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The Wife Before Me

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One evening as the sun is setting, Amelia Madison’s car slides into the sea off Mason’s Pier. Her body is never found.

Two years later, Elena Langdon meets Nicholas Madison. She is grieving the loss of her mother, he is grieving for his wife. Together they can help each other.

Now Elena is living with Nicholas. But Elena doesn’t really know him. She doesn’t know what he is capable of.

And she doesn’t know what really happened to Amelia.

Until the day she discovers the torn page of a letter and the words she reads chill her to the bone. 

Elena must find the person who wrote these letters if she is to save herself.

A totally breathtaking page-turner about the darker side of love and what really goes on behind closed doors. This book will have you gripped from the very first page until the dramatic final twist.

374 pages, Kindle Edition

First published August 22, 2018

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About the author

Laura Elliot

18 books475 followers

Laura Elliot, is an internationally known writer of psychological thrillers. She has written ten novels, which are published by Bookouture and Sphere in the UK and Ireland, and by Grand Central Publishing in the US.

Her novels have been widely translated and include The Wife Before Me, The Thorn Girl, Guilty and her latest, After the Wedding.

AKA June Considine has written twelve books for children and young adults, and has collaborated on a number of high-profile, non-fiction books. Her short stories for teenage readers have been published in anthologies and broadcast on radio. She has also worked as a journalist and magazine editor.

She lives in Malahide, Co Dublin, Ireland.

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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 517 reviews
Profile Image for Berit Talks Books.
2,019 reviews15.7k followers
August 29, 2018
4 compelling Stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟

This was a captivating, page turning, dark, and disturbing read....

This book starts off reading like a romance... Elena is grieving the death of her mother so when she meets Nicholas who is grieving the death of his wife she feels as though she has found a kindred spirit.... Nick is compassionate and understanding... he is exactly what Elena needs to get herself through the grieving period... they have a whirlwind romance and soon Elena has moved in with Nick... but what is up with the locked bedroom door???

Nick and this book are not as they first appear to be... Nick turns into a monster, and this book turns into a thriller filled with twists and turns and secrets... I thought this was a very impactful way to begin this book... we the Readers are lured in and fooled by Nick right along with Elena... however, if you are not a fan of romance it might put you off a little so hang in there the thrills are coming!

Told from the perspective of both Elena and Amelia(Nick’s deceased wife)... from alternating timelines of the past and present... not only do we get to see Elena struggle to survive in her abusive marriage and after... we also get to see that this is a pattern with Amelia’s story... Amelia was tremendously likable and relatable so her story really added a lot of weight to Elena’s struggles... as she was not quite as empathetic a character... not sure if this was done on purpose or not, but it was definitely impactful....

As the pieces to this puzzle were slowly revealed I became more and more connected to both of these women... as a warning to readers there is both verbal and physical abuse in this book and it is quite disturbing.... The book evoked quite a bit of emotion in me... I was frustrated, angry, sad, tents, and a little anxious.... I have to say the ending to this book although a bit predictable was absolutely perfect...

Absolutely recommend if you are in the mood for a dark domestic thriller with plenty of twists and turns....

*** many thanks to Bookouture for my copy of this book ***
Profile Image for Sumit RK.
477 reviews454 followers
September 22, 2018
The synopsis describes this book as “A totally breathtaking page-turner about the darker side of love and what really goes on behind closed doors” and it delivers what it promises.

Elena Langdon meets Nicholas Madison at her mother’s funeral. Elena finds emotional support in Nicholas and both soon get romantically involved and start living together. But what seems to be a match made in heaven soon turns into a nightmare. Nicholas’s dark past and the mysterious disappearance of his first wife; Amelia, comes back to haunt them. Will Elena able to uncover his past and find some much needed answers?

The Wife Before Me is a gripping page-turner. The book will have you gripped from the very first page till the final twist. The plot shifts track from a being a romantic story to a dark thriller at an extremely fast pace and you can feel the tension growing with every page. The characters, even some of the supporting ones, are well developed.

