Before She Knew Him

Before She Knew Him

3.86 (45,956 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

Catching a killer is dangerous--especially if he lives next door

From the hugely talented author of The Kind Worth Killing comes an exquisitely chilling tale of a young suburban wife with a history of psychological instability whose fears about her new neighbor could lead them both to murder . . .

Hen and her husband Lloyd have settled into a quiet life in a new house outside of Boston, Massachusetts. Hen (short for Henrietta) is an illustrator and works out of a studio nearby, and has found the right meds to control her bipolar disorder. Finally, she's found some stability and peace.

But when they meet the neighbors next door, that calm begins to erode as she spots a familiar object displayed on the husband's office shelf. The sports trophy looks exactly like one that went missing from the home of a young man who was killed two years ago. Hen knows because she's long had a fascination with this unsolved murder--an obsession she doesn't talk about anymore, but can't fully shake either.

Could her neighbor, Matthew, be a killer? Or is this the beginning of another psychotic episode like the one she suffered back in college, when she became so consumed with proving a fellow student guilty that she ended up hurting a classmate?

The more Hen observes Matthew, the more she suspects he's planning something truly terrifying. Yet no one will believe her. Then one night, when she comes face to face with Matthew in a dark parking lot, she realizes that he knows she's been watching him, that she's really on to him. And that this is the beginning of a horrifying nightmare she may not live to escape. . .
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Product details

  • Hardback | 320 pages
  • 160 x 234 x 28mm | 454g
  • English
  • 0062838156
  • 9780062838155
  • 2,326,150

Back cover copy

From the hugely talented author of The Kind Worth Killing comes an exquisitely chilling tale of a young suburban wife with a history of psychological instability whose fears about her new neighbor could lead them both to murder. . . .

Hen and her husband, Lloyd, have settled into a quiet life in a suburban house outside of Boston. Hen (short for Henrietta) is an illustrator and has set up shop in a nearby studio, where she can forget the world and focus on her craft. After a few exhausting years of trial and error she has found the right meds to control her bipolar disorder. Finally, she's found some stability and peace to do what she loves--create.

But when they meet the couple next door, that calm begins to erode when she spots a familiar object in the husband's office. It looks exactly like something connected to a killing that happened years ago--one of very few pieces of evidence in a disturbing and baffling case. Hen recognizes it instantly because she's long had a fascination with this unsolved murder--an obsession she doesn't talk about anymore, but can't fully shake either.

Could her neighbor Matthew be a killer? Or is this the beginning of another psychotic episode like the one she suffered in college, when she became so consumed with a friend's guilt that she ended up hurting someone? The more Hen observes Matthew, the more she suspects he's planning something truly terrifying. Yet no one will believe her. Then one night, when she comes face-to-face with Matthew in the dark, she realizes that he knows she's been watching him, that she really is on to him. And that this is the start of a horrifying nightmare she may not live to escape. . . . With the highly seductive suspense and shocking twists that are his trademark, Peter Swanson once again delivers a tantalizing story of obsession and manipulation, sure to please fans of the modern classics by Ruth Ware, Paula Hawkins, and Gillian Flynn.
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Review quote

"There's a neat twist at the end, but the real surprise is the way characters are allowed to grieve their losses, a luxury not always allowed in stories of this type. For a fast-paced thriller, Before She Knew Him achieves an impressive significance in its pauses."--BookPage
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Rating details

45,956 ratings
3.86 out of 5 stars
5 23% (10,416)
4 47% (21,394)
3 25% (11,704)
2 4% (2,005)
1 1% (437)
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