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

The Girl Before You

3.39  ·  Rating details ·  1,446 ratings  ·  287 reviews

She was his.
She was perfect.
And then, she was gone.

If you liked My Lovely Wife, you’ll love this.

Alice has always been haunted by the women from her husband’s past. As a politician and now a TV personality, George Bell’s reputation as a ladies’ man precedes him. But when Alice falls pregnant, her unease becomes an obsession.

And there’s one ex in particu

ebook, 339 pages
Published May 27th 2019 by Avon
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

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

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Girl Before You, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
This question contains spoilers... (view spoiler)
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.39  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,446 ratings  ·  287 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Girl Before You
"If you liked My Lovely Wife, you’ll love this."

Can we stop with these comparisons? These books are nothing alike. Not at all.

Alice is married to George who is a politician turned television personality. Charming and confident he seems to always attract the attention of women. He was known as quite the ladies man during his university days but he doesn't really like to discuss his past with his wife which leads her to believe that he's keeping secrets. Now that Alice finds herself pregnant she
Aug 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
An intriguing start. Naomi watches her sister Ruth getting ready to go, out not knowing this may be the last time she will see her again.

The book is told from numerous people’s prospectives with different timelines. This can be either very confusing or very clever, but with this story it works perfectly.

Alice is married to George a television presenter who was formerly a politician, she has always known he was a ladies man and has often wondered about his previous relationships. They met at un
Mandy White (mandylovestoread)
The Girl Before you by Nicola Rayner was not the page turner that I had hoped for. While overall I enjoyed the story I found it to be slow and dragged out. At times it I felt that I was reading the same thing over and over. Having said that I will read more by this author as I liked the story as whole.

George Bell is an MP and now a TV star. He has a reputation of being a ladies man. His wife Alice finally falls pregnant and becomes obsessed with one of Georges exes - Ruth, a read haired beauty t
Mar 30, 2022 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Girl Before You is an intriguing mystery-thriller utilising a combined multi-narrator and dual-timeline structure. For an author to use either of these mechanisms is a challenging enterprise, but both together is a tricky venture indeed. For the most part, I felt that Nicola Rayner achieved the objective, maintaining the narrative flow and the pace of the story despite the different perspectives and frequent flashback scenes.

The story opens with a prologue in which two sisters are prepa
Louise Wilson
Apr 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 ⭐️ rounded up to 4

Alice has always been haunted by the women from her husbands past. As an MP and now a TV personality, George Bell's reputation as a ladies' man precedes him. But when Alice falls pregnant, her unease becomes an obsession.

This is a dual timeline story about Ruth's disappearance. The story starts of slowly before picking up its pace. Roth had went missing some time ago. People tell us about her that she went to Uni with her. We also hear from her sister Naomi. They tell us ho
Lou (nonfiction fiend)
The Girl Before You is one of those psychological thrillers where the synopsis could is interchangeable with that of another book in the genre without losing the gist of the story. That's because there are so many novels effectively repeating the same trope-laden tale over and over, and this book is no exception. Don't get me wrong it's a fun, light, take-with-a-pinch-of-salt type of read and perhaps decent for a summer holiday or lounging around but nothing special or original.

However, I feel
Julie Parks
This is a really full-body reading experience.
There are so many events, so many names, so many twists to think about. I wouldn't recommend this as a light beach read exactly.

The story is told from various angles and timelines and thus requires a thorough sit-through, not just a when time allows skipping through kinda read.

My biggest struggle was the fact that I've recently read two other books with sisters and death and possibly one sister narrator, and it felt like walking through a jungle of
May 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

‘The Girl Before You’ by Nicola Rayner published by Avon Books and Out NOW ( published 27/6 )

384 Pages

All the way through this book I felt I had read it before, I hadn’t! and that doesn’t mean it wasn’t good, it and the themes just felt ‘familiar’......
I am not sure if the tag line ‘This Years Girl on The Train’ helped, this is distracting and also quite an accolade to live up to!
Anyway the story is....rich and privileged uni kids, excessive drink, drugs, sex and all the woes that came with th
This book was right up my street! Following a slightly slow start, the pace picked up considerably and I was immersed in this fabulous dual timeline story. It followed the viewpoints of different players in a disappearance both at that time and in the current day.

"The Girl Before You" was a very well thought out and engaging story and was edgy enough to keep my interest. With absorbing characters and intriguing themes it was definitely worth the read and for me, the elements all cleverly tied i
Liz Barnsley
Apr 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A gripping psych thriller and multi arc drama really very good.

I love books that look back to college or university days it's one of my favourite types of dual timeline to read and this one was really very clever - different interactions and motivations and in present time a wife who starts questioning everything she thought she knew about her husband...

