New Audiobook Review: Before She Knew Him

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Rated 3.5 of 5 stars

I’m a Swanson fan. I enjoyed the audio version of this novel but felt the writing was slow and repetitive at times. The story follows Hen, a bipolar artist, who is married to Lloyd and moving into a new home. The neighbors (anyone that loves Swanson knows he likes the neighbor approach to his suspense novels!) are Matthew and Mira. Matthew is a high school history teacher while Mira is a publishing consultant who travels a lot for work. After meeting for a dinner at Matthew and Mira’s house, Hen sees something in Matthew’s office that triggers a memory and makes her suspect he is not who he says he is. Unfortunately, no one believes her because of her mental state. And this is a perfect opportunity for someone who wants to take advantage…

Readers will like the suspense in the novel but I found this novel to be one of Swanson’s slower paced books. I thought the main character, Hen, was very believable in her curiosity and fear. Unfortunately, it was the author’s choice to keep repeating events in different ways that began to irk me. I wanted to know more depth of the characters upbringing and not the same ‘we had a tough upbringing’ conversation with only bits and pieces of one event that sticks into the mind of the antagonists. Also, I felt that the antagonist’s reasoning was slightly weak to stand on but still thought the twist was done well. I hadn’t seen in coming. Overall, I enjoyed this book but wouldn’t recommend it be a first time readers choice of a Swanson book. I’d recommend starting with “The Kind Worth Killing” if you are interested in the talents of Peter Swanson.

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