In Act I, set in the present, we look at Elena’s story and how her dream marriage turns into a nightmare. Nicholas slowly reveals his violent nature, inflicting violence on Elena even at the slightest disagreement. The acts of violence just keep on multiplying. (shades of Sleeping With The Enemy here) The abuse is not just physical but mental and emotional as well.

In Act II, we know more about Amelia’s story which is almost a repeat of Elena’s story. It’s like a vicious cycle of domestic abuse & torture and the violence keeps getting more disturbing each time. Both women are unable to take a stand against it, even blaming themselves for the violence at times, which was more frustrating. Domestic Violence is a serious issue but the repeated description of violence becomes sickening, after a point.

The mystery is uncovered in Act 3 but you feel mentally drained by the time you reach it. The narration randomly shifts from 1st person perspective to the 3rd person at times, making it difficult to follow the story at times. The plot too loses pace towards the climax. Perhaps having read too many domestic thrillers, the final reveal felt predictable and the overall ending felt a bit underwhelming.

Overall though, the story was good and it addresses a very important issue. The writing was excellent and the writer weaves a nice & engaging story. I would surely love to read more of the writer’s works. If you love domestic thrillers, you will enjoy reading this. 3.5/5

Many thanks to Bookouture and Netgalley for the ARC.
Profile Image for Sue.
2,690 reviews170 followers
October 1, 2018
A dark and very disturbing physiological drama at its best.

The last book I read by this author didn’t grab me so well, and I’ve loved her previous books. This book sure made up for it.

There are varied reviews on this one and I’ve been hesitant to read it, no, scared to because I love this authors style of writing and how she breathes life into her many characters, and after her last book and a few trusted friends not enjoying it so much I was holding back.

I wish I had read this sooner.

Twists, turns, biting nails, unlikeable characters, dark tunnels of thrillerhood! I loved it.

My thanks to Bookoutour via Net Galley for my copy
Profile Image for Amanda.
710 reviews241 followers
September 9, 2018
Elena meets Nicholas at her Mother’s funeral, he is also grieving at the loss of his wife Amelia and seems to be the perfect gentleman. He is caring and sensitive to her grieving but is deadlier than a lethal snake and twice as dangerous!!

Boy this book was dark and had me at the edge of my seat several times, there are several twists and lots of secrets to be revealed.

The ending was fast paced and I found myself quickly reading it as I was desperate to see how it ended!!

A must read for anyone who likes psychological thrillers.

Thank you to Netgalley for my copy in exchange for a review.
Profile Image for Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader.
2,121 reviews30.2k followers
February 9, 2020
Quick thoughts: Elena and Nicholas are both grieving and have fallen in love. She lost her mother, and he lost his wife in a tragic accident. Only Elena learns she doesn’t know Nicholas at all, and it’s important to her to find out what happened to his wife. The Wife Before Me is a gripping page-turner and one that kept me up late to finish.

I received a gifted copy from the publisher.

Many of my reviews can also be found on instagram: www.instagram.com/tarheelreader and my blog: www.jennifertarheelreader.com
Profile Image for 8stitches 9lives.
2,780 reviews1,626 followers
August 23, 2018
'The Wife Before Me' is crime writer Laura Elliot's seventh psychological thriller, but unfortunately I did have quite a few issues with it, just as others did.

The plot begins like a romance novel, and i'm not a reader of the genre, so this was quite a surprise to me. It was a rather heavy-handed romance too, I feel the author laid it on thick! I am always willing to read a challenging and intricately plotted book, but there is a cut-off point. This book certainly became a little confusing and convoluted as a result of all of the intricate detail. There are also a vast array of minor characters skirting the periphery of the story, which I felt was unnecessary and added to the problems that were really mounting up by this point. The characters although developed sufficiently were stereotypical for the genre, and I felt that the author was simply painting-by-numbers in producing this story for us to read.

There are many times when it is not made clear at all who is narrating, the prose feels clunky, and the perspective changes between people without any warning, making it difficult for even the seasoned crime reader to enjoy. Also, I feel this book mimics a lot of recent crime fiction in that it features a wife who doesn't really know who her husband actually is, secrets and lies abound etc etc. The slow pace added to the feelings that the story wasn't particularly going anywhere - all of the plotpoints have previously already been done to death. I did manage to plough through it all but found myself wishing I had swiftly DNF'd it and moved on to something better.

