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Before She Knew Him: A Novel

Before She Knew Him: A Novel

Geschrieben von Peter Swanson

Erzählt von Sophie Amoss und Graham Halstead


Before She Knew Him: A Novel

Geschrieben von Peter Swanson

Erzählt von Sophie Amoss und Graham Halstead

Bewertungen:
4/5 (303 Bewertungen)
Länge:
10 Stunden
Herausgeber:
Freigegeben:
Mar 5, 2019
ISBN:
9780062838186
Format:
Hörbuch

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Beschreibung

Catching a killer is dangerous — especially if he lives next door.

From the hugely talented author of The Kind Worth Killing comes 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....

Hen and her husband, Lloyd, have settled into a quiet life in a new house outside of Boston, Massachusetts. Hen (short for Henrietta) is an illustrator and works out of a studio nearby and has found the right meds to control her bipolar disorder. Finally, she’s found some stability and peace.

But when they meet the neighbors next door, that calm begins to erode as she spots a familiar object displayed on the husband’s office shelf. The sports trophy looks exactly like one that went missing from the home of a young man who was killed two years ago. Hen knows because she’s long had a fascination with this unsolved murder — an obsession she doesn’t talk about anymore but can’t fully shake, either.

Could her neighbor Matthew be a killer? Or is this the beginning of another psychotic episode like the one she suffered back in college, when she became so consumed with proving a fellow student guilty that she ended up hurting a classmate?

The more Hen observes Matthew, the more she suspects he’s planning something truly terrifying. Yet no one will believe her. Then one night, when she comes face-to-face with Matthew in a dark parking lot, she realizes he knows she’s been watching him, that she’s really on to him; and that this is the beginning of a horrifying nightmare she may not live to escape....

Herausgeber:
Freigegeben:
Mar 5, 2019
ISBN:
9780062838186
Format:
Hörbuch

Auch als verfügbar...

Auch als buch verfügbarBuch


Über den Autor

Peter Swanson is the author of seven novels, including The Kind Worth Killing, winner of the New England Society Book Award, and finalist for the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger; Her Every Fear, an NPR book of the year; Before She Knew Him, and Eight Perfect Murders. His books have been translated into 30 languages, and his stories, poetry, and features have appeared in Asimov’s Science Fiction, The Atlantic Monthly, Measure, The Guardian, The Strand Magazine, and Yankee Magazine. He lives outside of Boston, where he is at work on his next novel.

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4.2
303 Bewertungen / 35 Rezensionen
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  • (3/5)
    Peter Swanson's "Before She Knew Him" is a serial killer book with a difference. The author lets us know who the perpetrator is, and before long, we get an idea of what motivates him to commit murder. We also get glimpses of his horrendous childhood and learn of his plans for future mayhem. The heroine is Henrietta (Hen) Mazur, an artist who is bipolar (she takes medication to control her condition) and makes her living by creating "dark and arresting" illustrations using copper and zinc plates. When her next-door neighbors, Matthew and Mira Delamore, invite her and her husband, Lloyd, to dinner, Hen spots something that triggers a vivid memory. She fears that Matthew, who is a high school history teacher, may be hiding homicidal tendencies behind a mask of normalcy.

    Hen shares her suspicions with Lloyd, as well as various detectives who do not take her claims seriously. First, she has had mental health issues in the past, including a history of stalking and paranoia, and second, there is no proof that Matthew is anything other than an upstanding member of the community. This is a creepy psychological thriller that portrays most of its male characters as sexual predators, abusers, adulterers, or homicidal maniacs. The women are, for the most part, victims, with the exception of Hen, who refuses to stand idly by and let events take their course.

