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Before We Met: A Novel Hardcover – January 21, 2014


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Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for 2014's Best Books of the Year in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA (January 21, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1620402750
  • ISBN-13: 978-1620402757
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.1 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (185 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #268,514 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Hannah Reilly waits at Heathrow to welcome her husband, Mark, home from a business trip. Only Mark never shows. Credit Whitehouse (The House at Midnight, 2009) for opening her latest novel with a crackerjack premise that will hook readers from the first page. Mark’s reappearance—a lost cell phone and a last-minute client meeting explain away his absence—does little to relieve the tension, as seeds of doubt have been planted in Hannah’s mind. Having watched her mother drive her father away with suspicions of cheating, Hannah has been almost willfully trusting of Mark, but the more she digs into her husband’s business dealings and past, the more questions arise. Because Whitehouse has cleverly structured her work as a romantic thriller, with Mark presented as a classic leading man, she’s able to pull off a red herring of a revelation that amps up the plot’s suspense. She doesn’t fully maintain her momentum as the novel gets caught up in exposition, but when Whitehouse sticks to the chase, this is a gripping cat-and-mouse read. --Patty Wetli

Review

"[An] edge-of-your-seat psychological thriller." - Kirkus Reviews
 
"Will hook readers from the first page... A gripping cat-and-mouse read." - Booklist
 
"This one is hard to put down." - Family Circle
 
"An intriguing thriller that avoids romantic-suspense clichés... Builds to a tense, unexpected climax."  - Publishers Weekly
 
"Doubts, secrets and lies drive the engrossing suspense, as Whitehouse effectively employs flashbacks to examine the before and after of Hannah and Mark . . . This well-written and well-plotted psychological thriller peels back layers of information, with deepening implications that will keep readers guessing through chilling twists and turns." -Shelf Awareness
 
"As tense a read as Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl ... Read in one sitting." - ASOS

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Customer Reviews

It all ended up being a bit too contrived for my liking.
Miss Bonnie
Thoroughly enjoyed the story line, kept you wanting to keep turning the pages and very well written.
joan moriarty
Ehh...started out good but you will figure out what is going on before you get halfway through.
Cassandra D Hopson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Julia Flyte TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 7, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is the second book by Lucie Whitehouse that I have read and she really is excellent at building up the tension, taking you from a place where all is right in the world to a sense that perhaps things aren't quite what they seem to oh my goodness, I cannot put this book down! Before We Met is a real page turner. It hooked me in almost immediately and I read it in one evening.

I don't want to say too much about the story because it's best to let it unfold without knowing too much. Suffice to say that Hannah and Mark met about 18 months ago and have been married for around 6 months. When the book opens, she is at Heathrow Airport to meet him as he arrives back from a business trip to New York. However he doesn't get off the plane. Hannah doesn't know where he is, and when she tries to track his whereabouts, nothing seems to make any sense.

Now that I've finished the book, I can see some flaws in it. There are a couple of plot holes and the ending gets pretty ridiculous. It's also the kind of book where explanations tend to be accompanied by lengthy back stories which I occasionally found slightly annoying. But despite these problems, it's just a very enjoyable, page turning, suspenseful read that would be perfect for a plane flight or beach holiday when you want something gripping but not too taxing.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By the GreatReads! TOP 500 REVIEWER on January 6, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
Having watched her parent’s marriage fall apart, the idea of a happily-ever-after is just an illusion to Hannah, who is in her thirties, and she is determined not to make the same mistake. She is focused on her career, and made a name for herself in advertising. But when she is introduced to a fellow Londoner, Mark Reilly, one hot New York summer weekend getaway, Hannah is carried off her feet. She end up not only in love, but gets married and move back to London with her new husband, giving up all her dreams.

Mark has a successful software business in London. And he’s contemplating selling his business which will make him millions. Things seem to be going perfectly smooth for both until the night Hannah finds herself at the arrivals gate at Heathrow to meet him after one of his business trips and he fails to show up. She is gripped by a bout of suspicion and starts digging his past and uncovers secrets that he had kept safely hidden away from her. Mark has not been truthful about many things. She finds herself in the same shoes that her mother was in years earlier.

When she inquired with a colleague, she was informed that he probably might be in Rome. But when he rang her up the following day, he tells a different story – that he’s been delayed and lost his phone. Who will she believe? Is Mark really the Mark she married?

Before We Met is swift, riveting and simply absorbing. It is a thriller with good doses of romance thrown in. It is well written, tight, and keeps you guessing what will happen next. A nail-biting read that will keep you glued to the end.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Denise Crawford TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 28, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
What a thrilling novel -- full of suspense and ever-changing direction as Hannah tries to figure out if her loving husband, the wealthy and handsome Mark Reilly, is telling her the truth. And, if not, what secrets is he hiding?

Hannah waits for Mark at Heathrow; he's supposed to return from a business trip to New York. When he's a no-show, she tries to call and email him and receives no response. Worried that something untoward has happened and told that he's not registered at his usual hotel, Hannah contacts colleagues at his company who are perplexed to hear that Mark has not taken her on a surprise trip to Rome. Initially only worried about his safety, she becomes suspicious and more concerned when she finds disturbing financial information and discovers that a woman has been calling him at work. Is this evidence of an extramarital affair or something far more sinister? The plot thickens when Hannah realizes that Mark has told her some HUGE LIES as well as left out some particularly horrendous information about his background and family.

I was totally glued to the pages as I raced through this novel in the space of an evening. The twists and turns the narrative takes as Hannah is led first one way and then another makes the novel completely captivating. I could hardly wait to get to the end of the mystery when all was finally revealed.

If you've been waiting for another novel that is constantly leaving you wondering what is going to happen next, this is for you. Highly recommended for suspense thriller fans!

Thank you to NetGalley and Bloomsbury USA for the ebook ARC to review.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By BemisReviewsBooks on May 15, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Hannah loves Mark, Mark loves Hannah. After a brief courtship, They decide to marry. Hannah gives up her Manhattan job in advertising and moves across the pond into Mark's big house. Mark is rich. He owns his own company and is doing quite well. Hannah is a career girl at heart who wants to work. Though they have only been married a few months, she is actively pursuing a job in England but keeps coming up short. One day Hannah arrives at the airport to pick Mark up from a latest business trip and he mysteriously never shows up. Now the fun starts. She cannot get hold of him. She is worried but at the same time she finds out her personal bank account has been emptied of her life savings. With no money or source of income, Hannah begins to dig and finds out a whole lot more about Mark than she ever could have imagined.

The story was good overall but lacked the wow factor of Gone Girl. It isn't hard to figure out what is going on though you will have to wait till the end to find out how all the pieces fit together. Hannah is a likable heroine whose naiveté (marrying a man she literally knows nothing about but from what he told her) is balanced out by her sleuthing skills and willingness to put herself in uncomfortable spots to learn the truth. This would have been a very commendable first effort. It is a quick, entertaining read that comes with a strong warning or a good reminder.
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