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  • Writer's pictureJudith D Collins

In Another Light

ISBN: 9781542031103

Publisher: Lake Union

Publication Date: 10/05/21

Format: Paperback

My Rating: 5 Stars ++ (ARC)

The death of a look-alike stranger leads a grieving woman down a troubling path in this riveting novel by A. J. Banner, bestselling author of The Poison Garden.

Three years ago mortuary cosmetologist Phoebe Glassman lost her husband in a tragic accident. No longer the hopeful wife and mother she once was, Phoebe is disappearing into her grief and into the quietude of her job—restoring to the dead the illusion of life. Then the body of a woman named Pauline Steele arrives in the mortuary, and for Phoebe, everything changes.

Pauline is unmistakably Phoebe’s mirror image and bears an alarmingly familiar tattoo. Even more startling is that among Pauline’s effects is a faded photograph of Phoebe. Aided by an eccentric colleague, her curiosity sparked, Phoebe investigates her doppelgänger’s life and death—and uncovers surprising clues to a shared past.

Phoebe’s emotional journey soon leads to shocking revelations about those closest to her…and even herself. When she’s driven to the brink, how much of what she discovers can she trust?

Q&A Elevator Ride with A. J. Banner

My Review

Atmospheric, heart-rendering, gripping!

LOVE THIS AUTHOR AND BOOK! Talented storyteller and favorite author, A. J. Banner returns following The Poison Garden with her latest compelling hit; a raw, visceral, and emotional multi-layered spellbinding tale of suspense, IN ANOTHER LIGHT.

A grieving woman takes a mysterious psychological journey as she uncovers secrets, lies, and betrayal in her quest for the truth about her past.

A massive fan of the author for many years, I am always in awe of her mesmerizing writing. When you start an A.J. Banner book, you are assured to be immersed, pulling you into the setting with vivid descriptions and characters that come alive on the page. Unputdownable.

Set in a fictional coastal town (Bayport, WA) —we meet Phoebe Glassman. She has not been herself for some time. At one point, she was a carefree wife and mother. However, now she resides in isolation. A recluse and buried in her grief and guilt.

After a car accident three years earlier, she is grieving her two-year-old daughter, Ava, and her husband, Logan.

Phoebe is a mortuary cosmetologist at Fair Winds funeral home, her husband’s business with his partner. For the patients on Phoebe’s table, there will be no recovery, no waking up which feels like her own grief weighing her down.

Her husband had many secrets, and he was always restless. However, she had no clue just how many secrets and lies, until her lookalike- a younger version of herself, in the form of a corpse, shows up on her mortuary table with shocking evidence.

A butterfly tattoo. The same one Phoebe recalled seeing on her husband’s phone. In addition, she also finds a small photo in her purse, of herself taken years earlier.

In her intense quest for answers, Phoebe begins an extensive emotional search for the truth. She learns the woman’s name was Pauline Steele, and there was a suicide drug overdose. The woman was in her early thirties, younger than Phoebe, who is forty-three.

What was she doing in this town? Was she looking for her or something more sinister?

What happens next is an intricate web of lies and deceit that takes Phoebe down a deep rabbit hole. She is not sure she will like the answers, but she is obsessed with this mystery. She must learn the truth.

What is reality and what is the truth? Who can she trust?

Does anyone believe her or will everyone think she is crazy? She must step out of her comfort zone to find the truth. Was her husband living another secret life? Is her family really dead, or is this some sort of conspiracy? What else was her husband hiding and what does this woman have to do with her life?

In her sleuthing, she uncovers a girl that looks like her Ava with a nanny. Could it be her daughter? If so, what has her husband done, and what does Pauline have to do with their life?

Sharply written and psychologically rich, Banner skillfully keeps readers on edge, gripped to the pages with her twisty plot, keeping you guessing- what is factual or speculation? Trust me, you will not see this twist coming.

I am a big fan of the author, having read all her books -this is one of my favorites. A tantalizing mystery and a protagonist you will root for from beginning to end.

Anything revolving around a mortuary is always eerie, creepy, and mysterious. However, the secret behind the corpse, the husband’s weird behavior, his disappearances, and the mysterious pull of the little girl added to the intensity and intrigue.

IN ANOTHER LIGHT will captivate, surprise, and satisfy you with its action-packed suspense. Rich in character and plot, fans of Lisa Gardner’s Frankie Elkin series Before She Disappeared will devour this one. Highly recommend and top books of 2021. I really enjoyed the ending and the character, Mike.

A.J: I think you should open an antique store, but you must never stop writing! I anxiously await the next.

Stay tuned for my upcoming #AuthorElevatorSeries with A.J. Banner, (10/5) where we will go behind the scenes of the book and the author. Plus all the fun updates about her love of vintage typewriters, and more!

Blog Review:


Pub Day: 10/05/2021

My Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

A special thank you to #LakeUnion and #Netgalley for an advanced reading copy and this beautiful autographed paperback!

Click here for my Interview with AJ and the Poison Garden (2019)


“The twisty plot builds to a satisfying resolution. Banner knows how to keep the reader guessing.” Publishers Weekly

“A riveting psychological thriller…[will] keep you guessing till the very end.” —Lisa Gardner, #1 New York Times bestselling author

“What a beautiful…and completely engrossing book this was…It’s a heavy hitter, this book, and one you shouldn’t expect to come out of unaffected…the heavier moments are interspersed with some gorgeous interludes of beautifully written moments of normal life…A. J. Banner has written something very special here.” —Mystery & Suspense Magazine

“The visceral force of a mother’s grief propels this riveting, hall-of-mirrors thriller, where death and life are never what they seem, and uncertainty leads to a palpable darkness. A gorgeously written page-turner, In Another Light refuses to divulge its secrets until the final chapter.”

— Erica Ferencik, author of Into the Jungle and #1 pick, The River at Night.

“A. J. Banner is at the top of her game with her latest. Equal parts tense and mesmerizing, In Another Light is a masterful depiction of skewed perceptions wrapped in a pulse-pounding, compulsively readable mystery. You’ll stay up late to finish this in one go!”

— Kerry Lonsdale, Wall Street Journal and Washington Post bestselling author of Last Summer.

“Heartrending and utterly compelling from the first page, In Another Light is the poignant and gripping story of a woman on the edge. Consumed with grief over the loss of her family, she clings to her memories of her young daughter and the husband she once had, but when even these are torn away she’s left to wonder how well did she know her husband, really? In her role as a mortuary cosmetologist, she speaks to the dead. Mysteriously, one in particular may hold the key. Deftly plotted and achingly suspenseful, this novel explores the boundaries of grief and betrayal ... and lies ... those we tell each other and those we tell ourselves.”

—Barbara Taylor Sissel, bestselling author of Faultlines and The Truth We Bury

About the Author

Born in India and raised in North America, A. J. Banner received degrees from the University of California, Berkeley. Banner grew up sneaking books from her parents’ library, reading Agatha Christie, Daphne du Maurier, and other masters of mystery. Her previous bestselling novels of psychological suspense include The Good Neighbor, The Twilight Wife, After Nightfall, and The Poison Garden. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and five rescued cats. For more information, visit







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