Finalist — 2017 Lambda Award in Lesbian Fiction
After a car accident, Amanda Ferguson wakes up to a disturbing memory about her older brother Adrian that supplies a key to her childhood. Amanda holds Adrian responsible for the death of her twin brother, Duncan, who died in an ice-skating accident thirty years earlier. Soon after, Amanda meets a woman who reconnects her to other haunting events involving Adrian, including the suicide of Amanda’s former lover and mentor, the stage director Sarah Moore. As Amanda puts her fractured life back together, the present increasingly echoes her traumatic past, propelling her toward the truth about the deaths of Duncan and Sarah—and toward Adrian. Set against the backdrop of the theatre, particularly Harold Pinter’s Betrayal, The Day After Death is a story about intimacy and identity and how trauma affects our ability to love and to trust.
“Miller explores the dynamics of triangular relationships, frequently unbalanced and stressful on those involved, in this ambitious novel in which Harold Pinter’s play Betrayal is both template and catalyst…. Miller’s provocative reworking of Pinter’s theme will keep readers turning the pages.”―Publishers Weekly [link to full review]
“A taut psychological tale…. Miller’s clever use of Betrayal as a backdrop for the lives of her characters adds to the gravitas of her third stand-alone novel.”―Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine
“Dangerous lesbian liaisons intertwine with a murky murder in Miller’s third novel.”―Kirkus Reviews [link to full review]
“An atypical psychological thriller…. Miller creates chilling tension and suspense.” ―Pasatiempo
“A richly layered and nuanced story of a woman dissecting her past in order to fully experience her life in the present…. Beautifully conceived and written. You won’t want to miss it!”―Julie Williams, author of Drama Queens in the House
“A psychological thriller and philosophical treatise on memory and desire all rolled into one mesmerizing rollercoaster of a novel. The Day after Death has the charged energy of the calm before a storm. Who can save one person from himself? What responsibilities do siblings and lovers have to one another? Why does love turn to betrayal? Miller literally wrestles to the death with these questions; the chilling but very human answers will surprise you.”—Minrose Gwin, author of The Queen of Palmyra
From the five-star reviews on Amazon:
Moving, evocative, wrenching, and compelling. Very reminiscent of Austin and Chicago theatre scenes, and the complications of being a lesbian in theatre and the academy . . . the characters are rich and compelling, and the way Amanda finally puts the story(s) together very moving.
The plot is wonderfully complex, as are the characters. I couldn’t wait to see how the wonderful web unraveled. Miller’s descriptions of characters and scenes are especially well done. A good read!
The Day after Death is a mystery, an excavation into the past of woman wounded by childhood events she cannot recall and can never forget, and a complex, multi-layered story of love, loss and betrayal.
This was a fabulous novel: exquisitely written, perfectly paced, and very suspenseful. And the characters were so well developed I could see them in my mind’s eye throughout. I love the way the plot grew out of the story. So many writers these days seem to feel the need to throw the reader right into the middle of the current rather than let the reader wade in slowly and then notice that the waters are rising around her. Lovely read!
I could not turn the pages fast enough! But this was much more than a thriller. It was the sensitive journey of the heroine healing and growing whole again. This is also a novel about the power of love and friendship.
A tightly plotted web of triangles that take the reader on a tilt-a-whirl through the hauntings of memory.
I adored this book. Built around Harold Pinter’s “Betrayal,” it is a fractured series of love triangles that all intertwine. The book is haunting and the characters are compelling. It kept me rapt to the very end.