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Monday, March 16, 2020

The Night Before by Wendy Walker (Paperback release)

The Night Before by Wendy Walker.
Publishing 19th March 2020 in paperback by Orion.
Read May 2019.

Rosie and Laura are sisters, but are different as can be. Rosie was their parents' golden child, while Laura was the difficult sister. They have grown up in the Connecticut woods, running wild with their close friends Joe and Gabe, in what should have been a happy childhood - but all families have secrets.

Rosie has always tried to protect fierce little Laura, especially after their father walked out on them as children, but Laura's past is troubled - there is a darkness about her that seems unfathomable, and she has found it difficult to get over the brutal murder of her first boyfriend one night in the woods around their home. No one is really sure what happened that night, including Laura.

In the present, Rosie is happily married to Joe, and they have a young son together. They are content. Gabe still lives nearby, but Laura has moved away - trying to escape her past and find the love that she feels has always been missing from her life.

Laura goes from one doomed relationship to the next. Her latest relationship has broken down and she has left her high-powered Wall Street job and New York apartment to return home to spend some time with Rosie and her family.

One night, Laura goes on a blind date with a man she has met on an on-line dating site, still trying to find the man who will offer her everything she needs. Rosie is concerned that Laura is taking things too fast, after the latest break-up, but tries to be as supportive as she can.

Unfortunately, Laura does not come home from her date. Where is she? Is she safe?
Rosie starts to question Laura's state of mind, as the search for her missing sister gets underway. Should she be worried about Laura, or should she be concerned for the man she was dating instead? What is Laura really capable of?


The Night Before is a really pacy thriller, with some excellent twists that I did not see coming at all. This is one of those books that pulls you in and you will not be satisfied until you have read to the very end - it is always good when that end is satisfying too, which this one definitely is.

The story alternates between the night before the date, mostly from Laura's point of view, and the day after, when Laura is found to be missing and the search begins - with snippets of Laura's sessions with her therapist thrown in. I really liked this, as it builds suspense well and slowly reveals the horrifying truth about what happened "the night before"......and all those years ago in the woods.

I have read more than a few psychological thrillers, some of which were hyped to the max, but this is actually one of the most exciting I have consumed. The story is gripping, the pacing is good, and the twists actually work. Good job, Wendy Walker!

The Night Before is available in paperback from your favourite book retailer from 19th March 2020.

Thank you to Wendy Walker and Alainna Hadjigeorgiou at Orion for gifting me a copy of this book in return for an honest review.

From the cover of the book:

Rosie Ferro and Laura Heart are sisters, but as different as it is possible to be. One is lucky in love and has a conventional family: a husband, and a small son. The other has a troubled past she is still struggling to break free from.

When Laura disappears after going on a date with a stranger she met online, Rosie, her protector since they were young, springs into action to look for her. But as she slowly uncovers more about the situation, Rosie begins to fear that her sister might have been more of a danger than the man she went out with.

Told in duel timelines - the night of and the night before, Wendy Walker's new novel is a riveting examination of family loyalty, obsession, and how just how far we will go for love.

About the author:

Wendy Walker has worked as an attorney specialising in family law. She lives in Connecticut where she is at work on her next novel.

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