Today I am thrilled to be sharing my review of The Girl Before You by Nicola Rayner. Happy publication day Nicola!
About the book:
She was his. She was perfect. And then, she was gone.
Alice has always been haunted by the women from her husband’s 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.
And there’s one ex in particular she can’t get out of her head: a beautiful student George dated in his first year, who went missing before they finished university. Ruth.
When Alice sees a woman who looks just like Ruth, she can’t shake the feeling that there’s more to her disappearance than George has been telling her. But does she really want to know what her husband has been getting up to behind her back all these years?
It is never a good thing to dwell on past relationships that your partner had before you.
This is the case for Alice, when she see’s a girl on the train who bears a remarkable resemblance to her husband George’s ex girlfriend Ruth, who he dated in his first year at St Anthony’s University.
This shouldn’t make Alice upset right? Wrong! The issue is that Ruth mysteriously disappeared whist they were at university, believed to be dead when seen swimming in the ocean on the night she disappeared.
But with no body, the mystery of what really happened to Ruth becomes an obsession for Alice.
When George receives a post card with the words “Give what I’ve lost back to me” Alice becomes concerned that George may have been involved in Ruth’s disappearance all of those years ago. With a reputation as a ladies man with a colourful past, could George be responsible?
When Alice becomes pregnant her obsession grows and not willing to let the issue lie, Alice makes contact with Naomi, Ruth’s younger sister in the hope that the both of them can solve the mystery of what really happened to Ruth the night she disappeared.
But the closer Alice gets to finding out the truth, her life and the life of her unborn child could be in danger!
Do I recommend this book:
I really enjoyed this book. It was a slow burn that picked up full steam ahead with many twists and turns in the lead up to a heart pounding conclusion.
Told in the perspective of multiple characters going from the past to the present day, we are given an insight into Ruth’s life in the lead up to her disappearance, and how any one of these characters could be responsible.
This is the first book I have read of Nicola’s. I liked her writing style and her ability to make you feel certain emotions related to each character. I detested the character of George, felt the pain of Naomi’s loss, and determination from Alice in finding out the truth no matter the consequences in doing so.
I look forward of reading more of Nicola’s work.
Thank-you to Netgalley, Avon Books and Nicola Rayner for allowing me to read an advanced copy of The Girl Before You in exchange for an honest review.
All opinions are my own and are not biased in anyway.
About the Author:
Nicola Rayner was born in Abergavenny, south Wales, and works as a freelance journalist, specialising in dance and travel. She studied Classics at the University of Oxford and has written for a number of publications including The Guardian, The Independent and Time Out Buenos Aires, where she cut her teeth as a dance journalist working on the tango section.
She loves the theatre, musicals, Strictly Come Dancing and dogs. 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.
To keep up to date with Nicola’s work you can follow her on Twitter