What to Do When Someone Dies, Paperback
4 out of 5 (2 ratings)


What to Do When Someone Dies is another ingenious thriller from the best-loved, bestselling author, Nicci French Ellie Faulkner's world has been destroyed.

Her husband Greg died in a car crash - and he wasn't alone.

In the passenger seat was the body of Milena Livingstone - a woman Ellie's never heard of.

But Ellie refuses to leap to the obvious conclusion, despite the whispers and suspicions of those around her.

Maybe it's the grief, but Ellie has to find out who this woman was - and prove Greg wasn't having an affair. And soon she is chillingly certain their deaths were no accident.

Are Ellie's accusations of murder her way of avoiding the truth about her marriage? Or does an even more sinister discovery await her? Praise for Nicci French: "Relentlessly enjoyable and gripping from the first page to the last." (Evening Standard). "You'll be totally gripped until a very unexpected twist knocks you for six" (Cosmopolitan). "You'll be hooked from the first page. A compulsive page-turner." (Daily Express).


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Crime & mystery
  • ISBN: 9780141020921



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Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.

Review by

The book of the recent television adaptation 'Without You', which looked interesting but too stylised (although I did keep imagining Marc Warren as Greg while reading!) The story itself, by husband and wife team Nicci French, is a strange mishmash of a realistic study of grief, <i>The Turn of the Screw</i> style psychological narrative, and an average murder mystery. And in that order, I found myself touched by the tragedy of Greg's death, convinced and repelled in equal parts by Ellie's reaction to her sudden loss, and gripped by the occasionally far-fetched twists of her unofficial (and slightly bonkers) search for the 'truth'. Ellie Falkner's life is turned upside down one morning when two policewomen come to her house and announce that her husband Greg Manning has been killed in a fiery car crash. The shock and bereavement would be enough for anyone to deal with, but there is an added complication - Greg wasn't alone. A mysterious female passenger also perished with Ellie's husband, and not knowing who the 'other woman' was instantly pitches Ellie into doubt and suspicion. Was Greg cheating on Ellie? Was his death an accident? Who was 'Milena Livingstone'?The first part of the story, describing Ellie's thoughts and feelings after she learns about her husband's death, is very realistic and powerfully told. Ellie and Greg are a very middle class, bohemian pair - she still goes by her maiden name and restores old furniture for a living, he was a health-conscious accountant - but her grief is universal. The ordinariness of her confusion and loneliness is strangely sympathetic - how every action after his death somehow makes him 'deader', or more of a memory and less of a person, and the basic human need for company and comfort Ellie feels when she is alone at night. Her fixation on the woman in Greg's car, and the tangled web of lies Ellie creates, is less understandable, and the sudden descent into a full-on murder investigation is definitely jarring - yet I never lost interest in the story or characters, even if my faith in Ellie's sanity wavered more than once! Well-paced, despite the number of times Elllie wanders out into a torrential downpour, and well-plotted throughout.

Review by

This is the first Nicci French book I have read for a long time. It grabbed me straight away and I liked the main character very much. I found the story to be quite believable - in an odd sort of way. All the characters felt real to me, they had strong personalities and were convincing.The story was very well done too, with all the twists and turns.

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