Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Before She Knew Him” as Want to Read:
Before She Knew Him
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Before She Knew Him

by
4.18  ·  Rating details ·  294 ratings  ·  143 reviews
Catching a killer is dangerous. And could be fatal if the best bait . . . is you.

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
...more
Kindle Edition, 320 pages
Expected publication: March 5th 2019 by William Morrow
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
4.18  · 
Rating details
 ·  294 ratings  ·  143 reviews


Filter
 | 
Sort order
Emily (Books with Emily Fox)
Jan 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019-releases, arc
This book was messed up in the best possible way!

This is my fourth book by the author and I think it's one of my favorites (with "The Kind Worth Killing"!).

The twists didn't feel forced, the story flowed nicely and the characters were intriguing.

Would recommend!
Meredith
Dec 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
4.25 stars

Creepy, Captivating, and a little strange!

Before She Knew Him has a Rear-Window like quality with oddball characters and some huge twists. This is an intriguing psychological thriller about the very strange friendship of two neighbors.

“They had a secret, the two of them, and there was no better way to start a friendship than with a secret.”


When artist Hen and her husband Lloyd move to a quiet suburb outside of Boston, they are hoping to embrace the quiet life their new town has t
...more
Debra
Jul 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: edelweiss
4.5 stars

"They had a secret, the two of them, and there was no better way to start a friendship than with a secret."

When I read Peter Swanson's book, The Kind Worth Killing, I was completely blown away. I was hooked almost instantly and knew that this was only the beginning. Have you ever read an Author and thought "why have I never read a book by him/her before?" and "when I can get my hands on another of his/her books?" Well, I just got my chance!!!!!!!!!

Hen (Henrietta) and her husband Lloyd
...more
Jeffrey Keeten
Jan 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
”I didn’t know that blood could jump like that, almost like it wants to leave the human body, get as far away as possible. I’d read about it, of course, in books, and I’d seen it in movies, the way arterial blood will spray. But to see it in reality, to see the life of it, that was something...something I can’t even express in words.”

Henrietta Mazur will tell you to call her Hen because that is what everyone calls her. When people do that to me, force their nicknames on me, I have a tendency to
...more
Kaceey - Traveling Sister
Dec 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: buddy-read, edelweiss
Question: What if your neighbor turns out to be a cold blooded killer? What if no one will believe you? Not your husband...not even the police!

Hen and Lloyd are over-the-moon. They’re moving into their new home in Massachusetts and everything is just picture perfect. Now it’s time to get acquainted with the neighbors! In particular, Matthew and Mira. The only other couple on the block who don’t have children. Great, they already share something in common! Maybe a great friendship can blossom bet
...more
Holly  B
Talk about "killer" suspense!

It is fast-paced.

It is dark and twisted.

It is strange, zany, and a bit outlandish, but at the same time seems realistic. After all, there are plenty of far-fetched true crime mysteries out there.

Henrietta and Lloyd are the new neighbors on the quiet street. Mira and Matthew are their next door neighbors and they invite them over one night for dinner. Mira gives them a "tour" of their home and Hen sees something that spikes her interest.  One thing leads to another
...more
j e w e l s [Books Bejeweled]
FIVE STARS

You say Peter Swanson wrote it... I say, yes, please, just give me that book! I don't even care what it's about. If Swanson writes it, I read it. The man creates dark characters caught up in the most clever storylines you will ever come across in this genre.

I got no business reading this yet since it doesn’t come out for at least three months, BUT I COULDN’T WAIT ANY LONGER. And now that I finished it, my head is spinning and I just want to read it all over again. Very few novels in th
...more
Dorie  - Traveling Sister :)
I find myself saying “I should have known this, I should have figured this out”, but I didn’t and that is one reason that this thriller is a strong read.

The characters in this book are certainly all flawed, some mentally ill, but I felt them to still be believable. The plot is creepy and at times a little gruesome but if you watch any news or TV dramas you know that people are capable of murder and bizarre killing. In the beginning we aren’t quite sure what is going on with Matthew and what his
...more
Katie B
4.5 stars

I've now read all 5 of Peter Swanson's books, and this one is my second favorite, ranking just behind The Kind Worth Killing. It was disturbing but I didn't think it crossed into super uncomfortable territory when it's not even fun to read. I thought it was an entertaining read and really showcased some of the author's strengths as a writer.

Hen and her husband Lloyd seek more of a quiet lifestyle and move into a neighborhood outside of Boston. They are invited over for dinner at their n
...more
Susanne Strong
Dec 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: buddy-read, edelweiss
3.75 Stars.