Many thanks to Bookouture for an ARC. I was not required to post a review, and all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.
Profile Image for Sandysbookaday is (reluctantly) on hiatus.
1,967 reviews2,035 followers
September 3, 2018
EXCERPT: She tried to grip the edge of the bath and stand, but her fingers slid helplessly away. She was unable to struggle when he gripped her legs and pulled her down, shoved her head under the water. It roared in her ears, filled her mouth, blinded her. This was her nightmare, her memory, ready to claim her once again. She surfaced, gasping. She had to escape but her body was flaccid and she was unable to find the strength to push him away. He was smiling when he forced her down again. Blackness filled her eyes and it was no longer possible to fight him.

ABOUT THIS BOOK: One evening as the sun is setting, Amelia Madison’s car slides into the sea off Mason’s Pier. Her body is never found.

Two years later, Elena Langdon meets Nicholas Madison. She is grieving the loss of her mother, he is grieving for his wife. Together they can help each other.

Now Elena is living with Nicholas. But Elena doesn’t really know him. She doesn’t know what he is capable of.

And she doesn’t know what really happened to Amelia.

Until the day she discovers the torn page of a letter and the words she reads chill her to the bone.

Elena must find the person who wrote these letters if she is to save herself.

MY THOUGHTS: Dark. Despite the romantic beginning, The Wife Before Me is a very dark book.

Laura Elliot explores the reality that violence takes many forms, not just bruises and cracked ribs; that the emotionally vulnerable are easy prey for the manipulators, who seduce with words of love and romantic gestures, who sweep away those feelings of insecurity, guilt, and loneliness, who slowly separate you from your friends,your family, and systematically set out to destroy the person you were. It is rather like a cat playing with a mouse. No matter where you turn, he is there, waiting for you, ready to punish for any slight, real or imagined. Until he tires of the game. . .

The story is told from the points of view of both Elena, and Amelia, Nick's first wife, plus we get a few insights from Leanne, Amelia's friend which, I felt, only served to confuse.

While it is difficult to enjoy a book about spousal violence, especially graphic and detailed abuse both emotional and physical, it certainly kept me turning the pages. Until the end. The ending, I felt, let the book down. It felt like the author wasn't quite sure how to resolve the situation, so threw in the paranormal aspect. Not a good move. It instantly dropped a whole star from my rating.


THE AUTHOR: Laura Elliot is the author of six novels, Stolen Child and The Prodigal Sister, published by Avon HarperCollins. Her novels, Fragile Lies, The Betrayal, Sleep Sister and Guilty are published by Bookouture. Her books have been widely translated and she has collaborated on a number of high-profile non-fiction books.

Aka June Considine, she is an author of twelve books for children and young adults. Her children's short stories have been broadcast and have appeared in a number of teenage anthologies.She gives regular workshops on creative writing.She has also worked as a freelance journalist and magazine editor but is now engaged full time in creative writing.

She lives in Malahide, Co Dublin, Ireland.

DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Bookouture via Netgalley for providing a digital ARC of The Wife Before Me by Laura Elliot. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

Please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the about page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com for an explanation of my rating system.

This review and others are also published on my blog sandysbookaday.wordpress.com https://sandysbookaday.wordpress.com/...
Profile Image for Jayme.
1,138 reviews1,873 followers
August 11, 2018
Amelia Madison’s car slid into the sea off Mason’s Pier. Although it appeared that she had escaped the vehicle, she was not a swimmer...her body was never found.

Two years later, Elena Langdon meets Nicholas Madison at her mother’s funeral.

Excerpt of what Nicholas says a few months later: “ Do you remember that glance we exchanged as your mother was laid to rest? That’s when my heart began to beat again.”

Gag! I am not a reader of romance. I really wanted to skim through the courtship phase of this relationship! I am sure the author was “laying it on thick” so the reader would understand How Elena could fall for Fabio, (I mean, Nicholas!) but it was a bit much for me. The dialogue sounded too much like a romance novel and not enough like a real conversation.

