Review – Before She Knew Him by Peter Swanson


One of the amazing psychological thriller phenomenon Peter Swanson’s novels is making it’s paperback debut today

February 25, 2020:




About Before She Knew Him

• Paperback: 320 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Reprint edition (February 25, 2020)

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 that 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. . .






Happy Paperback Pub Day to Peter Swanson!  This has got to be so amazing for him, today is Before She Knew Him‘s paperback release and next week is his new thriller Eight Perfect Murders official pub day.  What a great week!

Peter Swanson is my all time favorite psychological thriller writer (not kidding, I really love this guy) and I read Before She Knew Him back when it was originally published last year in hardback.  When the opportunity to read and review for TLC Book Tours became available, I jumped on board immediately, because he is an author I never have a problem revisiting.  After re-reading, I went back to Goodreads to check out my review I wrote one year ago, and unshockingly, not a word of it should be changed.  When you write a good book, it stands the test of time, as did this one for me.  Here were my thoughts then and now:

Solid 4 stars, better yet 4.25. Peter Swanson is the king of psychological thrillers in my opinion. The only reason I didn’t give it 5 stars is because nothing (I mean NOTHING) will ever live up to The Kind Worth Killing. If anyone could do it, I’d expect it to be Swanson, but so far he hasn’t quite done it. I won’t give up hope though.
In a nutshell, this one is a page turner, I finished it in less than 24 hours, so make sure you have the time because you won’t put it down. The story itself is quite good, it could have ended at chapter 41 and would have been just as thrilling, one last good ‘stab of the knife’ to end it…. but it’s that last chapter (42) and the last few pages that was Swanson’s way of adding that one ‘little turn’ to that ‘life ending knife’ to make sure you closed the book and walked away spinning. I’ll be thinking about this one for awhile. Bravo Peter Swanson….Bravo!

I can honestly say that I will read every word Peter Swanson ever writes, and you’re darn right if you think I already have a copy of Eight Perfect Murders sitting right here waiting for me to type up its review next!  You’ll have to wait for that one until March though, I am forever grateful to be touring that one for TLC too!

Thank you to @williamorrowbooks, @petermswanson and @TLCBookTours for my gifted copy of this book.









Purchase Links

HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

IndieBound  |   iBooks  |  Kobo





About Peter Swanson

Peter Swanson is the author of five 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; and his most recent, Before She Knew Him. His books have been translated into 30 languages, and his stories, poetry, and features have appeared in Asimov’s Science FictionThe Atlantic MonthlyMeasureThe GuardianThe Strand Magazine, and Yankee Magazine. He lives outside of Boston, where he is at work on his next novel.






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Happy Reading and Be Nice!







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Published by ReadingGirlReviews

Serious book loving critical care RN dealing with RA, being married to a surgeon, my 2 crazy dogs, an obsession with crafting, and a mad desire to swing golf clubs (although quite poorly).

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