I am delighted to be hosting Peter Swanson and ‘Before She Knew Him’ today as part of the blog tour. Huge thank to Faber for the blog tour invite and ARC. Here is my review:
‘They had a secret, the two of them, and there was no better way to start a friendship than with a secret.’
When Hen and Lloyd move into their new house in West Dartford, Mass., they’re relieved to meet, at their first block party, the only other seemingly-childless couple in their neighborhood, Matthew and Mira Dolamore. Turns out they live in the Dutch Colonial immediately next door.
When they’re invited over for dinner, however, things take a sinister turn when Hen thinks she sees something suspicious in Matthew’s study. Could this charming, mild-mannered College Professor really be hiding a dark secret, one that only Hen, whose been battling her own problems with depression and medication, could know about? Lloyd certainly doesn’t seem to believe her, and so, forced together, Hen and Matthew start to form an unlikely bond. But who, if anyone, is really in danger?
What does TWG think?
My mind is still reeling from this book!! ‘Before She Knew Him’ is a slow burner where the characters personalities don’t come into their own until the story becomes stronger the further it progressed. That’s not a bad thing at all, in fact it was a wise move from the author because we got to know more about the characters on an intimate basis, one by one, highlighting their flaws alongside the wonders of their personalities.
I will admit that I wasn’t too taken on the overall storyline to begin with as there seemed to be a lot of bouts of ‘nothing’ with limited amounts of ‘something’, and I struggled to see just what the hook was. However, due to my sheer nosiness, my intrigue overtook everything else and I persevered. Boy I’m glad I did! Once I stopped looking for the big thing in the book, I was able to relax and just go with the flow which meant that I was able to enjoy the cleverly written psychological elements of the book.
Mental health is the main theme of the book, but the way in which the author incorporated the theme into his storyline caught me completely off guard. Before I knew it, there were shocking situations and jaw dropping admissions shooting off from all angles – it’s safe to say that I raced through the final part of the book!
Peter Swanson is such a clever author who has written a blinder of a novel which kept on surprising me until the very last page. I am so glad that I persevered with ‘Before She Knew Him’ – i highly recommend this gritfest!!