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Review: The Night Before by Wendy Walker

Review: The Night Before by Wendy Walker

Editorial note: I received a copy of The Night Before in exchange for a review. 

The Night Before by Wendy Walker is a timely and compelling thriller full of unexpected twists. I read it one sitting!

After a devastating break up, Laura Lochner leaves her Wall Street job behind in New York or 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. 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…

Engaging narrative

Walker was inspired to write the novel once she re-entered the dating scene at age 42. She quickly learned that a man she was dating was too-good-to-be-true and was still married. The short-lived relationship provided the “perfect fuel for Walker’s fire.” It was interesting to read that after I finished the novel because I did think the online dating aspect was quite riveting—the idea that people can hide who they really are. But in this novel, perhaps that can also be said with people you know, even those closest to you.

The story alternate between the present, which is the “the morning after,” where we learn that Laura did not return from her first date with the man she met online. “The night before” takes place as her date is happening, which brings even more suspense to this novel. The reader knows Laura is in danger before she does.

I loved the pace of this novel; it was the ideal blend of dialogue and setting. You really felt like you’re on the scary ride with Laura and the confusing one with Rosie. And just when you think you know what will happen—the story takes a sharp turn. There’s some misdirection that is done really well.

You’ll want to crave out some time when you pick this one up because you won’t want to put it down once you start!