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Before We Met: A Novel
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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
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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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
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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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on May 15, 2014
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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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on March 2, 2014
I truly enjoyed this book. Both the writing and characters were well developed. I admired the tenacity of the main character, and you were truly kept effectively guessing until the end. I also appreciated that the story could've taken place anywhere although it's set in England. I also liked that the ending was not formulary or predictable.
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16 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on January 6, 2014
Hannah thought she had it all, then one night her she stood at Arrivals in Heathrow airport waiting to meet her husband Mark off the flight from New York and he didn't show. A sleepless night worrying was ended when he phoned the next day...or it would have been if she hadn't already phoned a colleague in his London Office who seemed to think that her and Mark were spending the weekend in Rome. This revelation and Marks story that he'd been delayed and lost his phone was enough to set alarm bells ringing and Hannah found that sense of unease growing sending her into a downward spiral of suspicion and distrust.

I really liked this book, the character of Hannah was well portrayed and her uncertainties about her husband, her realization about just how little she knew about his past were really well written and intriguing. A well paced novel that moves easily between past and present and even though I'd worked out the final twist before I got there this is still a novel I'd definitely recommend

Recommend it if you like psychological thrillers with the odd twist or two, an advance reading copy was provided by the publisher for review purposes.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on May 12, 2014
Recommended by my local newspaper in New Zealand. delighted to find it on Amazon to download. The plot was unusual but very believable. I could not put this book down, a very easy read with a unpredictable ending. a excellent read!
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on March 19, 2014
The book started out okay. I read the first half but got annoyed with the protagonist's constant questions about her husband's behavior. Example: Could he have done this? Did he do this? What was going on? Where is he? This went on and on and on to the point where I did not care where her husband was, what he was doing, etc. I finished the last ten pages to see what happened. Not worth the money or time. With all the good books out there, avoid this one. Story and writing were sub par. I was very disappointed. Read Gone Girl, The Silent Wife or The Husband's Secret. Very good books!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on March 2, 2014
I could not put this book down! Suspenseful, intriguing, gripping and thrilling! I now have to read the other books that the author has written.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on July 18, 2014
This is a marriage thriller. It seems like a new genre, where the wife begins to suspect that her husband is not what he seems, because there have been a few lately. For example, Before I Go To Sleep, The Husband's Secret or You Should Have Known. The antecedent is probably Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca, but I am sure the plot turns up in the work of Agatha Christie, but I cannot recall specifically where. 

If you are interested in this genre , this book is not the place to start. The Husband's Secret and Before I Go to Sleep are much more clever in the way they deploy the basic idea that you can be close to someone and not know them. And they are better written.

I won't say more because, then I would have to get into spoilers.
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