Elena moves into the home that Nicholas shared with Amelia. But the master bedroom is kept locked-a shrine to his first wife. Nicholas and Elena share a different room. And, Elena is constantly reminded that she does not measure up to the wife who came before her.

Warning: Both physical and emotional abuse are endured by both women. It is not pleasant to read.

And, I found the ending predictable, as well.

I always appreciate the opportunity to review a book from Netgalley and Bookouture, but I did agree to provide a candid review in exchange for this ARC, and sadly, although I had read and enjoyed “The Betrayal”, an earlier book by this author, I cannot say the same about this one.

All opinions are my own, and you may feel differently than me, so if this sounds interesting to you-pick up your copy on Aug. 24th!
Profile Image for Sarah.
2,604 reviews168 followers
July 26, 2018
The Wife Before Me is a brooding read of which you can feel the tension growing through out.

At times this was an uncomfortable read due to the subject matter. From the outside Nicholas is the perfect catch. When we, as well as Elena, get to know him better, well my opinion of him soon changed. He certainly seems to have the weight of the world on his shoulders having loved and lost his previous wife but appearances can be deceiving and like Elena, I was keen to know more about his previous marriage and the wife before her. 

The story is split into parts as well as between past and present so we get to understand Nicholas as well as his first marriage more. It certainly makes for some intriguing reading as well as holding a few surprises. 

This is a very dark read of which I was never certain which direction the author would take me. It's one of those stories that you keep saying, just one more chapter, of which of course, one more turns into several more as I was so engrossed. A definite page turner of a read.

My thanks to Bookouture and NetGalley for an advanced readers copy of this book. All opinions are my own and not biased in anyway.
Profile Image for Namita.
509 reviews33 followers
September 4, 2018
Elena meets Nicholas at her mother’s funeral who is also recovering from his wife Amelia’s death.Soon Elena and Nicholas start dating and they move in together and that’s when Nicholas dark side is revealed. When the physical and emotional abuse starts Elena begins to wonder what actually happened to Amelia

The Wife Before Me is divided into three parts going back and forth between present ,past and present again.It is well written book with lots of strong characters on a difficult subject of domestic violence with a little paranormal suspense added .Overall a quick ,engaging read.

I would like to thank Bookouture & NetGalley for providing an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest and fair review.

This and more reviews at https://chloesbooksblog.wordpress.com/
Profile Image for Tracy .
762 reviews12 followers
March 16, 2022
'The Wife Before Me' is a high-intensity and fast-paced psychological thriller, which focuses on some of societies dirty little secrets. Bravo to Ms. Elliot for bringing these (too often) "behind closed doors" and "out of sight, out of mind" tragic injustices (Still) plaguing our nation into the forefront via one of her much read/far reaching novels. What a great vehicle for educating and empowering people to stand up and be heard. From start to finish this one does not slow down and the brutally realistic depictions happening with/to the characters certainly got me charged up. Hopefully, we will have many more solution focused, proactive discussions as a result. Many thanks to Ms Elliott for being an incredible change agent.
Narrator Michele Moran provided an exciting and authentic listening experience. All the characters have an autonomous voice (easily identified from all others) which was much appreciated - and made the book come to life much more vividly than reading alone could have.
Profile Image for Mandy White (mandylovestoread).
2,027 reviews528 followers
August 16, 2018
I really struggled with this book for several reasons - most of all that most of the story felt like so many other books that I have read recently. I have read a lot of great reviews for this book so I know that I am in the minority and I wish that I liked it more.

Elena meets Nicholas 2 years after the mysterious death of his first wife. They start dating and then move in together. That is when Elena sees the dark side of Nicholas - it is like he is different person. Domestic violence and mental abuse - and Elena starts to wonder if there is more to his first wife's disappearance.

Thanks to Bookouture and Netgalley for the advanced copy of this book to read. All opinions are my own and are in no way biased
Profile Image for Michelle.
518 reviews46 followers
August 25, 2018
Review can be found on my blog here: https://booksonthebookshelf.wordpress...

