Book Title and Author: The Night Before by Wendy Walker
Publication Date and Publisher: May 14, 2019 by St. Martin’s Press
Genre: Fiction, Thriller, Mystery
Pages: 320 pages
Buy on Amazon.com
Date Read: October 25, 2018 (e-arc)
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…
Wendy Walker is an outstanding author and her third psychological thriller, The Night Before takes the genre a whole new level with its intelligent, engrossing writing and shrewd twists! I loved this book in an almost indescribable way. It’s a stellar, stay-up-all-night thriller—the hours flew by as I flipped the pages of this fast-paced book to get to the ending that I never, ever saw coming!
An online date takes an ominous turn when Laura Lochner never comes home that night or the next morning. Her sister Rosie, who Laura has been living with since a nasty breakup with her ex-boyfriend, can’t help but worry since Laura has an extremely troubled past with men. As the hours pass and there’s no answer from Laura’s phone, Rosie begins searching her sister’s computer for answers about her date, Jonathan Fields, which leads to lots of questions with no answers. Rosie, her husband Joe, and an old family friend then begin trying to trace Laura’s steps since she was last seen and eventually the police become involved.
The story is told in dual narratives: Laura’s first-person POV of her date and everything that happened after is entwined with Rosie’s attempts to track down her sister’s blind date and trace her movements. We learn from both sister’s narratives that a horrible event happened to Laura in high school that she’s carried with her all through her adulthood; it’s caused her to have serious issues with men and how she perceives love. I thought Laura’s character and story were the most riveting as she’s tragic and at times tortured because of her past issues. Walker’s characterization was gripping and made you feel deeply for her character.
The ending was unexpected, thanks to Walker’s bluffs, and quite unsettling. Talk about a twisty, compelling book that I know will be a huge hit this year and is most definitely one of my favorite thrillers of 2019!
**Thank you, NetGalley and St.Martin’s Press for the ARC to read in exchange for an honest review.**