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The Hours Before

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4.29  ·  Rating details ·  17 ratings  ·  9 reviews
In darkness, late at night, a woman returns to her hotel to discover her usual maid has been replaced by a stranger. What begins as an icy exchange, born of weariness, becomes within minutes one of the most extraordinary encounters of her life. It will take her on a journey deep into her past and towards the fateful assignation that already awaits her on the other side of ...more
Paperback, 422 pages
Published March 2nd 2015 by Createspace
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The Nightingale by Kristin HannahThe Witch of Painted Sorrows by M.J. RoseA Desperate Fortune by Susanna KearsleyMademoiselle Chanel by C.W. GortnerThe Last Queen of India by Michelle Moran
Historical Fiction 2015
375 books — 2,176 voters
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Belle Époque
351 books — 170 voters


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Mary
Apr 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Not my usual period, or style, but a real cliffhanger of a novel that kept me reading the book, until it was finished in two sessions. A gripping read.
Charla Wilson
Jun 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Another great read by one of my favorite writers, Robert Parry. This book keeps you on the edge of your seat from beginning to end. It is the story of a woman's desperate search for her daughter. Her daughter was reported to be dead among other dead members of an occultist group. The members' charred remains was discovered among the rubble of the building they were living in. Deborah Peters is the mother of Penelope, "Poppy" Peters.. Deborah Peters is the ex wife of Hugh Peters, a newspaper tyco ...more
Arleigh
Mar 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
Set during the Belle Époque era, The Hours Before is the story of Deborah Peters, a once-celebrated clairvoyant turned dejected society matron, who is bent on revenge and readying herself for a final assignation with her adversary. Readers take a backward look at the events leading up to the protagonist’s current wretched state, and uncover the step-by-step truth of her daughter’s mysterious disappearance and possible demise.

Penelope Peters, an English twenty-something student studying in Europe
...more
Stephanie Graham Pina
May 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The Hours Before is a mysterious and exciting novel by Robert Stephen Parry. Set in the Belle Epoque, I was hooked from the first page. Late one night, Deborah Peters enters her hotel room to find her maid is gone and another woman is in her place. Deborah is already on a path of revenge, yet along with this unusual replacement in her room, the reader travels along a backward path to discover just who Deborah is and the dramatic course her life has followed.
Robert Parry captures the elegance and
...more
Bridgett
Nov 27, 2015 rated it liked it
Robert is a gifted writer. The amount of detail that is put into his books is unbelievable. The text flows nicely and it's easy to understand. There are times though that I catch myself skimming through for dialogue because there is so much to read. This book in particular was a very long, exhaustive read for me. I did however enjoy the atmosphere and time period of it. It was well researched and the characters were likable. My heart was breaking for Deborah as she searched for her daughter. I a ...more
Valerie Christie
Mar 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I was expecting great things from this book and was not disappointed. It is set in the Belle Epoque, and tells the story of Deborah Peters, 'The English Lady', and her search for her daughter who had apparently died in a fire orchestrated by a religious cult. Deborah is convinced that her daughter Poppy is still alive and devotes herself to finding out where she is. Deborah is assisted in her search for Poppy by a magician called Manny Grace, and together they travel around Europe searching for ...more
Peggy Sheppard
May 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book! Always a big fan of the Belle Epoch and it really put me there by the descriptions. I could tell he did excellent research. I'll be reading more of his work. Thank you for the opportunity of winning and reading this enjoyable book.
Sarah
Jan 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: gothic, victorian
Terrifying premise - absorbing plot - atmospheric, Belle epoque era.
Cheryl
May 20, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So here we are. This was not an easy read. It was an interesting one, but not an easy one. It's told partially as a flashback and partially in the 3rd person present tense (I think/hope I have that right).

This is a complicated tale that, IMHO, is done in a "noir" type style. It's dark, and weird, and funny and a little bit surprising. My favorite Stephen Parry is and probably always will be The Virgin and the Crab, but he is such a fine writer and historian that these forays into other eras are
...more
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Robert Stephen Parry is a UK writer of historical fiction, bringing you stories from a wide range of time periods, from Tudor & Elizabethan, through 18th-century Georgian, right up to the era of Victorian England and the Belle Époque. Well researched and vivid historical settings combine with unusual elements of mystery, romance and magical realism. Publications to date:
2016 THE TESTAMENT OF S
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“I believe we do well to fall asleep each night with books. We enter the library of our dreams in good company then.” 2 likes
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