The Night Before, by Wendy Walker, is not your typical thriller. It centers around two sisters, Laura and Rosie. Laura is the unpredictable, intriguing younger sister and Rosie is the older, stable, happily married sister. Laura has come home to live with Rosie and her family for a while, because Laura’s latest romantic relationship ended badly. Really, really badly. So, Laura does what any of us would do, and tries online dating. She goes out on a date with this guy who looks nice and seems nice, but is he? When Laura doesn’t return home the next morning after her date, Rosie gets super worried. But here’s the twist: she’s more worried about what Laura may have done to the guy, than what the guy might have done to Laura.
It seems Laura has a past, even though she’s not even thirty yet. Some bad stuff went down when she was still in high school. Ever since she was found with blood on her hands, standing over the body of the guy she’d thought was her boyfriend (but he’d just been stringing her along), well, she’s had issues to get over and a reputation to live down. Laura has gone through a lot of men, but can’t seem to find lasting love. Meanwhile, Rosie married her childhood sweetheart and she’s never even dated anyone else. Both sisters have daddy issues, and a whole host of problems that need solving, and Rosie’s husband and her neighbor, who also grew up with her and Laura, seem to want to solve these problems for them. But can they be trusted, or are they hiding things?
The chapters alternate between Laura and Rosie’s POV, and slowly secrets are revealed and revelations are made. The story is intricately told and it’s all very entertaining and well done. Except, once I got to the climax, I stopped reading. There was a lot of explanation at the end that didn’t feel necessary.
I liked this novel but I didn’t love it. I wanted to keep reading, but I never felt that “I can’t put this book down” feeling. I recommend it though.