Review of The Night Before | Wendy Walker | TBR etc.
Publication Date: May 14th, 2019
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press #partner
Page Count: 320
Why I read it: I’m a sucker for a buzzy thriller. And I love the cover.
First Sentence: “I don’t know if this is a good idea.”
Synopsis (From Amazon): 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: This is one of those thrillers that made me nervous about whether it was going to go on the good list or the bad list until the very end. It’s not on the bad list exactly, but I’m not giving it a resounding endorsement. I’ll share my thoughts with hopefully enough detail for you to see if you should pick it up for yourself.
I’d say it’s best to go into this one knowing as little as possible. The story centers on two sisters, Rosie and Laura. Rosie is the quintessential “good” sister, who’s always wanted to be a wife and mother and is used to doing the right thing. Laura is the girl that always felt less than and who is said to have “fists for hands”. In high school, when she was found standing over the body of her boyfriend with a bloody bat in hand, no one was THAT surprised. The story starts in the present day where Laura is coming off of a bad break up and has just moved in with her sister and husband. Despite Rosie’s skepticism, she’s going out on a date with a man she met on a dating site and is hoping for the best.
In my thrillers- I need a couple of things. 1. Protagonists that don’t drive me crazy. I don’t need to like all of my characters, but I HATE flimsy protagonists that have absolutely zero agency. It was touch and go in the beginning but I ended up really rooting for the sisters. 2. A plausible plot. There was one or two things that had me raising my eyebrows, but nothing was THAT out there. Nothing enough to make me write it off, anyway. and 3. A solid ending that makes sense- again, another check. I love when an author slowly feeds you breadcrumbs throughout the story to where you think you have an idea about what’s going on and no matter if you’re right or wrong- you’re see where they’re coming from. (I nearly guessed what happened but never really got it until the end).
One thing that makes me nervous is when a book keeps referring to the BAD THING that happened in the past without really getting into it. This book walked the line of going back to what happened too much, but eventually it turned a corner and I legitimately could not put it down. All in all, a solid thriller that took a minute to get exciting but came together in the end.
Rating: 3.75 stars
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