Tuesday, May 14, 2019

The Night Before ~ Wendy Walker

The Night Before: A Novel by [Walker, Wendy]

Walker, Wendy. 2019. The Night Before. St. Martin's Press, an imprint of Macmillan Publishers. ISBN 978-1250198679 $26.99 USD

As someone who enjoyed author Wendy Walker's prior two novels, All Is Not Forgotten and Emma in the Night, I was grateful to have an opportunity to read an e-galley of her new book The Night Before well in advance of publication. I had to check this author's bio to see if she was a psychologist in another life (not!), because her handling of the psychological aspects of her novels is done so well.

The Night Before starts out with brief notes from a therapy session, so we know right away that there are "issues" being dealt with by at least one of the characters. Laura Heart has returned to her hometown to live with her sister while recovering from a bad breakup. She wants to get her life back together and find love like her sister has found. But something happened in that town many years ago when Laura was in high school, and as we continue to read we start to wonder what kind of person Laura really is....

Non-linear timelines and dual narratives (by Laura and her sister, Rosie) are used to tell this story - with brief snippets from therapy sessions that heighten the already palpable tension. It takes quite a bit of talent, in my opinion, for an author to craft a complex plot like the one in The Night Before in such a way that the reader feels so rewarded at the end.

This is a true tale of psychological suspense. Readers won't be disappointed.

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