Before She Knew Him by Peter Swanson: Book Review

Before She Knew Him  by Peter Swanson
Published March 5, 2019 by William Morrow
320 Pages

From Publisher: an exquisitely chilling tale of a young suburban wife with a history of psychological instability whose fears about her new neighbor could lead them both to murder . . .

My Thoughts: I should probably apologize in advance for this extremely vague review BUT this is most definitely a book you don’t want to know much about going in. Trust me. Also, I loved/hated this book so rather than be super confusing with my details as to why I’ll just give you a quick overview.

As I said, I loved this book so much…up until I didn’t.  For much of the book,  I couldn’t wait to pick this back up when life intervened. But then a plot development happened and I’ll admit, I got pretty mad.

Hen and her husband Lloyd are new in the neighborhood and have been invited to their neighbor’s house for a party. When Hen notices a statue on the shelf in their den, she’s convinced it belonged to a boy who was murdered years ago. A case Hen had previously been completely obsessed with. You see, Hen has her own mental health issues but she’s determined to find out if her neighbor Matthew is a killer. 

I absolutely love how Swanson writes in your face psychopaths and mentally unstable people who may or may not be reliable. Truly, he’s brilliant at it. I found the fact that he shined a bright light on these characters and put the crazy front and center so  refreshing. There’s no beating around the bush about who’s not playing with a full deck. And I was totally happy about that.  In fact, I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough to see how it all played out. Until one major plot point left me feeling manipulated on such a level that rather than feeling like oh you totally got me I felt angry about what I believed to be pure gimmick. This had been such an intricate, interesting story up until that point. When I read thrillers I don’t mind being kept in the dark and being surprised by the resolution (in fact I prefer it) but I don’t want to feel tricked by the author’s use of a gimmick and that’s how this one left me feeling. I know I’m being vague but I don’t want to give a single detail away. Read this for yourself and see what you think, then message me to discuss. Overall,  this was an addictive, page turning read but I was disappointed in the end. 

Thanks to William Morrow via Netgalley for my copy in exchange for an honest review 

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5 on Friday: 5 Things I’m Loving Lately

Welcome to 5 on Friday, a little list of things I’m enjoying lately.  I got this idea from Tim Ferris who sends out his 5 Bullet Friday posts to all his email subscribers and Laura Tremaine’s Secret Posts. If you’re interested you can check out Tim’s website at Tim.blog and Laura’s at 10thingstotellyou.com . I thought it would be fun to do a short and simple posts of things I’m enjoying lately. Every week you’ll find different content…could be books I’m reading, movies, tv, recipes, quotes, skincare, articles, household items etc….anything I’m enjoying to pass along in the hope that you might also find something you’d like.

Amazon Show I Recently Binged 
Red Oaks  If you love shows set in the late 1980s, this is for you. My husband and I binged all the seasons in 2 days and we were pretty disappointed to see it end. This is a comedy that brought back SO many memories. I was a teenager in **cough, cough** 1986 when this show is set and I loved everything about revisiting the hairstyles, leg warmers, music, corded phones, answering machines etc. So fun! The characters were great as well, I just highly recommend giving this show a try if you haven’t already.

Bachelor Recap I’m OBSESSED with Listening To This Week 
Friend of the Show  by The Popcast, available through their patreon page. You guys know, I love The Bachelor & Bachelorette shows, they are my ultimate guilty pleasure. I’m not sure why I wasn’t listening to this Bachelor Recap podcast before because it’s hysterical. Knox McCoy and Jamie Golden provide the best sarcastic, witty dish on all aspects of the show. This is the best $3 a month I’ve ever spent!!

Book I’ve Added To My Summer TBR (Friends, It’s never too soon to think about our summer reading😉)
We Came Here to Forget  by Andrea Dunlop, publishing July 2 from Atria Books. I love the sound of this one…a young Olympic skier who loses everything and escapes to Buenos Aires, where she reinvents herself, meets a colorful group of ex-pats, and is swept off her feet by a mysterious young man with dark secrets of his own.

My New Favorite Organic Fair Trade Dark Roast Coffee For Brewing At Home
Sweetwater’s Midnight Blend  . This coffee is from a local coffeehouse but they do sell online if you’re interested. I love dark roasted coffee and have tried many varieties but lately this is my very favorite! (I’m not an affiliate, just sharing the info)

Article About Cat Ownership I Enjoyed 
10 Scientific Benefits of Being a Cat Owner  I thought this article was really cute, I’ve had cats for the past 27 years and I couldn’t imagine not having one (or more) in my life.