Oddly Addictive.

You know how I always say that far-fetched plots never ever work? Well somehow, “Before She Knew Him” by Peter Swanson proved me wrong.
In the weirdest, wildest way possible, parts of this novel worked. Jaw dropping and strangely addictive, the multiple plots wove together in a way that kept my attention even though it stretched believability and I can’t quite figure out how.

When Hen suspects the worst about her nextdoor neighbor Matthew, no one believes her, not he
...more
Barbie
Feb 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley-read, 2019
This was my first book from Peter Swanson, but all his books are on my TBR for ages. So, it was a really good start.

*** WARNING ***
If you are not familiar with the story, please don't read the blurb nor (most of) the reviews, because they are full of spoilers. Just go in blind, and you will not regret it.

I just tell you some sneak peek, without any spoilers.
This book is about two couples who are neighbors. Somebody sees something and it will be very dangerous. Everything is connected in some
...more
Umut Reviews
Jan 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
BLEW MY MIND! Best crime fiction I've read in a long time. So clever, so unpredictable, full of twists and turns. I couldn't breathe.
This book is great on so many levels that I don't know where to start. First of all, the writing is amazing. Swanson surely knows how to do characterisation, build a perfect plot, keep you on the edge until the last moment.
Second, I think he's a very confident, daring writer as he chose to let us know who actually the criminal is and turned this into a mind blowi
...more
Carol (Bookaria)
This is a great psychological thriller from one of my favorite authors, Peter Swanson.

I have read and loved three of his previous books, THE KIND WORTH KILLING, HER EVERY FEAR, and ALL THE BEAUTIFUL LIES.

In this novel we meet Hen, which is short for Henrietta. Their new neighbors, Matthew and Mira have invited them for dinner, After the four of them finished eating, Hen and her husband are given a tour of their neighbors' house. On the study, Hen sees a fencing trophy that appears to have belon
...more
Ova - Excuse My Reading


OMG! This is by far the BEST book by Swanson. It's so, so good.

Take this useful advice:
Don't read the blurb. Don't read anything about this book.

Just dive in

If this was made into a movie (Please, God, let this happen) It's going to be like Hitchcock meets with Christopher Nolan. It's amazing. Swanson did something in this book that he hasn't done in other books and I LOVED IT. I think he's my favourite thriller writer, like, EVER.
Jayme
As I have mentioned before, "The Kind Worth Killing" is the thriller that turned me into the "thriller junkie" that I am. So whenever I see a new book by Peter Swanson, I MUST read it as soon as possible!

However, I was a bit hesitant, as I was not a fan of his last effort, "All The Beautiful Lies".

I am happy to say, that Mr. Swanson, mostly returns to form with his latest effort.

What would the odds be of a married couple living on the same street as a young man who was murdered, and then movin
...more
Darinda
Feb 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Henrietta, Hen for short, and her husband Lloyd have moved into a new home and are adjusting to their quiet suburban life. While visiting with new neighbors, Matthew and Mira, Hen sees something in Matthews's home office that leads her to believe he is a killer. Hen's past makes it difficult for her to be a reliable source, so she struggles with knowing the truth and finding someone to believe her.

Told with alternating points of view, both Hen and Matthew's stories are told. Hen is bipolar and h
...more
NZLisaM
Feb 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Oh, who are the people in your neighborhood?

4.5 Stars!

Hen and Lloyd meet Matthew and Mira at a neighbourhood block party. This encounter leads to an invite to the latter couple’s for dinner, and at the close of the evening, Mira invites her guests on a tour the house. In Matthew's study, Hen notices a fencing trophy that looks exactly like the one that went missing when Dustin Miller – a young man from the neighbourhood she and Lloyd lived three years ago – was brutally murdered. Is it a coincid
...more
marilyn
Feb 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: edelweiss
Hen, in her early 30s, was diagnosed as bipolar as a late teen, when she made accusations against another student and then attacked her. Later she becomes obsessed with the murder of a young man, Dustin, who lived down the street from her and her husband, Lloyd. Now she and her husband live in a new house, near her art studio, and Hen becomes obsessed with her next door neighbor, accusing him of murder.

After seeing a fencing trophy in the office of her next door neighbor, Matthew, Hen is sure t
...more
Liz Barnsley
Feb 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love Peter Swanson’s characters. They are so beautifully drawn, full of layers and always highly intriguing.
So it is here, with our main pair Hen and Matthew who form a kimd of twisted bond after she decides he’s a murderer. So the scene is set for a lyrical, literary cat and mouse chase as Hen determines to get someone to believe her and Matthew tries to avoid being scrutinised too closely..
There are lots of little twisted nuances as you read and the author keeps you guessing as to the eventu
...more
Nadia
Feb 17, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars

I'm normally clueless in terms of twists when reading psychological thrillers and easily susceptible to shock with unexpected turns of events. Peter Swanson's latest thriller was fun to read but I figured out the twist too early on. I still enjoyed the book and found it fast paced and gripping, but I do feel that we've seen the twist too many times before.