    "Before She Knew Him" has some twists to spice things up, but the surprises that Swanson springs on us feel more like gimmicks than shocks to the system. This novel is mildly suspenseful, but the plot is too contrived and melodramatic to be wholly satisfying. The only character who is fully fleshed out is Hen and, although the villain earns a modicum of sympathy when we find out why he behaves the way he does, it is difficult to feel sorry for a deranged individual who takes the law into his own hands.
  • (5/5)
    Hen knows her next door neighbor, Matthew, is a killer. But then she sees him kill and no one believes her. The story flowed, the characters were likable. First book I have read by this author, and I was not disappointed. There were some good, strong twists and turns I didn't see coming. I would definitely recommend.
  • (4/5)
    Second book in a row I read featuring extremely sadistic fathers who ruin their children's lives (Jussi Adler-Olson's The Scarred Woman was the other) so maybe I'm inclined to dislike unlikable characters even more than usual. I really enjoyed Swanson's first three novels but the last ones, not so much. The premise: two couples living side-by-side in the suburbs cause trouble for each other due to one husband and one wife's violent acts. Hen, an artist who suffers from bi-polar mental illness, is one of the three PoV, and I think she's clearly the most reliable narrator, as she is open and honest from the start. The portrayal of her art is deep and intimate, and it's too bad that all the rest of the plot intrudes, including one twist that has been with us since the 1950s and is by now a shopworn trope.
  • (2/5)
    I skimmed the second half. The opening chapters were good, but it all got a bit much.
  • (4/5)
    See what I mean by twisted? What a premise! Hen is a decidedly unreliable narrator. She doesn't act or follow the path I thought she would have , given her discovery. And this is what I like about Swanson's writing - the not knowing what's going to happen next. I should be afraid for Hen right? Nope, she's a little bit scary herself....And the neighbour? He's uber creepy - and a high school teacher to boot. Swanson has come up with some fantastic last minute twists in the final chapters of previous books and does so again in Before She Knew Him. Didn't see it coming - and not sure I love it, but I was indeed surprised. Swanson's writing makes for addictive reading. Creepy, crawly good.
  • (4/5)
    An exceptional thriller by one of my must read Authors. A twisted ending and a memorable killer make this a compulsive read.
  • (3/5)
    Before She Knew Him is a psychological thriller. Hen and her husband Lloyd move next door to Matthew and his wife in suburban Boston. Hen recognizes a trophy in Matthew's den that she connects to a murder that she had been obsessed with just two years ago. When Hen goes back to look for the trophy, it's gone. Hen is convinced that Matthew had something to do with the murder and she starts stalking him. Hen in fact is at the murder scene when Matthew takes out his next victim. Matthew realizes that Hen knows what he is up to and now she is afraid that she'll be next in line.
  • (4/5)
    Many thanks to NetGalley, Faber and Faber and Peter Swanson for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. My opinions are 100% my own and independent of receiving an advance copy.What we have here is a good old fashioned psychological thriller that finally lives up to the hype. I’m late in the game for Peter Swanson books but now that I have read this one, I’m checking out all his other books. Wow, can he write. Great characters, clear storyline with lots of surprises and a build up of suspense that propels you forward until the end. You almost want to slow it down, draw it out because even though you want to know what happens, you don’t want it to be over. There are lots of places you can read a recap of the story, and they do a much better job than I would be able to do so please go and check those out. I’m just going to lay it out a bit differently. You have the main character Hen. She is an artist who makes really creepy art, which ties in with her fascination with death and all things morbid. She also happens to be bi-polar and has, in the past, experienced manic episodes. Once she ended up hospitalized after she became obsessed with a neighbourhood boy’s murder. With her meds corrected and a move to a new area, she and her husband, Lloyd, are looking for a fresh start. I didn’t much care for Lloyd’s character, his personality didn’t seem to stand out one way or the other. He seems to be this perennial nice guy, that does everything right, supportive, loves his wife and has stood by her through her mental health issues. Then you have their neighbours, Mira and Matthew. Mira seems a little desperate to make friends, a little uncomfortable with her husband, and a lot insecure. Matthew is the other main character and Hen suspects him to be a