Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Before We Met: A Novel Hardcover – January 21, 2014
All Books, All the Time
Read author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more at the Amazon Book Review. Read it now
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
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
“[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
Top customer reviews
On what seems like just a typical Friday night, Hannah Reilly decides to surprise her husband Mark by meeting him at London's Heathrow Airport, where he's scheduled to arrive on a flight from New York. This is familiar territory, as Mark's company used to have New York and London offices. But once everyone from his flight makes it through customs, Mark isn't among the crowd. Hannah is concerned, but can't seem to reach Mark—his cellphone goes right to voice mail. Did he miss his flight? Did something happen?
The next day, she gets a phone call from a tremendously apologetic Mark, who explains the reasons he was detained and unable to call. But that is after she finds out from one of his colleagues that he said he was taking Hannah to Rome this weekend. And why isn't Mark at the hotel he usually stays at while he's in New York, and why hasn't he given her a number to reach him at?
Although Mark promises to return on Tuesday, Hannah is becoming more suspicious, although she swore she'd never be the type of woman who spied on her husband and pried in his business, after she saw what her mother's similar actions did to her parents' marriage. But the more she looks into things to find answers, she finds only more questions. How much does she actually know her husband? Who is the woman he's apparently been talking to on the phone behind closed doors? Is Mark in some kind of trouble with his business?
Lucie Whitehouse ratchets up the suspense incrementally, to the point where you're not quite sure what to believe either. While this book veers into territory we've seen numerous times before, it's a credit to Whitehouse's storytelling ability that you can't stop reading, you can't stop wondering just where things will go. Are there valid excuses for what Hannah finds out? Has Mark been trying to protect her, or simply himself?
This was a quick read for me, and one that completely satisfied me. It doesn't matter that there weren't many surprises—even as you see things coming and you know what questions Hannah should be asking, you want to find out where the story will go. That's the mark (no pun intended) of a pretty great read.
Hannah begins a search ... and finds that everything he has ever told her has been a lie. His parents are not dead ... he did not meet his best friends in college .... and he has always refused to talk about his brother, Nick. On top of that, her back account has been wiped out.
When Mark finally shows up, she confronts him with his lies. And he tells her his version ...but is it really the truth ... or some more of his lies?
And when a female acquaintance is found murdered .... she fears for her very life.
This was a rare book I didn't like the characters. I couldn't connect with Hannah .. she seemed so naive for an adult woman. Mark was just too good to be true... until he wasn't.
This was just an okay book for me.
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.
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.