before we met

“Hannah Reilly has seized her chance at happiness. Until the day her husband doesn’t come home… Can you ever really know what happened before you met?”

17978144This third novel by Lucie Whitehouse, explores the relationship between Hannah Reilly and her husband Mark, who she married in a whirlwind romance, and encapsulates the new genre of ‘marriage thriller’ made popular by Gillian Flynn’s ‘Gone Girl’ and SJ Watson’s ‘Before I go to Sleep’. In a similar vein to last months read, ‘The Husband’s Secret’, Whitehouse raises the question of how well do you really know your husband?

Hannah is the stereotypical career girl in her thirties, more intent on having a good time and enjoying life rather than settling down and certainly not contemplating marriage. Living in New York she has a successful job in advertising, however when she is swept off her feet by Mark Reilly and they settle down in the UK, she is left without a job and somewhat dispirited.

Her cause for concern comes when waiting for Mark at Heathrow to return from a business trip, only his flight doesn’t come in, he doesn’t call her and his secretary lets something slip that perhaps she shouldn’t. With Hannah’s trust in her husband starting to break down, she takes matters into her own hands and does some digging around of her own. Is he having an affair? Why doesn’t he ever talk about his family? Why has her bank account been cleared? As it becomes clear that this marriage has been based on a bed of lies how will Hannah confront her husband and with what consequence. A sensationally gripping book that had me on the edge of my sun longer.

Included in the Richard and Judy Summer Book club 2014 list, I chose this as my summer holiday beach read and I was not disappointed. Having not yet given into buying a Kindle, choosing the right books to take on holiday with me is important. There is no way I’m going to use my baggage allowance on heavy books, shoes will always win, so I restrict myself to two or three books. I am happy to say that I definitely chose the right books, ‘before we met’ being one of them. Unfortunately, I enjoyed the book so much I managed to finish reading it in two days and was left having to rummage through the hotel’s rather poor ‘library’ selection of left behind Jilly Coopers and Jackie Collins’. Maybe I will put that Kindle on my birthday list after all!

Next month’s book: ‘The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry

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