murderer. We get to learn a lot about Matthew and what makes him tick.So, there were at least a couple of times that I though I had this story figured out. At first I almost didn’t finish it because I thought “Uch - here is one of those books where Hen will slowly descend into crazyville, no one will believe her because of her past, the murderer will play mind games with her and it will take the whole book to figure out that either Matthew or Mira is the murderer. But just when you think you have this book figured out, zup, left turn. Swanson takes us in a new direction. I so appreciated being kept on my toes. I figured out the last twist but it didn’t detract from the experience. It was dark, scary and thrilling. I found the main characters fully realized and complex and you get a sense of them as a whole person. As any good psychological thriller should, there was lots of suspense and fast paced action to keep you interested right to the end. Do yourself a favour and pick this one up. It is a really great read and something a little different than the normal fare, which is so refreshing. I really enjoyed it.
  • (4/5)
    A special thank you to Edelweiss and William Morrow for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.Hen (short for Henrietta) and her husband Lloyd have settled into a quiet life in a new neighbourhood just outside of Boston, Massachusetts. Hen is an illustrator that works out of a studio close to her new home and she is finally feeling a sense of peace and stability after finding the right medication to control her psychotic episodes.At a block party, Hen and Lloyd are relieved to meet the only other childless couple, Mira and Matthew Dolamore. It turns out they live next door in a matching Dutch Colonial. The Dolamores extend a dinner invitation and while on a tour of their home, the sense of peace that Hen feels starts to dissipate after she recognizes a trophy in Matthew's office that went missing from the home of a young man that was killed two years prior. Hen knows this because she has a secret obsession with this unsolved murder.Is Matthew a killer? Or is this just another one of Hen's psychotic episodes?The more she watches Matthew, the more she not only suspects him, but that he is planning something terrifying that she may not survive.I read All the Beautiful Lies as an early reviewer and was impressed at Swanson's character development—he has a gift for writing characters that boarder on being psychotic, yet believable. Each of these characters are flawed, yet it is these flaws that help drive the narrative. Hen is the perfect unreliable narrator and given her history, nobody believes her, even when she figures things out. There is a cleverness and preciseness with just enough plot twists to not be predicable or confusing. If you like psychological thrillers, I encourage you to pick up this book, Swanson is at the top of his game.
  • (5/5)
    Before She Knew HimByPeter SwansonWhat it's all about...OMG! This book is so good! The back and forth with these highly dysfunctional characters kept these pages flying! I never knew whom I disliked more! New neighbors...actual next door neighbors...Lloyd and Hen and Mira and Matthew...meet for the first time at a neighbor’s barbecue. They later have dinner together and while touring Mira and Matthew’s house Hen sees a trophy that she knows belonged to a man who was murdered. His murder remains unsolved. This starts her believing that Matthew is a serial killer! Why I wanted to read it...I love Peter Swanson’s writing! This book is cleverly written. It has intriguing dialog! The storyline never gets boring. What made me truly enjoy this book...The twists and turns and foibles of these flawed characters were delicious! I could not stop reading this book. I read long into the night. These people planned their everyday ordinary dinners and go off to kill people! Thaw a steak on the kitchen counter and forget about it because you are off murdering someone! Why you should read it, too...Readers who love shocking and clever mysteries will love this book. I received an advance reader’s copy of this book from the publisher through Edelweiss and Amazon. It was my choice to read it and review it.
  • (4/5)
    Sneaky sneaky with the twists !! They will catch you before you even realize what's going on
  • (5/5)
    Really good. Engaging and surprising. Thoroughly enjoyed it. Narration was pretty good.
  • (5/5)
    SO GREAT. I was hooked right away and didn’t want to stop listening until the end. Loved all of the twists!!
  • (4/5)
    This book took a long time to really get started, and didn’t really heat up until the last part, part 3. For the most part, I thought it was just kind of going along and going along, without much to it. It did keep my interest enough to want to keep going, although I felt like it was just kind of rambling along. When we get to part 3, though, all the truly shocking stuff starts coming out, and then things do get interesting!