This book was a gripping psychological thriller that pulls you in from the very first page and captivates you until the very last page.

In the very first chapter we are quickly introduced to Amelia who has a lot on her mind. She is quickly unravelling. Amelia is the first wife of Nicholas, a handsome and confident man who seems to be perfect in every way.

Flash forward to when Elena meets Nicholas. Elena attends her mother’s funeral when she meets the dashing and handsome man Nicholas. He seems perfect! Elena finds that she is very attracted to him. They soon begin talking and decide to go out on a date. Their relationship quickly blossoms and they find that they are falling in love with one another. There is just one problem…. Nicholas never talks about the life he had before with Amelia or his grieving loss after her death.

Elena feels like Amelia’s ghost and the memory of her is coming between her relationship with Nicholas. Why does he not talk about his previous wife? Why does he get so upset with Elena when she brings up Amelia’s name?

The book is then written in 3 parts. All 3 parts alternate between the present from Elena’s point of view and the past from Amelia’s point of view. I loved to read the different parts of this book as it allows us a glimpse into just who Amelia was and what drove her to do what is revealed to us in the very first and shocking chapter. It allows us to see what Amelia had gone through in her life that led to her decisions she had made and we see how her life was with Nicholas in their marriage.

From the shocking secrets, lies and betrayals in the book to the final twists and turns at the end, this book will have you reading late into the wee hours of the night as you need to know what will happen next. You will be sitting on the edge of your seat, afraid to continue reading and see what is revealed next, but yet unable to put this book down. The pages will seem to be turning themselves. You will experience many emotions while reading this book as well, I know I did.

A great thriller from beginning to end. This book was a pleasure to read and it definitely won’t be the last book I read by Laura Elliot.
Profile Image for Rheama Heather.
228 reviews4 followers
August 30, 2020
Reeling from her mother’s death, Elena falls in love with Nicholas, a successful man recovering from his own tragedy - the drowning disappearance of his first wife. As the two survivors build a life together, Amelia’s lingering presence only seems to grow stronger. Will Elena ever have Nicholas all to herself?

There’s a core idea at the heart of this book that could have resulted in a thrilling read. Unfortunately, that simple spark is lost among superfluous characters (who all seem to have dead parents - a detail I’m still trying to assign relevance to), confusing narration changes that sometimes occur in the middle of a scene, characters who contradict themselves from one page to the next, a grab bag mix of genre styles, and the occasional use of present tense when referencing things that occurred in the past.

The first hundred pages were enjoyable enough. In the last hundred, the writing disintegrated, and my patience wore thin. With some trimming and polishing, this story could shine.
Profile Image for love2read .
101 reviews51 followers
August 15, 2018
The Wife Before Me is a great suspense book about a married couple Elena and Nicholas. Nicolas and Elena are still haunted by his ex wife Amelia. Exciting page tuner.
Profile Image for Sherri Thacker.
1,234 reviews245 followers
September 6, 2018
The domestic violence is just too much for me in this book. I can’t stand the characters so I’m abandoning it at 25%. Just not for me.
Profile Image for Denise.
1,983 reviews84 followers
August 30, 2018
PSA -- Ladies, if you meet a man at your mother's funeral and you find out that he has a wife who died under suspicious circumstances and her body was never recovered -- don't hook up with him!

Unfortunately, Elena Langdon did not heed that warning and got together with Nicholas Madison anyway. His wife, Amelia, looms as the third person in their relationship from the very beginning. But Nicholas is so charming and just insinuates himself into Elena's life, finally getting her to agree to a commitment ceremony because he is not yet able to marry her as Madison has not been legally declared dead. Despite his ardent declarations, Elena is vulnerable to his manipulations and is convinced to move into the house Nicholas shared with his former wife. That's when the real problems surface. NO SPOILERS.

I'm sure that all women have thought at one time or another when we hear about a case of spousal abuse -- why doesn't she leave him? There are as many reasons (or excuses) as there are the women who endure the beatings, the treachery, the isolation, the controlling and the lies. Elena is distraught and can't escape Nicholas even after he confesses that he's lost all her inheritance. Now, she's really dependent on him. Much of the book describes how the worm turned and how Nicholas torments Elena, especially as she is convinced that he still loves the dead Amelia -- why else would he lock the door to the couple's previous bedroom and what other secrets is he keeping.

