Book review: The Night Before

the night before

The Night Before
by Wendy Walker
St. Martin’s Press/Macmillan

Genre: Thriller/Mystery
320 pages


Buy the book

I found All is Not Forgotten and Emma in the Night to be great psychological thrillers, with good suspense, depth in characters, and excellent writing. I’m glad to present to you today The Night Before, the upcoming novel by the same author, Wendy Walker. I was lucky to win this book! Thanks to the generous publishers!

There are definitely some common elements with the two previous novels.
The main character is also a young woman, Laura here, who has experienced a traumatic event as a teen. Years later, she is still struggling with what happened that day, and she sees a psychologist to help her, especially as the trauma seems to make her irresistibly choose the wrong men.
The last one left her, so she’s back living with her sister Rosie, her husband, (and their toddler). The three of them actually grew up together as neighbors.

The chapters alternate between notes from these sessions with Dr Broody; between Laura’s perspective, as she goes out on a Thursday night with a date she found on a dating site. And between her sister Rosie’s perspective, getting more and more worried in the aftermath of that date. I don’t want to reveal more about the plot.

One thing I didn’t understand, and I didn’t see the relevance of, is the fact that the sessions with her psychologist are not presented in chronological order. Why? Let me know when you read the book, I’m curious.

Apart from that, I found it extremely well done, to the point that for most of the book, I kept wondering if Laura was a victim or a culprit, or both (as nicely hint at on the book cover), even though I started collecting hints at what happened at a third of the novel.

I like the strong psychological elements in Walker’s novels, and the fragility of her heroines. And some totally unexpected twists in the evolution of the characters, and in the complexity of the relationships between them all.

I find Wendy Walker to be a strong author, and I’m looking forward to reading more books by her.

VERDICT: Strong psychological thriller, with nice twists and complex characters.

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Any other good rcent psychological thriller?



13 thoughts on “Book review: The Night Before

  1. Sounds interesting though I know I would struggle with the lack of chronology of the psychology sessions. I get easily confused when the time frame of a novel changes several times.


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