    The format of the story is kind of interesting as well because, right from the get go you think you already know who the killer is, think being the operative word here. I kept thinking to myself, well, we already know who the killer is so what’s the point? Why is he telling us the whole story before the story even begins?? Well, I guess you just have to keep listening to find out!!
  • (5/5)
    Excellent read lots of twists and turns!! A For sure read
  • (3/5)
    This was just ok. Not the best PS I've ever read. It was good, just not great.
  • (5/5)
    Great book. . . . . . . . !
  • (5/5)
    I loved this book! It was Peter Swanson in his best
  • (5/5)
    Good book! It kept me interested from beginning til end, which can be difficult for me with audiobooks. The narrator is really good, too!
  • (5/5)
    I thought the story was interesting and I liked the narrator
  • (4/5)
    This is actually a decent book, the author did a pretty good job of portraying mental illness and the effects it has on everyone around them. The book was suspenseful and pretty chilling and it ended ok. No complaints, it's a quick, interesting read.
  • (5/5)
    Solid story. Excellent and interesting characters. Some who done it surprises... I thought the audio version was very well done.
  • (4/5)
    Wow! This book was full of twists and turns and stuff I all kinds of stuff I didn’t see
  • (5/5)
    The Short of It:Smart, clever, and hard to put down.The Rest of It:I don’t know where I’ve been or why I haven’t read Peter Swanson before but I am so very glad that Before She Knew Him made it into my hands.Hen and Lloyd move to very nice, suburban neighborhood. Their neighbors, Mira and Matthew invite them over to dinner so they can get to know one another and while there, Hen can’t help but notice a fencing trophy on the mantle. Upon closer inspection, she’s almost positive it once belonged to a young man named Dustin. A young man who was murdered not long ago. Why would this couple have it in their house?Before She Knew Him was a great read. Smartly written with well-developed characters and a story that includes a surprise or two and enough mystery to keep you guessing. This book could easily have been titled “Neighbors with Secrets” because both of these couples have something to hide and it makes for really good reading.I highly recommend this one. Swanson uses all of the characters to tell this story and it’s so very good.For more reviews, visit my blog: Book Chatter.
  • (4/5)
    Imagine moving next door to a serial killer and recognizing one of his ‘trophies. That is the premise of Before She Knew Him by Peter Swanson, a psychological thriller with a twist -well, make that several twists. We are introduced to the bad guy right at the beginning but that doesn’t mean there is no suspense here. An interesting tale with plenty of red herrings and, even knowing who dunnit, I have to admit I did not anticipate the major twist at the end.
  • (4/5)
    Another great read from Peter Swanson.
  • (3/5)
    A Crazy thriller that was somewhat predictable but interesting
  • (5/5)
    Hen and Lloyd have left busy Boston for a quieter place to live and where Hen can do her art work in a real artist’s workshop. Their neighbours Matthew and Mira seem to be nice, but the dinner Hen and Lloyd are invited to takes a strange turn when Hen during the tour of the house sees something she shouldn’t see. She does not want to believe her eyes, but it has been there and there is just one simple explanation to it: her neighbour Matthew is a killer. But who would believe her, the woman with a history of false accusations and a diagnose of bipolar disorder? Well, Matthew believes her and confirms her suspicion - sure that she cannot threaten him in her position...Peter Swanson’s novel is a thrilling read that does not play to the normal rules of the genre. We quickly figure out that Matthew is a serial killer, since we get also his side of the story, it doesn’t take too long to sort this out. But then just a third of novel is over, so what is there more to come? A lot and very unexpected turns. Even though the focus of the story is shifted again and again, each part of the novel has its own thrills. In the beginning, it is the fight between Matthew and Hen, who is stronger, who will win? This is the part I liked most since here the thrill is at its peak. This doesn’t mean that the rest is lacking suspense, it doesn’t at all. Swanson really could surprise me and I was wondering constantly if this could be true: people living with the knowledge of murders but keeping silent. All in all, a psychological thriller full of suspense and surprising developments.
  • (5/5)
    Before She Knew Him – Another classic from Peter SwansonHen and Lloyd have just moved into a new house in West Dartford, and they have been invited to a block party, where they meet their next door neighbours Matthew and Mira. Both couples stand out at the party as they do not have any children. Matthew and Mira invite them over for a dinner and after dinner Mira shows Hen around the house and Matthew’s study. It is here that she notices a fencing trophy, and asks Matthew if that is his sport to which he said no. She further noticed it was awarded to Dustin Miller, a name that she recognised.Hen grows suspicious of Matthew, and thinks that he knows more than he admits, especially as Dustin Miller was murdered. She reports this to the police, and the police happen to believe Matthew and his alibi. One night unable to sleep she follows Matthew to see what he is up to and sees that he is spying on another man. When she follows him, she is shocked as she walks out of a club and could swear, she has just seen Matthew murder a man. Shame nobody is going to believe her. When Matthew starts to unravel it is to Hen that he admits to various things which shock and scare her at the same time. But she has become aware that Matthew has no interest in ever harming her, Lloyd on the other hand. Hen finds her life almost falling apart as she finds out more about Matthew and at the same time the hidden parts of Lloyd’s life.Peter Swanson has once again proven why he is a master thriller writer, looking at people’s relationships and how little we can know each other. That even those who seem the sanest of people could be secret killer. Swanson has written a pulsating thriller that will keep the reader hooked throughout.
  • (4/5)
    An enjoyable read for those who don’t mind knowing who did it early on and can figure out the plot twist long before it occurs. The “bad guy” in this one reminded quite a lot of Matthew McConaughey’s character in Frailty and also the character Dexter. A killer with not so much a conscience but perhaps a code of conduct. I would recommend this book quite well.