Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Book Review: "The Night Before" by Wendy Walker

Well, that was a wild ride!! At some point I figure my pulse will stop racing.

Laura is getting ready for a blind date. She isn't quite sure if she's ready to date again after a bad breakup not too long ago, but something about this man's picture, his profile, their conversations, makes her hopeful and excited.

It hasn't been easy for Laura since she moved back to her hometown, moved in with her older sister Rosie and her family. Because years ago Laura was involved in a tragic, mysterious incident, and no one really knows the truth of what happened, but it's haunted her every day since then. She doesn't like when people judge her or mistrust her—or even fear her—but she knows some do. And inherently, she knows Rosie is still worried about her.

Laura goes on the date—and then disappears. Rosie, her husband, and a family friend are left trying to figure out what happened that night. But to do so, they must uncover the truth about what happened to Laura all those years ago, and what other incidents that night has set off in her life since then.

The less said about the plot the better, because there is a lot going on and there are a lot of twists and turns to navigate. Wendy Walker definitely takes you on a ride, ratcheting up the suspense as you wonder what all of these characters are hiding. (I trust no one, so I suspect they're all hiding something.)

The Night Before alternates narration between Laura getting ready for the date and as the date happens, and the present, as Rosie searches for answers. It's a fascinating, compelling read that hooked me from its very innocuous start, as Laura is getting dressed for her date. But Walker only hints at what's to come.

This book doesn't come out until mid-May of next year, so if you can't get your hands on an advance copy, I'd definitely recommend one of Walker's earlier books, Emma in the Night. (See my review.) I think this new book is a little better than that one, but it still gives you an idea of Walker's storytelling talent.

We're in the midst of a real glut of thrillers, so it's not always easy to tell which are worth your time. The Night Before definitely is. You'll see everyone reading it come next year!

NetGalley and St. Martin's Press provided me an advance copy of the book in exchange for an unbiased review. Thanks for making this available!

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