The Night Before by Wendy Walker

First dates can be murder. 

Laura Lochner has never been lucky in love. She falls too hard and too fast, always choosing the wrong men. Devastated by the end of her last relationship, she fled her Wall Street job and New York City apartment for her sister’s home in the Connecticut suburb where they both grew up. Though still haunted by the tragedy that’s defined her entire life, Laura is determined to take one more chance on love with a man she’s met on an Internet dating site.

Rosie Ferro has spent most of her life worrying about her troubled sister. Fearless but fragile, Laura has always walked an emotional tightrope, and Rosie has always been there to catch her. Laura’s return, under mysterious circumstances, has cast a shadow over Rosie’s peaceful life with her husband and young son – a shadow that grows darker as Laura leaves the house for her blind date. 

When Laura does not return home the following morning, Rosie fears the worst. She’s not responding to calls or texts, and she’s left no information about the man she planned to meet. As Rosie begins a desperate search to find her sister, she is not just worried about what this man might have done to Laura. She’s worried about what Laura may have done to him…

My thoughts:

*I was sent a kindle edition of this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

This book takes you on a wild ride and will keep you gripped right until the end. It’s been a while since I’ve read a thriller and been genuinely shocked or where I haven’t predicted the ending halfway through. So The Night Before was a welcome surprise.

The story is told through the perspective of Laura and her sister, Rosie. In Lauras sections we follow her on her date with the seemingly perfect guy she has met online. From the moment they meet and the strange and disturbing night which follows. In Rosies we see her realise her sister is missing and then kick into gear and desperately try and track her down. All the while helped by her husband and childhood sweetheart Joe and their best friend Gabe. I really enjoyed these dual perspectives in this novel and it worked really well to further the tension and suspense.

I found it interesting that the whole time we are forced to question whether Laura is in genuine danger or whether her date is the one who should be concerned. It all comes back to a traumatic event in Lauras past, when she was a teen, a violent incident involving an ex boyfriend which placed her under suspicion. Interspersed throughout are sessions between Laura and her therapist where they discuss her trauma which also helps paint a picture of Lauras state of mind. Although Laura was cleared of suspicion, Laura and her loved ones are still unsure of what really happened that night in the woods…

I really liked the use of flashbacks and the exploration of the characters pasts. Walker really skilfully weaves together the friendship group here; Laura, Rosie, Joe and Gabe, and it was quite sweet reading about them growing up together and staying close well into adulthood. Because of this being so well written, it’s totally believable that each and every one of these characters would do whatever it takes to find Laura. I always enjoy a book which has strong friendship elements and features a ‘found family’ of sorts so I was pleasantly surprised to find this in a thriller.

While I enjoyed the novel and characters as a whole, there were a few things which I found somewhat repetitive and unnecessary. One major one being how many times it’s reinforced how bad Lauras romantic history is, like okay once or twice we get it. However, it was mentioned an overwhelming amount of times to the point where it gets a tad annoying. I wish there was more room in the novel to explore Laura moving on from her troubled past and finding love, whether that be with someone else or even finding solace in herself.

Overall, The Night Before is a twisty, intriguing and refreshing addition to the thriller genre. I read it in a single sitting, that’s how gripped I was so take that as a sign that you definitely need to read this book! I would highly recommend this story for thriller or mystery addicts or even a reader who wants to get into the genre.

★★★★– 4 Star Rating

Until next time,

Rumaanah


2 thoughts on “The Night Before by Wendy Walker

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