Many thanks to Faber and Faber for my review copy in exchange for an honest review.
Sandra ~ ♥ Cross My Heart ♥
Intriguing thriller! Henrietta (Hen) and Lloyd are a childless couple who have just moved into their new home outside Boston. Hen is an illustrator - an emotionally fragile woman with a bipolar disorder controlled with medications. Thankfully, it's been some time since she's experienced an "episode". Lloyd is a caring, supportive husband who always watches his wife closely for any sign of relapse. The next-door neighbors, Matthew and Mira, invite Lloyd and Hen over for dinner - a getting-to-know ...more
Alafair Burke
Feb 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In Peter Swanson’s expert hands, one woman’s discerning observation at a quiet suburban dinner party unfolds into a gripping, twisty, psychologically complex thriller. I could not put it down.
Shannon
Feb 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
RTC for blog tour
Susan
Jan 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: for-review, favorites
Can a thriller ever have too many shocking twists? I don't think so. I was constantly surprised by this book. Just when I thought I knew where it was going it switched into something else. I don't know that I've ever read a more unpredictable thriller! It was very cleverly written, so much so that when one big shocker was revealed I had to go back and reread the parts with that character because I couldn't figure out how it was possible. I was sure the author had made a mistake but no, it was ju ...more
KC
After suffering a frightening mental breakdown, bipolar Hen and husband Lloyd move into a new home outside of Boston. The house is close enough to his work at a private school and nearby her art studio. Soon after meeting their next door neighbors, Matthew and Mira, Hen has a horribly dreadful feeling that there something terribly off with Matthew. Only after piecing her suspicions together can she begin with certainty to try convience her husband and the police that she is living next door to a ...more
Anne
Jan 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Love this author so when this ARC appeared in the mail I was delighted! Who doesn't love a Peter Swanson novel (always creepy, hypnotic, and dark)! Hen and Lloyd move to a new house and are immediately invited over by couple, Mira and Matthew where Hen sees a fencing trophy she recognizes as one belonging to a young man who was murdered after attending the school where Matthew teaches. Of course Matthew is harboring a dark secret but Hen has no credibility as she's on meds for anxiety and depres ...more
Patty
Nov 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Before She Knew Him
By
Peter Swanson

What 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
...more
Sherry
Jul 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars
With each book he writes, Peter Swanson shows us what a great psychological thriller he writes and Before She Knew Him doesn't disappoint. After Hen and her husband, Lloyd move to a new home they go to a cookout at their neighbor's where Hen notices a wrestling trophy on the shelf. It unsettles her because it reminds her of someone who was awarded the same trophy who was murdered a few years back.
Could she be slipping into a bipolar state or is her neighbor a murderer? And if she tells
...more
Meg Wilder
Ugh! I hate that I’m the first person to review below three stars!

I really really wanted to like this book. I purchased it at a bookstore that only sells independent/small publisher books and I had a lot of hope when I looked at the reviews on goodreads.

First off, this is a very plot heavy book. I feel like I have whiplash from all the “plot twists.” The “plot twists” seemed cheap and predictable.

I found Hen’s mental illness unbelievable.

Lastly, this book is poorly written. The third person o
...more
Yigal Zur
Nov 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
very dark. even creepy. obsessive. journey into twisted souls. no one comes clean. ir seems every one has shadows and each one manipulating the others. there are some flaws, some places could be worked better. a bit of too much repetition. but on the whole very good thriller
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Lock Every Door
  • Untitled
  • I Know Who You Are
  • Before She Was Found
  • Dear Wife
  • The Night Before
  • My Lovely Wife
  • The Better Sister
  • I'll Never Tell
  • The Next to Die (Spilling CID, #10)
  • The Favorite Daughter
  • The Last House Guest
  • The Perfect Alibi (Robin Lockwood #2)
  • After the End
  • They All Fall Down
  • The Hunting Party
  • Run Away
  • The Turn of the Key
2,507 followers
Peter Swanson is the author of four novels: The Girl With a Clock For a Heart, an LA Times Book Award finalist; 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, All the Beautiful Lies. His books have been translated into 30 languages, and his stories, poetry, and fe ...more