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The Girl Before You By Nicola Rayner

The Girl Before You‘The Girl Before You’ is Nicola Rayner’s debut novel.

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?

This is Nicola’s debut and it really is an interesting read. The story flows in the past and present tense leading up to the disappearance of Ruth Walker, an adventurous young woman who disappears when one night and everyone assumes she is dead after her shoes and bag were left on the beach.

The story is seen from the narrative of Kat, Ruth’s friend, her sister Naomi and Alice, who’s convinced she saw has seen Ruth on her train.

She’s convinced that she saw one day and begins to investigate Ruth’s disappearance as well as her husband’s behaviour when he was at the same university as them. Her George is quite an unlikable character, he’s cocky, arrogant and has quite the disregard for women. Kat is best friends with Ruth, even though she’s in love with the man who’s besotted with Ruth. The scenes with Kat are the past tense leading up to Ruth’s disappearance and give an insight into Ruth’s personality and the mystery surrounding her.

As the three women tell their story, there’s a sense of paranoia and suspense throughout the story, as the women question whether Ruth died on that fateful. But as their obsession develops, we see them delve into something much darker and sinister than they ever imagined.

A cleverly written thriller that really pulls the reader in, ‘The Girl Before You’ is filled with interesting and complex characters that are all quite unreliable at times that they all become suspects in the story, that leaves the reader on the edge of their seats throughout.

You can pre-order ‘The Girl Before You By Nicola Rayner’ from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 22nd August 2019.

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