Before She Knew Him by Peter Swanson

before she knew him

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐


Fiction – Thriller

Goodreads Summary

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. . .


I finally got around to reading my second Peter Swanson book after reading and absolutely loving The Kind Worth Killing last year. (So many books, so little time. Amirite?!)

Before She Knew Him is a deliciously chilling thriller that will creep you out and keep you turning the pages! Swanson has a way of writing that is  very engaging and twisted in all the best ways. The short chapters made this one quick and readable. I also enjoyed the third-person omniscient point of view since I feel like it is less common now. It was fun to see into each character’s mind but not in the typical first-person style.

I loved the twists and was definitely on the edge of my seat! I think Swanson is definitely a leading author in the psychological thriller genre. I look forward to reading more of his books!

Have you read anything by Peter Swanson? Let me know what you thought.

Thank you to William Morrow for the finished copy. All opinions expressed are my own.

Author Peter Swanson’s website

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