There's a stellar cast of strong female characters and a thought provoking underneath to it all plus the plotting is taut and effective and beau
Mar 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked this book from the start-Ruth had gone missing quite a while back and you get a few people from her past reminisce about their relationships from when they were at Uni with her. One point of view is told by Ruth's sister-Naomi. (yes, like the Bible story.) We see how they are dealing or not dealing with her disappearance so many years later. All of their stories seem unrelated but the author manages to intertwine them just enough so you know beyond a doubt that eventually it will be conf ...more
Roman Clodia
Mar 20, 2019 rated it liked it
I'm pretty jaded when it comes to yet another domestic thriller with 'The Girl...' in the title but this one came with The Guardian's recommendation of note-perfect prose and an addictive story-line... but, you know, it's just the same-old stuff: switching narrators/PoV, a then-and-now storyline, privileged men, #metoo women, the wife who suddenly realises she doesn't know her husband, the devious best friend, girl-on-girl competition for men, a double helping of pregnancy, the dead sister trope ...more
May 22, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arcs
The Girl Before You is being marketed as " The new Girl on the train...The ending will leave you gasping" and after reading it all I can say is I'm not sure I've read the same book as the person who wrote that line.

While I'm not the biggest "Girl on the train" fan I decided to give this a try cause the synopsis sounded good but, oh boy, was this boring. A psychological thriller with absolutely no thrills.

The story is told through three different POVs and alternates between the past and the prese
*thank you to Netgalley, Nicola Rayner and HarperCollins Publishers Australia for an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review*

3 stars.

I was eager to start this as I read that it's along similar lines to Girl on the Train and yes it was, especially at the beginning. But what I discovered with this was the story was a bit too slow for me. It was still good but I'd rather have had it been more fast paced as I found my attention drifted quite a few times. It read more like a drama/woman's f
Jess The Bookworm
Alice is married to George, an MP turned TV personality, he is a well-known man, and also a well-known ladies' man. When George and Alice were still at university a girl named Ruth went missing. Ruth was a stunning redhead, someone who caught everyone's attention, including George's at the time.

When Alice thinks she sees Ruth on a train one day, she starts digging into the past to try to figure out how Ruth was involved with her husband, and to figure out the story with all of their friends from
Claire Wilson
Apr 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
The Girl Before You is one of those slow-burning books that you don't realise is fantastic until you get to the end and become disappointed that it's over. The story is told over two different time frames, the time leading up to Ruth's disappearance and years later. This book will leave you gasping, with characters you will hate and others that are relatable. 4 stars ...more
Sep 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received free copies of this book from the publisher, both a physical copy, and a digital copy via NetGalley.

This is a dark and twisty novel that kept me guessing. I didn't predict the ending, and I felt invested in the characters. I do have one downside to this novel though, and that is simply that it was incredibly difficult to keep track of who was who for a good chunk of the book. I found myself flicking back to the beginnings of chapters, and previous chapters to help me keep track of who
Domestic Thriller / Mystery / Contemporary

Alice thinks she see Ruth on a train, a beautiful red-haired student who went missing 15 years ago after a ball. When she mention this encounter to George, he shows indifference and doesn't seem to remember his ex. Alice can not let go of the chance meeting and decide to get in touch with Ruth's sister Naomi. But does she really want to know what her husband has been up to behind her back all these years?

This story was slow-paced, disjointed and did not
Nicki Kendall
Jul 16, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thanks #netgalley for the ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review. This book drew me in from the beginning and even though I was at first a bit confused by the multiple people's perspectives, that is more on me than a reflection of the book itself, I couldn't put it down once I had all of the characters sorted out in my head. It's filled with twists and peoples secrets all deliciously woven together. #nicolarayner #thegirlbeforyou #netgalley #tea_sipping_bookworm #goodreads #amazon #kindle ...more
Cherlynn | cherreading
Sep 21, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: arcs
I would not call this a thriller because it's not thrilling at all and barely a mystery.

Firstly, there were too many character names (note that I didn't say 'characters'). Because the story wasn't gripping or engaging enough to keep me turning the pages, I kept losing track of who's who and who's with who e.g. Teddy and Dan, Richard and George, Kat and Alice and Naomi, Christie and Carla etc. All the names seemed similar to me and I couldn't care less about any of them.

Three female POVs is also
Apr 15, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
1.5 * . What a disaster. The ending was the only thing keeping me reading, and it was a huge let down.
Jul 26, 2019 rated it liked it
Blog | Twitter | Instagram

Review was originally posted here to Booked J. As always, a copy of this book was provided by the publisher or author in exchange for my honest review. This does not effect my opinion in any way.

