Title: The Night Before
Author: Wendy Walker
Publisher: Orion Publishing Group
Publication Date: 16th May 2019
Rosie Ferro and Laura Heart are sisters, but as different as it is possible to be. One is lucky in love and has a conventional family: a husband, and a small son. The other has a troubled past she is still struggling to break free from.
When Laura disappears after going on a date with a stranger she met online, Rosie, her protector since they were young, springs into action to look for her. But as she slowly uncovers more about the situation, Rosie begins to fear that her sister might have been more of a danger than the man she went out with.
Told in dual timelines – the night of and the night before, Wendy Walker’s new novel is a riveting examination of family loyalty, obsession, and how just how far we will go for love.
I really enjoyed one of Wendy Walker’s previous novels, All Is Not Forgotten, so I was very pleased to read her latest thriller, The Night Before. It follows Laura, a conflicted and complicated woman who goes on a date with a man she has met online and Laura’s sister’s efforts to find her after Laura doesn’t return home from the date. The timeline is split between Rosie, Laura’s sister who is desperately searching for and trying to protect Laura and the events of ‘The Night Before’ whilst Laura is on her date. This set-up worked well as the tension was slowly heightened bit by bit as we learn more and more about what is actually going on here.
Laura herself is a tricky character to get a read on for most of the book. She clearly has a troubled past and the reader is made aware that it is possible Laura has a violent history and was involved in an incident in her youth. She’s not a very easy character to like because of her brittle and enigmatic nature but she is incredibly fascinating to try and unravel. Rosie is a more conventional and likeable character and her intentions and feelings are much more unambiguous. The relationship between these sisters is one of the best parts of The Night Before. There is a deep loyalty between them in a way that is unique to sisters and was a focal point in a story where is is difficult to ascertain who is lying and who is telling the truth.
Walker’s writing has a sort of sharp harshness to it which I really like mostly because it is something a bit out of the ordinary. It works nicely here although I do think some of the dialogue felt slightly strange and off at times. Despite this, I was gripped by what was going on and I was eager to uncover the truth lying behind Laura’s past and her present. I can’t say I loved The Night Before quite as much as All Is Not Forgotten but I am definitely a fan of the way Walker writes and I am looking forward to reading her future work. Overall, The Night Before is a compelling and twisty thriller and is well worth a read.
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I received this e-book through Netgalley. My review is my own honest opinion.