Before We Met

Before We Met

3.7 58
by Lucie Whitehouse

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Hannah, independent, headstrong, and determined not to follow in the footsteps of her bitterly divorced mother, has always avoided commitment. But one hot New York summer she meets Mark Reilly, a fellow Brit, and is swept up in a love affair that changes all her ideas about what marriage might mean.

Now, living in their elegant, expensive London townhouse and


Hannah, independent, headstrong, and determined not to follow in the footsteps of her bitterly divorced mother, has always avoided commitment. But one hot New York summer she meets Mark Reilly, a fellow Brit, and is swept up in a love affair that changes all her ideas about what marriage might mean.

Now, living in their elegant, expensive London townhouse and adored by her fantastically successful husband, she knows she was right to let down her guard.

But when Mark does not return from a business trip to the U.S. and when the hours of waiting for him stretch into days, the foundations of Hannah's certainty begin to crack. Why do Mark's colleagues believe he has gone to Paris not America? Why is there no record of him at his hotel? And who is the mysterious woman who has been telephoning him over the last few weeks?

Hannah begins to dig into her husband's life, uncovering revelations that throw into doubt everything she has ever believed about him. As her investigation leads her away from their fairytale romance into a place of violence and fear she must decide whether the secrets Mark has been keeping are designed to protect him or protect her . . .

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Whitehouse (The Bed I Made) takes a familiar premise—a woman with doubts about her new husband—and spins it into an intriguing thriller that avoids romantic-suspense clichés. Hannah, an ad executive in her early 30s living in New York City, falls in love with fellow Brit Mark Reilly, marries him, and moves into his palatial London home. Several months later, he fails to return from a business trip to New York and calls her with implausible excuses. After learning that he told coworkers he was going to Rome and that he hasn’t checked into his usual hotel, Hannah suspects an affair. As she struggles with her trust issues, she must consider whether Mark is trying to protect her. Initial flashbacks slow the narrative, but it soon picks up speed and builds to a tense, unexpected climax. Hannah is a strong and likable heroine, although readers looking for character depth and development may be unsatisfied by the superficial treatment of her marriage and troubled family. Agent: Claire Conrad, Janklow & Nesbit. (Jan.)
From the Publisher

“[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

Kirkus Reviews
Whitehouse's latest (The House at Midnight, 2008, etc.) examines the relationship between two newlyweds following the husband's disappearance; the wife knows little about his past. Hannah was a career girl in New York. Though English by birth, she moved to the U.S. to work in public relations and found her dream job, but what she didn't find was her dream mate. Hesitant to get too involved with anyone she met, Hannah hit her mid-30s without finding the right guy. Then, mutual friends introduced her to a fellow Brit, the handsome Mark Reilly, who founded his own wildly successful company. Following a whirlwind courtship and a quick marriage, he and Hannah returned to London, where she began job hunting. Unhappy with staying at home, even though the home is a posh place that's been painstakingly refurbished with the finest finishes, Hannah's been unable to find a job. But being unemployed really hits home when Hannah's unable to find Mark while he's off on a business trip. Although he leaves voice mails claiming to be in New York, his colleagues think he's with Hannah in Rome. After snooping through his office, Hannah discovers something disturbing: Mark's pulled the equity out of their home and drained both of their bank accounts, leaving her with a couple of pounds on which to survive. Why has Mark acted this way? Is he having an affair, or is the reason much more sinister? These are questions Hannah tries to answer in this edge-of-your-seat psychological thriller that follows each twist and turn in Hannah's search for the truth behind Mark's odd and off-putting behavior. Whitehouse cleverly builds the suspense bit by bit, taking the reader deftly from the couple's initial newlywed bliss to Hannah's growing realization that things may not be what they seem. Astute readers will pick up on clues that things aren't right before the hapless Hannah, but they'll still enjoy this well-drawn, taught thriller all the way to the end.

