Friday, 14 February 2014

Review: Before We Met by Lucie Whitehouse


Publisher: Bloomsbury
Format: Hardcover / eBook
Released: January 16th, 2014
Rating: 8/10


Amazon summary:

A whirlwind romance. A perfect marriage. Hannah Reilly has seized her chance at happiness. Until the day her husband fails to come home . . . The more questions Hannah asks, the fewer answers she finds. But are the secrets that Mark has been keeping designed to protect him or protect her? And can you ever really know what happened before you met?

Review:

I've seen Before We Met compared to Gone Girl more times than I can count, but I haven't read the latter so I don't know if this praise is warranted or not. Before We Met is actually the first book of this type I've read, and I only read it because I was drawn to the cover and some positive words from a publishing friend. Within the first few chapters I knew I'd love this book; what I didn't expect was the compulsion to read read read until the very end. It gets you like that, you have been warned.

Hannah Reilly is happily married and job hunting after moving to England from the US. Her husband, Mark, lives here and is a successful businessman. They have enough money, a first class lifestyle and no major worries on the horizon. That is, until Mark goes on a business trip and Hannah realises he isn't where he's supposed to be. From that moment on, everything unravels and Hannah comes to terms with what really happened before they met.

Hannah is an extremely likeable character. A bit lost and lonely, she's constantly trying to make a life for herself in London, even though she's way out of her comfort zone. She's also brave, choosing to investigate a suspicious series of events rather than turn a blind eye. Mark is also a great character and at the beginning is easy to get invested in. He seems like the perfect man, well put together and with everything going for him, but of course there's more to him than meets the eye.

This book is a twisted, realistic account of a relationship gone wrong. It's an example of how easy it is to completely trust someone without really knowing them, how easy it is to fall for an idea rather than a truth. It's shocking, fast-paced and extremely tense, culminating in one of the best fictional reveals I've had the pleasure to read. As all the jigsaw pieces started to fit together and create a puzzle, I guessed little bits here and there but I never for one moment thought it would end like it did. Things get very dark, and suddenly Hannah is plunged into a mystery more dangerous than I ever imagined.

Before We Met isn't my usual genre of book, but I enjoyed it so much that I'm now eager to read more like this. I was equal parts shocked and fascinated while reading about Hannah and Mark, and by the end I was trying to read faster than I could turn the pages. Aside from a few of Hannah's convenient plot discoveries, I have nothing bad to say about this book and I can't wait to try more by Lucie Whitehouse. I already have The House at Midnight waiting for me!

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