I've read other reviews and I must say that I enjoyed this domestic drama and psychological thriller. I didn't read the "romance" aspect as being too much as I realize this is the way that the abuser draws in his victim. I could see the downward spiral of Elena's life and sympathized with her even as I kept telling myself that I would never be in her position. Ah hubris, right? Anyway, there is suspense and the author creates a nice bit of tension. You know there is something of course -- that there will be a twist, and it's pretty easy to anticipate though you're not sure when it is coming.

The book is told in alternating viewpoints with some flips in time and this strange bit in italics that was a bit disconcerting until you identify the owner of the voice. That aspect of the narrative fell a little flat and I definitely had to suspend some disbelief about some of the things that happened as the story builds to a dramatic climax and a satisfying conclusion. You may or may not identify or relate to the characters, but it won't be hard to despise Nicholas as he's definitely a psychopath!

It was easy to read this book in one sitting as I found it hard to put down so stayed up way late finishing. I hope you enjoy it as well. Thank you to NetGalley and Bookouture for the e-book ARC to read and review.
Profile Image for Shalini.
2,506 reviews199 followers
September 2, 2018
I hate when a man uses his fists to win an argument.

I hate when a man manipulates the woman to believe that she deserves it

I hate when a man likes getting his way around, undermining a woman’s confidence.

And I hate when a man uses the woman’s bank balance as his personal investment back-up.

And this book had all that, and the man not only found one such woman, but he got two of them to believe him. The story made my skin crawl. The physical abuse was atrocious leading one woman to drive her car into the sea. I wanted nothing more than for this man to be tortured, for this man to know what the strength of a woman was!! The book had the points of view of both women, sharing their lives before and after this man, along with an intermittent unknown narrator.

What strongly niggled me, caused by skin to erupt in mini volcanoes, caused me to literally want to throw my kindle (no no, I didn’t. I love my kindle.) was the women received proof, literally falling into their hands about their husband being a murderer, AND THEY STILL DON’T BELIEVE IT!! After being battered and hit on every part of the body, including being pushed down the stairs or ladder (which caused the miscarriage), they did not believe he could be a murderer!!
The book did end in a twist, had its own delightful, mystical, magical moments, it was a thriller. But for most parts, it was abuse and cowering. Overall, a good read!!
Profile Image for Erin Clemence.
1,051 reviews312 followers
August 19, 2018
Special thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for a free, electronic ARC of this novel.

3.5 stars rounded to 4

One evening, Amelia Madison drives her car into the water, never to be heard from again. Two years later, her husband, Nicholas Madison, meets Elena, a woman dealing with the death of her mother, and the two bond over shared grief. Elena quickly realizes that Nicholas is not who he seems. He has a violent temper, and is able to manipulate anyone. Elena is now stuck in a violent, unhappy marriage with no way out until the day she finds a hidden file, a file which not only may save her, but may also answer the question- “what really happened to Amelia?”

“The Wife Before Me” did not start off great. I found it to be a little slow-moving and choppy, and neither Nicholas nor Elena was a likable character at the beginning. It played out more like a lame TV romance movie for a few chapters, and I almost DNF’ed it to be honest.

I am, however, grateful that I continued. Once Amelia is introduced (the story is told from her perspective as well as Elena’s), the novel quickly picked up speed. I instantly liked Amelia, and her story was entertaining and captivating. Soon, we hear from Leanne as well and I was quick to forget the slow beginning.

Nicholas, of course, is an abomination and I disliked his character from the start (although most readers will likely agree with me there) but it did take me awhile to grow to like Elena. Told from alternating viewpoints (and both “before” and “after” when Amelia narrated), the storyline quickly picked up pace, and once it did, I found it difficult to put down.

The ending was very satisfying and it brought the novel to a tightly-wrapped conclusion.

