Before We Met – Lucie Whitehouse – Book Review


BeforeWeMetGoodreads blurb: Hannah, independent, headstrong, and determined not to follow in the footsteps of her bitterly divorced mother, has always avoided commitment. But one hot New York summer she meets Mark Reilly, a fellow Brit, and is swept up in a love affair that changes all her ideas about what marriage might mean.

Now, living in their elegant, expensive London townhouse and adored by her fantastically successful husband, she knows she was right to let down her guard.

But when Mark does not return from a business trip to the U.S. and when the hours of waiting for him stretch into days, the foundations of Hannah’s certainty begin to crack. Why do Mark’s colleagues believe he has gone to Paris not America? Why is there no record of him at his hotel? And who is the mysterious woman who has been telephoning him over the last few weeks?

Hannah begins to dig into her husband’s life, uncovering revelations that throw into doubt everything she has ever believed about him. As her investigation leads her away from their fairytale romance into a place of violence and fear she must decide whether the secrets Mark has been keeping are designed to protect him or protect her . . .

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As the blurb states, Hannah has everything going for her, a recent marriage to somebody who absolutely adores her, the subsequent relocation to London, where she was born and grew up, a fairly good life in a lovely house in London with her successful entrepreneur husband Mark Reilly. But, is everything really as hunky-dory as it sounds?

Things slowly start unraveling when Mark doesn’t return from a New York trip on time and some harmless phone calls from Hannah to his executive assistant and a few others from his office uncover a few lies that Mark has told her. And when Hannah slowly starts digging into the truths behind them, she bites off more than she can chew.

What is Mark hiding from her? Why is he being so secretive about a few things? Why does he always hesitate to talk about a few things from his past? These are a few questions, the answers to which form the crux of this novel.

While the narrative itself flits between the present where Hannah is trying to get answers to the above questions and the past where she muses about how she met him and how they fell in love and get married, what really works for the book is that at no time does it get slow or drags on; the author has taken care to ensure that it stays taut and the tension is built so strongly into the narrative that the reader simply cannot put the book down and has to keep the pages turning to find out how it progresses.

The shocking answers to these questions reveal  more about her husband to her than Hannah probably bargained for, and lead to what forms quite the riveting climax of this well written book. This book is truly a worthy addition to the Bloomsbury New Crime series, and well worth the time spent reading it.

Click here to purchase the book from Flipkart [Link] or Amazon [Link].

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Disclaimer: A review copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher in return for a honest and unbiased review.

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