I received a galley of Hereafter through NetGalley - it's not due to published until October 1 - and I somehow didn't realize that the novel was the second in a series, not the first. That explains the mild air of confusion I felt throughout the novel! The first book is called Shadowlands, and I can't wait to read it and fill in the gaps.
Despite being a little confused, I loved the idea behind the novel and I love Kate Brian's style. I've known her name for a while, as her Private series has been very popular. I never read any of the Privates books, and I think that this new series is quite different than they are.
The novel takes place on Juniper Landing Island, which turns out to be a sort of in-between place. It's where people go after they die, while they're awaiting their fate - to infinite life in a good place, or in the evil Shadowlands. The thing about Juniper Landing, though, is that no one there knows they're dead; they all think they're on vacation. When people are "escorted" to their beyond, the other vacationers just assume they've gone on home. That brings up the "escorts". There are people on the island who are called "Lifers", and they escort the newly dead to their afterlife.
Main character Rory and her family are new to Juniper Landing, after having Rory's serial killer teacher. Rory quickly learns that she is a Lifer, but her father and sister, Darcy, are awaiting their fate. Rory quickly bonds with several of the Lifers, but all can tell that something is amiss on Juniper Landing. Rory looks to the oldest Lifer, Tristan, for help when one of the others, Nadia, turns on her. Things take a turn for the worse when everyone starts going to the Shadowlands - not just the awful people who deserve to. Can Rory figure out what's going on before it's too late?