Do you have thoughts on my favorites this week? Feel free to share them in the comments below!

Have a great weekend!!

 

TWITTER/ INSTAGRAM/ GOODREADS/  BLOGLOVIN

 

 

5 on Friday: 5 Things I’m Loving Lately

Welcome to 5 on Friday, a little list of things I’m enjoying lately.  I got this idea from Tim Ferris who sends out his 5 Bullet Friday posts to all his email subscribers and Laura Tremaine’s Secret Posts. If you’re interested you can check out Tim’s website at Tim.blog and Laura’s at 10thingstotellyou.com . I thought it would be fun to do a short and simple posts of things I’m enjoying lately. Every week you’ll find different content…could be books I’m reading, movies, tv, recipes, quotes, skincare, articles, household items etc….anything I’m enjoying to pass along in the hope that you might also find something you’d like.

 

Audiobook I’m Enjoying 
The Likeness  by Tana French; narrated by Heather O’Neill. I’ve actually tried this mystery at least twice in print in the past and couldn’t get into it but the audio is fantastic and has got me excited to do some extra house cleaning so I can listen. I think this narrator bringing the characters to life has made all the difference.

Super Easy Fish Recipe That Actually Turned Out Good
Simple Pan Seared Alaskan Halibut I’ve tried (and failed) to pan sear Halibut in the past but this recipe was super easy and it actually turned out really good. And the best part…I could marinate it in my favorite pinot grigio wine

Instagram Stories I Can’t Stop Watching 
Deb at Lonestarwords  If you’re a cat lover, you’ve got to check out Deb’s Instagram stories! She has 4 rescued kittens that are the cutest and wow, SO busy. I really enjoy watching them and also love her dogs and horse. If you love animals along with books, I think you’ll love Deb’s account

Book I’ve Added to My TBR…Will You or Won’t You be Adding It to YOURS?!
PopSugar Has the Scoop On new E.L. James book coming this April Called The Mister Yes Friends, I’m adding it to my TBR now. I’m the first to admit that the Fifty Shades Trilogy was by no means well written BUT I couldn’t put them down all the same. Oh yes, I’ll be reading The Mister .…will you??

Reality website I look forward to reading every week
RealitySteve.com You may or may not know that I love The Bachelor and every week Reality Steve recaps the show in his snarky way as well as puts out spoilers for every episode of the season. That includes the ending. He’s only been wrong a couple times over the years so how he does it…no one knows exactly but he gets the scoop. It doesn’t affect my enjoyment of the hot mess that is the show to read his site every week, in fact I think I enjoy it more with Steve’s commentary; he also live tweets during the show which is fun. He’s never at a loss for words that’s for sure.

Do you have thoughts on my favorites this week? Feel free to share them in the comments below!

Have a great weekend!!

 

TWITTER/ INSTAGRAM/ GOODREADS/  BLOGLOVIN

 

5 on Friday: 5 things I’m Loving Lately

Welcome to 5 on Friday, a little list of things I’m enjoying lately.  I got this idea from Tim Ferris who sends out his 5 Bullet Friday posts to all his email subscribers and Laura Tremaine’s Secret Posts. If you’re interested you can check out Tim’s website at Tim.blog and Laura’s at 10thingstotellyou.com . I thought it would be fun to do a short and simple posts of things I’m enjoying lately. Every week you’ll find different content…could be books I’m reading, movies, tv, recipes, quotes, skincare, articles, household items etc….anything I’m enjoying to pass along in the hope that you might also find something you’d like.

 

Article I Agree with From Anne Bogel at ModernMrsDarcy.com
The Single Best Thing You Can Do For Your Reading Life. I completely agree with this article and found that by following this strategy I have improved the quality of my reading life. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this in the comments!

Soapbox Article About Barnes & Noble by Author Robin Barone That I Found So Spot On
What I Learned From Visiting B&N Stores  I loved this article! The author makes so many spot on points about B&N such as their lack of customer service as well as the fact that their employees don’t seem to like talking to people. So True! I live outside of a big city and I’ve been to 3 different B&N’s in the past month and NOT ONE EMPLOYEE in any of them asked if I needed help or tried to engage me to, you know, sell books. Also, they all looked liked they hate their jobs. Ok, I’ll get off my soapbox now but I really wish we had an independent bookstore in my city!