I am new to Laura Elliot’s novels, but she is not a new writer. Elliot is the writer of six novels, most of which are identified as psychological thrillers, as well as some children’s books under another name. I am curious to read Elliot’s other works, for comparison’s sake. It is hard to write a novel in this genre that is creative and unique, that doesn’t resemble any other novels out there, but it seems that Elliot is able to do that in “The Wife Before Me”. A novel that has a major impact, if you stick with it!
Profile Image for Shawna Peryea.
374 reviews82 followers
July 28, 2018
I have no clue what to rate this....maybe 3.5 stars because I am feeling confused.

Nicholas is a crap husband whose ex wife Amelia died after her car sank into the sea. Now Nicholas is married to Elena who is starting to have second guesses about her new husband. Here's the good about this book. The characters were very well written and you got to experience the feelings both women had. However....that's where the good kind of ends. I hate writing reviews that are less than four stars because I am one of those people that wants to make everyone feel happy.

I had a good amount of tension throughout the book which is why it's not super low. The thing is, the characters , while well written, were also stereotypical. Maybe I am burning out on domestic thrillers/ domestic noir...whatever you want to call it, but I feel like nothing shocks me more. There were A LOT of side characters and honestly it was damn confusing at times. I had to reread chapters because I had no clue who was narrating and it felt a bit choppy to me.

This book was similar to a lot of other popular books involving a wife, ex wife, and crappy husband, but tried to involve other elements Sadly didn't live up to my expectations. Thanks Bookouture and Netgalley for the chance to read!
Profile Image for Katie.
238 reviews49 followers
August 13, 2018
The Wife Before Me has a fairly intricate plot along the lines of popular psychological domestic thrillers. A woman marries a man who may not what he appears on the surface and there is a mystery surrounding the fate of his previous wife. However, the writing was not executed as well as it could have been and I felt like it was trying to be too many things at once. The beginning reads more like a kitschy romance and then then it descends into detail of abuses and scams that felt like they should have been picked up by characters earlier. I had trouble connecting with the characters and found it rather tedious to read. The ending had a touch of supernatural which can sometimes work well and sometimes not. Perhaps I have overdosed a bit on the psychological thriller genre and am a little too jaded. I could understand if other readers could get more enjoyment out of this book than I did at this moment in time. I received this book from NetGalley as an electronic advanced reader's copy.
Profile Image for Renita D'Silva.
Author 13 books326 followers
August 24, 2018
I love this author's books. She is one of those authors whose books I pick up blindly, without needing to know anything about the book, knowing that whatever she chooses to write about, I will enjoy. Her books make me think while also transporting me to the world she has crated. And with every single book she ups her game! This is by far her best book and this is not something I say lightly as I have absolutely LOVED every single one of her books - they are exquisitely written. This author is at the top of her game and each book I think is perfection and yet, with every book, she manages to produce something even better. I am in awe of her brilliant writing. Beautiful prose, great story, this book is amazing and deserves to be on top of every bestseller list. Highly recommend this wonderful book to everyone.
Profile Image for Amber.
453 reviews75 followers
December 25, 2018
3.5 stars rounded down to 3 ( just wasn’t special enough to give 4 stars) I read this thriller really quickly because I found it an easy read and I did enjoy it . There was nothing ‘ new’ in this book and I often felt I had read this plot before , however it did entertain over the Christmas break .

Profile Image for Jenna.
337 reviews333 followers
August 23, 2018
First of all, thank you to Netgalley for a free advanced copy of this title in exchange for an honest review.

"When the fear of death has been conquered, we become unconquerable."

This is the first book I've read by Laura Elliot, and wow, I had no idea what kind of ride I was in for. The book opens with a tragic scene of Amelia Madison driving off a steep incline into the ocean, despite being unable to swim. She has had nightmares her entire life about drowning. She knew that this was the end of her marriage.

Then we jump forward a few years to the funeral of Isabelle Langdon, Elena's mother. Elena meets a mysterious character who dazzles her with his good looks and his charm. Nicholas Madison is the grieving widow of Amelia Madison, the front page headline of many newspapers after her tragic car fall to the death off of Mason's Pier. Elena knows the story, but still pursues a relationship Nicholas despite his obvious torment over the death of his wife.

