‘The Night Before’ by Wendy Walker ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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Twelve hours earlier, she was…

Hopeful.

Excited.

Safe.

Now she’s gone.

Thank you to NetGalley, St. Martin’s Press and Wendy Walker for the chance to read and review this novel.

One of my favourite things is when you go into a book with a vague synopsis. For me it heightens the tension and mystery. So I was excited to read this book as not only was the synopsis vague but the book has been receiving quite a buzz on bookstagram.

Laura has always been unlucky in love and had a fragile psyche. Fresh from her latest heartbreak she returns to her hometown and decides to try online dating. As she gets ready to go on a first date she is hopeful yet apprehensive. Her protective sister Rosie worries it’s too soon but Laura assures her she’s ready. When Rosie wakes the next morning to find that Laura has not returned she fears the worst. Laura’s not replying to calls or texts and they have no idea who she went to meet, what he looks like or where they met. As Rosie, her husband Joe, and childhood friend, Gabe search for Laura they discover more about her mysterious life and become increasingly worried about what they might find…

Wow!! This was my first read by this author but it certainly won’t be my last. I loved how the story was written in chapters that would alternate between the present day which mainly concentrated on the search for Laura, and flashbacks to Laura’s date the night before. I particularly loved Laura’s chapters. The author skillfully conveyed her insecurities, second guessing and over analysis of everything alongside her eagerness to appear “normal” and not do the things that have steered her in the wrong directions so many times before. She was someone I empathised with an related to as I’m a terrible overthinker myself. I also loved how like Laura we were never quite sure what was true and what wasn’t and that all of her chapters seemed to end on a cliffhanger so I wanted to do nothing but keep reading!

While there is much more I could analyse and say about this book I will stop here because I don’t want to ruin it for anyone else. Part of the joy is in not knowing.

The Night Before is a spectacular psychological thriller that I didn’t want to put down and couldn’t stop thinking about when I did. An easy read that is also a compulsive roller-coaster ride with a jaw-dropping finale and shocking twists. All Is Not Forgotten has been languishing on my shelf for a while, but after this incredible book I will be reading it as soon as possible and buying the author’s other novel. This is a thriller you don’t want to miss.

Out May 14th.

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