGalley for this ARC!
DianeD54 9 months ago
After Nightfall has everything and more that you could want from a psychological thriller. This book will keep you guessing till the very end with many twists and turns just when you think you have it figured out. The suspense was great and sometimes chilling. I highly recommend this book.
ganderson523 9 months ago
Marissa Parlette and her boyfriend Nathan Black are hosting a dinner party at Nathan's home. Those attending are neighbors, Lauren and Jensen, Nathan's brother and sister-in-law, Keith and Hedra, as well as Nathan's nine year old daughter, Anna. Marissa met Nathan when she began working as Anna's speech pathologist through the school. It should have been a happy occasion since Nathan proposes at the dinner table but Marissa and Nathan are concerned about how Anna will take the news. Nathan and his ex-wife, Rianne, have joint custody. But Lauren is making everyone uncomfortable because she has had too much to drink and flirting with Nathan and even Keith. This was not the first time that Lauren seems to be after Marissa's boyfriend. Marissa and Jensen were together before Lauren and Jensen married. Tensions are very high when the party broke up and are even higher when Lauren's body is discovered at the bottom of the cliff the next morning by Marissa. No one is off the radar to be guilty in this intense thriller. I went through the gamut wondering who could have killed Lauren. Anyone could have. Her husband wasn't happy with her behavior but no one else was. Her relationship with her daughter wasn't great. Marissa feels that something is off about Nathan. Keith and Hedra have a strained relationship. This is an entertaining read that will keep the pages turning to the end. The author does a great job making everyone look suspicious until the twisted end. I received a complimentary ARC from Lake Union Publishing through NetGalley for the purpose to read and give an honest review. The thoughts and opinions stated are mine only.
mamalovestoread22 9 months ago
Being engaged is supposed to be an exciting and blissful time in a woman's life, but for Marissa Parlette it's anything but that... her longtime friend has just been found dead at the bottom of a cliff following a tension filled dinner party at her home the night before. Finding her friend Lauren's lifeless body at the bottom of the cliff is downright unsettling, and it leaves her wondering if it was an accident or if someone "helped" her down there. With all the suspicious nature of Lauren's death swirling around her Marissa decides to take matters into her own hands, and begins doing some investigations of her own, and finds far more than she bargained for. As she closely examines everyone who attended the party, she begins to realize things around her weren't quite as innocent as they seemed and many unexpected secrets are being kept, by the people she should be able to trust the most. Now she doesn't know who she can trust... After Nightfall is a drama-filled page turner that is sure to keep you guessing until the very end, with it's intriguing and disbelieving story-line, and untrustworthy cast you'll have a heck of time finding the guilty party! This was quite the first read, from the moment I cracked the cover I was pulled into these characters lives and left completely enamored with them and their drama... WOW what a first impression!! I have a feeling I will be checking out more of this authors work in the very near future, her newest offering was quite addictive and entertaining, so much so that I devoured it in one sitting. Highly recommend you meet these wonderful characters, they are sure to keep you captivated from start to finish! I requested an advanced copy of this title from the publisher, via NetGalley, and voluntarily read and reviewed.
MackenzieH 9 months ago
Secrets, secrets are no fun… How well do we know those we consider closest to us? Our friends, our partner, our family… Do we really know their secrets? Can we tell if they are keeping something from us, or does our love for them blind us to the lies? Would we know if we were betrayed? Would we survive it? This is my first book by A. J. Banner and I really love the way she writes! Her characters are very rich and developed. They feel like people you would know. The story feels like one that could happen down the road from you or to a friend of a friend. The authenticity of her writing is such a refreshing break from the over-the-top thrillers I tend to read (and enjoy). This one grips you in an entirely different way. You want to get to the end because you care about the characters and you want everything to be ok. About the Book On the day of Marissa Parlette’s engagement announcement she schedules an intimate dinner party at home with just close friends. But are they close friends? Her best friend Lauren is flirting with her fiancé in front of her, and her future sister-in-law is clearly hiding something. And her future step-daughter Anna seems less than enthused, even though her fiancé Matt promised he’d break the news in advance. As the party winds to a close, Marissa can’t help but feel unsettled. Why is Lauren, who is there with her own husband, flirting with Matt? And what is this news that Lauren says she needs to tell her in the morning, something about her own marriage and about Marissa and Matt? Has Marissa truly forgiven Lauren for her betrayal all of those years ago? And then the unthinkable happens—Marissa wakes up to take her morning walk, and discovers Lauren dead on the beach. Did Lauren fall? Did she jump? Or is it possible she was pushed? Marissa needs to find the answers, to get the closure she has never had. But how can she get closure when the very person with all of the answers is dead? Everything Marissa thought she knew about her friends, her fiancé, and her loved ones is thrown into question, and she is desperate for answers. The only problem is, what if the answers reveal secrets she wish she’d never uncovered? Reflection This is a wonderful, suspenseful women’s fiction book. I’ve grown to love Lake Union Publishing because they have some truly outstanding books that speak to women’s fiction fans in such an authentic way. The setting for this one is the rainy Pacific Northwest, a place where I’ve lived, and I love that setting. The chilly air, the wooded surroundings, the rocky cliffs, and the icy waters of the coast are so vivid and set an unsettling tone where dangers lurk. It was the perfect atmosphere for this story! I really like Marissa, and she reacted as many of us would. We’ve all been there, wanting to forgive someone but not sure if we have truly let it go. Wanting to trust someone but doubting ourselves because of our naivety in the past. Marissa goes through all of this. And yet, Marissa still loves these people. But at the same time, how can she not question the drunken flirtations, the late night disappearances, and the explanations that don’t quite make sense? This was a vacation read for me and I couldn’t put it down! I will definitely be reading more A. J. Banner! Thank you to Lake Union Publishing, A. J. Banner, and NetGalley for a review.
teachlz 9 months ago
ll” by A.J.Banner Lake Union Publishing. August 21,2018 WOW!!! My head is actually spinning after reading “After Nightfall” by A.J. Banner. This is a captivating, intense, intriguing, enthralling, suspenseful and riveting novel!! A.J. Banner knows how to write that tense and on-edge story with her descriptions of the landscape and her characters. The Genres for this novel are Fiction, Mystery, Suspense, and Thriller. The authors describes her dysfunctional characters as complex, and complicated. Each character could be a suspect. There are betrayals, lies, secrets, and twists and turns. Marissa Parlette , is celebrating her engagement. She has invited her fiancé’s brother and wife, and a friend from the past, who is back in her life. This friend married Marissa’s former boyfriend years ago, and now has bought a house next door to Marissa’s fiance. Not to worry, she won’t be around long. After flirting with the men at the table and Marissa’s fiance, the friend is found dead as the bottom of a rocky cliff. Was it a fall, or was she pushed? There are more clues discovered that seem to indicate that she was murdered. There are threats, temperamental outbursts, and danger. Someone has also been in Marissa’s house. She is left a friendly welcome home plant, but discovers her bedroom trashed. This is an amazing book that you really get involved with. It is very hard to put down. I highly recommend this sharp book for readers that enjoy an intense mystery. I received an ARC from NetGalley for my honest review.