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Monday, May 13, 2019

#ATBR2019 Review: The Night Before by Wendy Walker @stmartinspress

The Night Before 
by Wendy Walker

Thank you to St. Martin's Press for these copies.

Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publish Date: May 14, 2019
320 Pages
Genre: Thriller

First dates can be murder. 

Riveting and compulsive, national bestselling author Wendy Walker’s The Night Before “takes you to deep, dark places few thrillers dare to go” as two sisters uncover long-buried secrets when an internet date spirals out of control. 

Laura Lochner has never been lucky in love. She falls too hard and too fast, always choosing the wrong men. Devastated by the end of her last relationship, she fled her Wall Street job and New York City apartment for her sister’s home in the Connecticut suburb where they both grew up. Though still haunted by the tragedy that’s defined her entire life, Laura is determined to take one more chance on love with a man she’s met on an Internet dating site.

Rosie Ferro has spent most of her life worrying about her troubled sister. Fearless but fragile, Laura has always walked an emotional tightrope, and Rosie has always been there to catch her. Laura’s return, under mysterious circumstances, has cast a shadow over Rosie’s peaceful life with her husband and young son – a shadow that grows darker as Laura leaves the house for her blind date. 

When Laura does not return home the following morning, Rosie fears the worst. She’s not responding to calls or texts, and she’s left no information about the man she planned to meet. As Rosie begins a desperate search to find her sister, she is not just worried about what this man might have done to Laura. She’s worried about what Laura may have done to him…

My Review:

My second Walker book, I definitely see how her style can be compulsive, even with the slower pace that I have found in both this and Emma In The Night.  Short chapters, unreliable narrators and a plot that keeps you guessing until the final reveals.

Poor Laura - always so unlucky in love and willing to chameleon herself to make herself worthy of her new love.  A woman who believes in love but in the way that she is determined to make it happen, taking in the good things too much to heart.. and the bad things, calculating and untrusting.  This does not bode well for her as she goes on a date with a man from the internet.  

Nothing and no one is as they appear to be.  I was a bit confused on one part between two of the characters.  How did this little bit get thrown in and then not revisited? I'm a teeny bit baffled on this.  While I did enjoy the story line, some things just didn't quite add up for me.  There were definitely some lull parts but Walker does manage to make a slower pace still quite interesting.  

Would I read Walker again? Absolutely!  I'm not sure if this slow pace is her style across all of her books but I do absolutely appreciate the crazy stories that she seems to produce... even if some things don't quite add up.


Jessica's Review:

This was my first time reading Wendy Walker and I completely understand why people love her books. A weaving story line, different timelines, not knowing who to trust, and plenty of twists and turns. THE NIGHT BEFORE kept me turning the pages and had plenty of surprises that I didn't see coming. 

Laura hasn't always had the best luck when it comes to men. Desperately trying to find love but with all the wrong men it seems. After a nasty break up, she returns to her childhood home to live with her sister, Rosie, and her husband Joe. Laura, Rosie, Joe, and their friend Gabe all grew up together - they have secrets from their pasts that they are trying to keep in the past. When Laura decides it's time to get back in the dating pool, everyone is nervous for her but it's just a first date, what could happen?

Rosie goes into panic mode when Laura hasn't returned home the next morning. Could it be that she lost track of time and stayed the night somewhere? Could something back have happened to her? Or worse - could she have done something bad to her date? So many questions, some answers, and more doubt arises as we get Laura's background. Doubts are raised about her date - is she the only one lying about who she is?

While I did go through this quickly, there were some parts that felt a little on the slower side. We go between Laura's POV "the night before", Rosie's POV "the morning after", and then transcripts from Laura's meetings with her shrink when she was in New York months earlier. I think this was a well-written and constructed suspense novel. Like I said, I didn't see a lot of those twists coming and I really liked them! The only thing that dropped my rating was that it came to a couple lulls in the middle. Overall, I would still definitely recommend this one to anyone looking for a suspense novel and I will for sure be picking up more from Walker!

3.5 stars

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