Book Review – Before we met by Lucie Whitehouse

Author-Hazel

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…

imageBefore we met is a psychological thriller that follows Hannah, the female protagonist, finding out that her fairytale marriage is not all rainbows and unicorns.

Mark and Hannah, a professional married couple reside in London but met whilst living and working in New York. Hannah is between jobs since they moved back to London but Mark often has to travel back to the U.S for business purposes. It is whilst he is on one of these supposed ‘business’ trips that the story begins.

After some confusion, (Mark not making it back home and not being able to contact Hannah) Mark does call Hannah and gives her a plethora of reasons why he’s not home and why he has not contacted her. Relieved, Hannah accepts his excuses and carries on her day. She then recieves a call back from Mark’s assistant, Neesha. This is when ideas of doubt begin to appear. Neesha believed Mark was surprising Hannah with a trip to Rome for the weekend but to her surprise, Mark is in New York settling a business arrangement!

At this surprising discovery and Hannah’s niggling doubts, she goes on the hunt and discovers something quite shocking!

I quickly became sucked in by this story. It’s fast paced, with quick but thorough character development. Although the world building isn’t all sweeping mountains and glorious sunbeams, it gives just enough information to paint a picture of the characters surroundings. I rapidly became invested in Hannah’s character. She goes through a myriad of feelings and emotions which I felt along with her, testament to Lucie Whitehouse’s writing.

The story and mystery progress, and as you acquire clues and answers to the niggling questions, more doubts and queries arise. The writing is perfectly paced, giving you enough information to keep you wanting more and the story’s structure isn’t just beginning, middle, end. It flows beautifully with shocking revelations throughout but with an incredible twist near the end. As much as I had formed my own ideas and guesses about the plot and characters, I didn’t quite see the end coming and there were times when I gasped out loud whilst reading.

All in all this was a great book, a fantastic psychological thriller and mystery. A brilliant page turner. I recommend picking it up.

Happy reading ❤️📖

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