Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Review: Before She Knew Him by Peter Swanson

Peter Swanson is back and his new book has a clever premise; Kerry Hammond is here with her review.

Before She Knew Him by Peter Swanson was published on March 5, in Hardcover, by William Morrow. Swanson is an award winning author of five standalone novels. You can find a Mystery Playground review of his psychological thriller The Kind Worth Killing HERE.

Before She Knew Him is a story about your average neighbors. Well, it would be if you thought that your average neighbor was a murderer. Hen and Lloyd have moved in next door to Mira and Matthew; both couples are about the same age, childless, and willing to make new friends. During a tour of the house before dinner, Hen spots something on the mantel in Matthew’s office that makes her think he was involved in a currently unsolved murder of a college student. Since Hen suffers from depression, and has a past incident where her paranoia got the better of her, Lloyd thinks she is imagining things. Unfortunately, so do the police.

When Hen witnesses another event, she is convinced she’s right about Mathew. The problem is, he knows she’s a witness. Both Hen and Matthew now need to figure out who they can trust, and whether or not it might be each other. What follows is a sort of cat and mouse game where the stakes are high and the end game is unknown.

I enjoyed this book. Swanson has created interesting characters and thrown them into an impossible situation. Just when I thought I knew where the story was going, he switched it up and took it in a new direction. It was fun to play “what if” and ponder what I would have done if I were Hen at each stage of the action. Swanson delivers an engaging story with an interesting plot and an end twist you won’t see coming.

This book was provided to Mystery Playground by the publisher. The review was fair and completely independent.

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