Review – The One Before by Miranda Smith

About the Book:

I love him. I trust him… But what if I’m wrong?

Whisper Falls is a fresh start for Madison and her fiancé Cooper. The safe, quiet town on the shores of a beautiful lake is the perfect place to spend the rest of their lives.

But then Madison learns that Cooper’s high-school girlfriend Celia disappeared after a party. Three days later, her body was found in the lake.

And the town thinks it wasn’t an accident.

Madison loves Cooper, but she can’t help wondering. She has to know the truth.

But if she starts asking questions, what other secrets will be revealed? Will she meet the same fate as the woman who came before her?

A dark, gripping psychological thriller with a brilliant twist, The One Before is perfect for fans of Karin Slaughter, Gillian Flynn and Rachel Caine.


My Review:

I received a complimentary copy of this book.

Engaged couple Madison and Cooper are leaving Atlanta, and relocating to Cooper’s small hometown, Whisper Falls.  They both worked for a newspaper, but Madison lost her job when she failed to triple check her sources on a volatile story.  It seemed like the ideal opportunity for Cooper to take over his family’s own newspaper, which his late father had previously managed.  Madison is a bit overwhelmed at her fiancé’s family’s wealth, and struggles with leaving a large city, but is determined to make the best of a bad situation.

Almost immediately, Madison learns that Cooper is still whispered about as possibly being responsible for the death of his high school sweetheart years ago.  Though Cooper told Madison about Celia, she didn’t know that half the town still believes he’s the one who struck her and disposed of her body in the lake.  She doesn’t believe the kind and gentle man she loves capable of such an act, and supports him totally.

As the wedding plans proceed, a still grieving mother comes to town, determined to make Cooper pay for the death of her daughter.  When she learns he’s engaged now, and on his way to a happy life that was denied to her own child, she decides to break up his engagement by telling some facts to Madison, after she’s gained her trust by posing as a wedding planner.

The blurb for THE ONE BEFORE describes itself as having a brilliant and shocking twist, something I would have to agree with, as it was totally unexpected.  The story is told in alternating viewpoints, Madison’s and Helena’s – the grieving mother.  As the history of events is revealed little by little, the tension ramps up as yet another potential murder victim comes to light.  Is it possible that Cooper is hiding a brutal nature beneath his warm and kind persona?  Or is there someone else close to him with an agenda of their own?  THE ONE BEFORE is a true page turner, captivating and engrossing.  I read it in one sitting so that I could find out the truth of what really happened.  Recommend for fans of well written suspense / murder mystery novels.    ~Rose

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