We are then pulled into a tumultuous story of the life that Elena is thrust into with Nicholas as her husband. Nothing is ever as it seems, especially when you marry someone who has a history of beating his previous wife. Elena endures more than any character I have ever met in a book, and she does it all while she believes the ghost of Amelia is haunting her.

Beaten constantly and losing sight of who she once was, she eventually cracks and stabs her husband with a rusty ice pick. This launches her into the main bulk of the drama of the book, where we learn more about Amelia's past with Nicholas and how it eventually caused her to spiral out of control.

With twists, turns, and an overall deep plot, this book kept me on the edge of my seat until the very end. The ending brought drama and closure.

The main reason that I did not give this book five stars was because I oftentimes felt like the author wrote it with a thesaurus in front of her - using words that were unnecessarily large and even confusing at times. It took away from the story instead of adding to it, and made the book more difficult to read than I would have liked.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for The Cats’ Mother.
2,060 reviews131 followers
September 1, 2018
This tense domestic suspense thriller covers ground which has been well trodden in recent years - abuse by a charming psychopath concealed by an apparently perfect marriage, so if you read a lot in this genre, which I have this year, the basic premise will feel very familiar. There is a slightly unusual spin on things, however, which I liked once I worked out what was going on.

Returning to Ireland after the unexpected death of her mother after several years in Australia, Elena is distraught and vulnerable when she meets handsome banker Nicholas, and is rapidly swept up into a passionate romance. Things turn sour when she realises he is still obsessed with his wife, Amelia, whose car slid into the sea years earlier, her body never found. This is told in three parts, Elena’s story in the present, Amelia’s in the past, with extra narration from her best friend, and then back to the present.

I found the first part hard to read, as Elena tolerates the escalating physical and psychological abuse that Nicholas dishes out even quite early in the relationship, when she had every opportunity to leave. She is supposedly depressed about her mother’s death (although was not so bothered about her poor widowed mother when she flitted off to Oz) but even so, warning signs should have been blaring. I contemplated abandoning this around 30% in, as it seemed obvious what was going to happen, and probably would’ve had it not been a NetGalley ARC. I am glad I didn’t, as Amelia’s story was a lot more interesting, even though she too, as a smart independent career woman, should’ve walked away at the first punch, and then the fightback in the final third had me gripped.

My thanks to Bookouture and NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review and my apologies for this being past the publication date, which was 24.08.18.

Profile Image for Melissa In The City.
260 reviews31 followers
August 27, 2018
Loved it! Twisty..dark...full of lies and deceit.
I haven’t read a book yet with domestic abuse as the main storyline and I did cringe a lot but the story was so well written. Female characters were AWESOME strong women.

Thank you @NetGalley, the publisher and the author for my free ARC in exchange for my honest review.
4 twisted dark stars ⭐️ 🌟🌟🌟
Profile Image for Donna Maguire.
4,387 reviews104 followers
August 25, 2018

I am a fan of this author's book so I was delighted to see that she had a new book coming out and jumped at the chance of getting my hands on a copy! I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed it and the suspense that builds up in the story to what is a brilliant ending is superb!!

The author has crafted a very well written story with this one, I loved the characters and their interaction, it was completely on point and made the story for me. I loved the setting and the descriptive nature makes the book very vivid at times and you feel as though you are with the characters. It is well paced and had just enough detail to keep me hooked.

4.5 stars from me which will be rounded up to 5 stars for Goodreads and Amazon - a very enjoyable story that kept me on tenterhooks - loved it!!
Profile Image for Pamela.
461 reviews76 followers
September 8, 2018
There were qualities I really like about this so I am being a little generous with my rating. I thought some of the characters were pretty solid, but I did feel that Nick was a bit of a cliché. Elena and her obsession with the wife before her felt pretty real. I could see a woman have that kind of jealousy and what seems like an obsession. You can definitely see what movie Ms. Elliot got her inspiration from, but a couple of twists help boost this story. Overall, pretty decent. I would try this author again.

**Thank you to the publisher and Net Galley in exchange of an honest review.**
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