Product Details

Bloomsbury USA
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
10.30(w) x 6.70(h) x 1.20(d)

Meet the Author

Lucie Whitehouse was born in Warwickshire, England in 1975, read Classics at Oxford University and now lives in Brooklyn, New York. She is author of The House at Midnight and the The Bed I Made.

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Before We Met: A Novel 3.7 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 58 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a great fast read. Do you really know the man you married? Is Nick really so bad, is Mark a genuine good guy? Did the fact that Nick was the favorite child shape Mark's future? When snooping, are you really read for the answers you get? All these questions face Hannah in this fast paced story with lots of twists and turns.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What an intriguing premise, cleverly told, with well-defined characters.   Meet Hannah, newly married to handsome, wealthy Mark.    Over the course of a few days, Hannah discovers secrets and betrayals that makes her doubt her husband and his motives.  This book is impossible to put down; fortunately it only takes a few hours to read!
buttercupCM More than 1 year ago
Recommend. Love mystery books with striking female characters, strong women with a no nonsense approach and a willingness to search for the truth. Book meets my expectations. Enjoy
camilledimaio More than 1 year ago
This book is the perfect example of why it's worth it to push through a few lackluster chapters and get in to the meat of the story. It starts conventionally, but finds its pace and makes for a great ride. Hannah is afraid of marriage after watching the dismantling of her parents'. But, everything changes when she meets Mark, seemingly the perfect guy for her. Or is he? After moving with him across the ocean, leaving behind friends and a beloved job, all is bliss until he doesn't return home from a business trip. Hannah uncovers layers of lies, but they are all put to rest with very reasonable explanations. Yet, her inner voice keeps nagging her as more becomes revealed - a decades-old murder, the mysterious whereabouts of her in-laws, missing money and more, create a tension that will have you up at night waiting to see what happens. Hold the nail polish! Your fingers might be bitten down to nothing with this thrilling read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I think this is a great book and I highly recommend it! Lots of twists and turns, and even though I picked up on the clues before the end, I still kept wanting to turn the page.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was definitely full of twists. I saw this book in a magazine and read a snippet of the review, and decided to try it. I was definitely hooked on it and couldn't turn the pages fast enough.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Enjoyed book same vein as gone girl
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book. The premise was intriguing and the writing style flowed well. I felt there was too much personal questioning at times, especially in the beginning of the book. I also did figure out the ending beforehand, but all in all, it was an entertaining story
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A suspense which proves people should really know each other before marrying. The story has many twists and turns and would have rated 5-stars by this reader if I understood all the Queen's English slang. Yes, it is filled with the Queen's slang and a few profanity words but the slang is what I had a difficult time getting past. I ended up closing the story several times and picking it up a day or so later. If you understand and are not bother by the Queen's English, by all means try this book. As others have written it is intriguing and indeed has many twists and turns. In the end, I was glad I stuck with it and finished the story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I could have done without the first 100 pages. It takes way too long to get into the story. I only made it to the end because i hate to not finish a book. Main character was annoying.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. It always kept me guessing and wondering. I struggled the whole book deciding how I felt about the main character's husband. Well worth the buy.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good book. Couple of times I got confused when she'd flashback without warning. Fast read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
will buy her other book I enjoyed this book.
Anonymous 3 months ago
Seemed to find myself bored along the way. Couldn't even tell it was a "thriller" until the end I guess.
Anonymous 3 months ago
Anonymous 4 months ago
Suspenseful, a good enjoyable read.
Anonymous 4 months ago
Plot moves along nicely. Leaves you constantly guessing. There is a twist at the end.
Anonymous 7 months ago
I hated the main character Hannah from the almost start. She immediately thought the worst case scenario and had no chance from there. How naive can one person really be ?? I finished reading the book just to see what happened.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A little slow to start but a good plot twist. Kept me guessing
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this read very much. The characters were realistic and the plot was very good. All in all and good book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very unusual story, but one that keeps you guessing.
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