Article that made me say WOW
Goodreads #1 Reviewer Emily May Reveals Her Trick to Hitting Her Reading Goal Every Year I do follow Emily and enjoy her reviews. I had no idea anyone could have that many followers! Amazing.

Podcast I’m Loving
Crime Junkie Podcast  with Ashley Flowers. I love true crime and this is one of the best true crime podcasts I have stumbled upon. It’s very well done and Ashley gives different takes and details on cases I thought I knew everything about…I highly recommend giving her 2 part episode on the Laci Peterson case a listen!

Organic All Around Moisturizer I’m Loving
Cliganic 100% Pure Jojoba Oil  I was on the hunt for an all natural multi use moisturizer and got this last month. So far I’m using it under my eyes in addition to under eye creme at night (I read this is an excellent wrinkle fighter!), for my hair before blow drying, on my cuticles at night, as a body oil after a shower and as an extra lip conditioner. I love it and find that’s it’s really helping

I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comment section! 

Have a Great Weekend!!

 

5 On Friday: 5 Things I’m Loving Lately

Welcome to 5 on Friday, a little list of things I’m enjoying lately.  I got this idea from Tim Ferris who sends out his 5 Bullet Friday posts to all his email subscribers and Laura Tremaine’s Secret Posts. If you’re interested you can check out Tim’s website at Tim.blog and Laura’s at 10thingstotellyou.com . I thought it would be fun to do a short and simple posts of things I’m enjoying lately. Every week you’ll find different content…could be books I’m reading, movies, tv, recipes, quotes, articles, household items etc….anything I’m enjoying to pass along in the hope that you might also find something you’d like.

 

**Click on purple for links**

Summer Thriller Hyped By Bustle That I’ve Added to the Top of My Summer Must Read List 
The Van Apfel Girls Are Gone  I love the sound of this missing children/coming-of-age thriller. Set in Australia, it involves the disappearance of 3 sisters at the same time. Intriguing. Releases June 25 by Algonquin

Article I Found Interesting
Can Reading Make You Happier? I think most of us book people know the answer to this but I really enjoyed reading the scientific evidence for bibliotherapy

Some Fun 2019 Book Preview Lists I Came Across  
10 Debut Books to Watch for in 2019 , Books Being Made Into Movies in 2019 , 10 of the Most Anticipated 2019 Books by Female AuthorsThe Real Book Spy’s Every Thriller We Know About So FarThe Millions: the great first-half 2019 book previewHello Giggle’s 50 most anticipated books of 2019

A Small but Great Invention I’m Loving
Every Drop Lip Spatula  This is exactly what it sounds like, a little rubber spatula on a longish wand to scrape the bottom of all those bottles, tubes, and containers our fingers can’t reach. This is genius. I also bought the larger version called Beauty Spatula for bigger bottles like shampoos etc. I’ve linked with Amazon but I got mine at The Container Store where they’re actually cheaper! 

Tea I’m Loving This Week
Fireside Mocha from David’s Tea I love coffee in the mornings but in the afternoons I go for tea. I’m usually an Earl Gray or English Breakfast drinker but I got a Christmas gift from a friend with an awesome mug and tea diffuser from David’s Tea, along with a holiday tin of loose leaf teas. The are YUMMY! Fireside Mocha is my favorite so far and I made a run this week to my local David’s Tea to stock up while it’s on sale. It’s seasonal apparently and will vanish until next year. Boo! If you have favorite tea suggestions, leave them in the comments!

5 on Friday: 5 Things I’m Loving Lately

Welcome to 5 on Friday, a little list of things I’m enjoying lately.  I got this idea from Tim Ferris who sends out his 5 Bullet Friday posts to all his email subscribers and Laura Tremaine’s Secret Posts. If you’re interested you can check out Tim’s website at Tim.blog and Laura’s at 10thingstotellyou.com . I thought it would be fun to do a short and simple posts of things I’m enjoying lately. Every week you’ll find different content…could be books I’m reading, movies, tv, recipes, quotes, articles, household items etc….anything I’m enjoying to pass along in the hope that you might also find something you’d like.

