Book Review: Peter Swanson’s ‘Before She Knew Him’

E04CB11E-5563-4078-B7FE-7C4C3A375A58A B.A. Paris-meets-A.J. Finn story on steroids.

After dinner at the home of the couple next door (which is a Shari Lapena novel altogether), one wife is convinced that the other’s husband is a murderer, and sets out to prove it.

It becomes a cat-and-mouse, with the hyper-astute characters acknowledging coincidences (that pop out along with clues) as they obsess over, and withhold secrets from, each other. It asks the familiar question: How well can you really know another person?, but will surprise even the most fastidious readers at one point in its answer.

Peter Swanson fans should enjoy this novel more than his last two. Those who haven’t read any of the author’s books (or certain domestic noir novels of late) should 5-star delight in it.

He has a penchant for animal references in this one, with characters having either pig or fox faces and nicknames “Bear” and “Hen“, and a catβ€”who really should have been the one named Henriettaβ€”who looks like an owl (not to mention the Owl’s Head tavern).

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A super choice for book clubs. I plan to add discussion topics and questions to this review.

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Release date: March 5, 2019

Thanks to Harper Collins for the ARC!