The Girl Before You, not to be confused with The Girl Before, was not at all what I expected it to be. At all. Which, to put it bluntly, is a brilliant thing to note. The Girl Before You was highly addictive, if not a little generic and slowly paced in terms of modern thri
Alexandra WhimsyPages
I've been meaning to write the review for «The Girl Before You» by Nicola Raynor for a very long time. I read it back at the beginning of May, and have been trying to come up with some words to describe this book ever since.

The Observer compared this book to «The Girl On The Train» by Paula Hawkins but in my opinion, it didn’t live up to this comparison. It's definitely not The Girl On The Train and it's definitely not a book I will reread at any point.

The reason why it took me so long to finis
Fay Flude
May 25, 2019 rated it liked it
This is a dark tale of men mistreating women under the guise of partying fun, where women strive to find their sexual freedom during their university years with devastating consequences. George and Dan are repellent characters, Naomi so endearing and Alice who is mostly brave but should never have married George in the first place.
However the whole book is centred around Ruth, the magnetic redhead, who is feisty, wild and ends up missing. Presumed to have died by drowning, nothing is clear cut
Tiffany www.instagram.com/tiffs_bookshelf
Hmmm this book is interesting enough with enough twists to keep you wanting to know what happened. It is told by 3 or 4 different POV's. A girl Ruth goes missing while in college and years later her mystery is finally solved sorta. It starts out with Alice who begins to obsess over her husbands exes from college once she finds out that one of the exes was Ruth. Her obsession leads to Ruth's sister Naomi and together they dig to find the truth. Thank you to Netgalley and Avon Books for the oppurt ...more
Thank you Avon UK and NetGalley for an early reader review book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Apparently this is supposed to be like The Girl on the Train and leave you gasping at the end. I don’t understand how thrillers are suddenly compared to their predecessors like there are no longer original ideas to be had in regards to the genre. It’s a disappointment because I really enjoy thrillers, but I’m put off at times by the lack of originality.

This is a split POV book about three women.
Megan Leprich
May 27, 2019 rated it liked it
Thank you so much to Avon Books and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

This was not the page-turner I was expecting it to be. I was hoping for a great domestic thriller after reading the synopsis but it fell a little short for me. It was an overall okay read but at times I felt like the story was getting repetitive and I was reading the same thing over and over again.

This story is told from three different points of view and goes back and forth
Bethany Rutledge
I enjoyed The Girl Before You. First off, it's tough to pull off three POVS + past present, but the author weaves them seamlessly.

This was a slow burn and had enough twists and turns to keep experienced thriller readers guessing.
I would recommend checking it out.

She was his. She was perfect. And then, she was gone.An addictive and twisting psychological suspense, perfect for summer.

If you liked My Lovely Wife, you’ll love this.Alice has always been haunted by the women from her husband’s past.
Stacey Clark
Aug 14, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great story about beautiful, erratic Ruth with her lovely red hair and her jealous friend Kat, her sister who idolises her, Niomi and their time at university leading to Ruth's disappearance. Alice, wife of George who went to University with Ruth has a feeling all isn't what it seems with Ruth's disappearance 15 years ago and as she starts to dig, it is revealed her husband and current best friend aren't who she thought they were. Alice then tracks down Ruth's former boyfriend Richard, who is qu ...more
Anya Leonard
Mar 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Though this book started out slow, it picked up quickly and I was wrapped into the dual timeline story of Ruth’s disappearance. It follows the viewpoints of different players in Ruth’s disappearance at the time and current day. It differed from a lot of other thrillers in that as far as I could tell, I had no idea what was occurring until almost the very end and it was very well thought out.

The story became more interesting as the book went on and I found myself seeking it out instead of school
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Czerń (Kolory zła, #2)
  • The Poison Garden
  • Kwestia ceny (Zofia Lorentz, #2)
  • Czerwień (Kolory zła, #1)
  • The Family Upstairs (The Family Upstairs, #1)
  • Someone Else's Baby
  • Good Girls Lie
  • Now You See Me
  • The Daughter In Law
  • Mother Knows Best
  • Ghoster
  • Mr. Nobody
  • The Scandal
  • The Other Daughter
  • Her Missing Child (Detective Jessie Blake #2)
  • Home Truths
  • Deserve To Die
  • The Essence of Evil (DI Dani Stephens, #1)
See similar books…
See top shelves…
Nicola Rayner was born in Abergavenny, south Wales, and works as a freelance journalist, specialising in dance and travel. The Girl Before You, her debut novel, was runner-up in the Cheltenham First Novel Competition in 2018. She lives in London with her husband and Jack Russell.

Related Articles

We asked Alice Bolin, author of Dead Girls: Essays on Surviving an American Obsession, and journalist-turned-crime novelist Laura...
108 likes · 50 comments