Some of My Favorite 2018 Best Books Lists by Fellow Bloggers & Instagrammers…your TBRs are about to get longer:)
NovelVisitsTheMisstery TBRetc RunningNReadingSarahsBookshelves Spivey’s Picks by Ashley Spivey(IG) , GilmoreGuidetoBooks NovelGossip BuzzedAboutBooks(IG), Jordys.book.club (IG), MindJoggle, Keeperofpages ItsEitherSadnessorEuphoria AnnieBJones, The Real Book SpyCrime By the Book

Easy All Natural Snack I’m Loving
No Bake Peanut Butter Power Balls I was looking for a healthy, quick yet filling snack to have before or after a workout that includes chocolate and these peanut butter power balls are so good. They’re also quick and easy to make

Movie I’ve Loved Recently
The Mule  starring Clint Eastwood and Bradley Cooper. Bradley Cooper can do no movie making wrong in my book. Clint Eastwood is the focus of this slow burn thriller, however, and I thought the whole thing just worked. There’s plenty of dark humor, suspense, and bad guys to go around. Could I have done without a couple scenes involving Eastwood & MUCH younger women….ummm yes, otherwise I have no complaints. Highly enjoyable!

Recent Sample I Got at Sephora That I’m Liking So Much I Might Purchase the Full Size 
Tatcha Eye Illuminating Treatment  You may recall that I recently posted about my favorite eye creme (Algenist Eye Renewal Balm)  which I love but doesn’t do as much for dark circles. I recently got a sample of this Tatcha eye treatment which I use after the eye balm and I LOVE it. It’s light and isn’t drying like I find many concealers to be. Plus the sample has lasted a few weeks so a little goes a long way.

Podcast I’m Loving
SarahsBookshelvesLive with Sarah Dickenson. You guys know I love podcasts and I’ve been so excited that fellow blogger and friend Sarah is starting her own. It debuted on Jan 2 and you can find it on iTunes or go to Sarah’s blog SarahsBookshelves for details and links about where to listen. I love the format and I think you will too!

 

Are any of these also on your favorites list? 

Have a Great Weekend!

5 on Friday: 5 Things I’m Loving Lately

Welcome to 5 on Friday, a little list of things I’m enjoying lately.  I got this idea from Tim Ferris who sends out his 5 Bullet Friday posts to all his email subscribers and Laura Tremaine’s Secret Posts. If you’re interested you can check out Tim’s website at Tim.blog and Laura’s at 10thingstotellyou.com . I thought it would be fun to do a short and simple posts of things I’m enjoying lately. Every week you’ll find different content…could be books I’m reading, movies, tv, recipes, quotes, articles, household items etc….anything I’m enjoying to pass along in the hope that you might also find something you’d like.

Movie I Loved 
Green Book  Both my husband and I gave this movie a big thumbs up. In fact, it’s probably one of my favorites of the year (side note: nothing will top A Star Is Born this year). I wasn’t all that sure what to expect so it really exceeded my expectations. And it’s based on a true story which always adds a little something extra

App I’m Using A Ton
Anylist  available for free from Apple. If you’ve been reading these posts, you might remember that I talked about an article that touted the value of making lists which I love to do (past post here). The problem I run into is that I write what I need from the store on post its and then leave the house and forget them. This app has completely solved that problem, it’s quick, keeps everything stored so I don’t have to rewrite things and sorts the items by categories at the grocery. I love when something small makes such a big difference!

Book I Ordered for Myself for Christmas 
The 52 Lists Project  : A Year of Weekly Journaling Inspiration by Moorea Seal. Keeping on topic, as I just mentioned, I love making lists and I’m really curious about what type of list’s projects are in this book. I thought it would be fun to incorporate more list type posts on the blog in 2019.

Eye Creme I’m Loving 
Algenist Complete Eye Renewal Balm  So I’ve tried a gazillion eye cremes over the years and as I’m getting older, dark circles, fine lines and puffiness have become my biggest issues. It’s hard to find an eye creme that tackles all 3 AND actually works…until now! I went through 2 or 3 Sephora samples of this before deciding that yes I liked it and I wanted to buy the full  size. It took about 6 weeks of daily use twice a day but I notice a huge difference in the lessening of the fine lines and puffiness, the dark circles not as much but they’re a little better. Come back next week for the product I’m using to tackle the dark circles:) P.S I’m not an affiliate for Algenist ( I wish) I just love their products. P.S.S This line is vegan and cruelty free which is an added bonus 

Quote I Enjoyed
Either Write Something Worth Reading or Do Something Worth Writing. Ben Franklin.

I’d love your thoughts on any of my favorites this week!

Have a Great Weekend