Published by
William Morrow (March 2019)
Current material
Thriller / suspense fiction


by Swanson, Peter

Hen and Lloyd are the only newcomers at their neighborhood block party, where they meet Matthew and Mira Dolamore. The two couples, who live next door to each other, strike up a friendly conversation and decide to have dinner together at the Dolamore's home. While in Matthew and Mira's house, however, Hen spies what she believes to be a trophy stolen from a murder victim who was killed not far from her former home in another town. How could Matthew have this award unless he had taken it from the dead man's apartment? She becomes obsessed with the idea that her neighbor is actually a killer rather than just a harmless high-school teacher. Hen, who continues to struggle with her bipolar disorder, doesn't have much credibility in the eyes of either the police or her husband - even when another murder is committed, and Hen is sure Matthew is the murderer. She refuses to be swayed from her theory of the crime. Will her persistence lead to the arrest of a murderer or to her own descent into madness - or even her death?

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A dark, quick-moving, suspenseful story stuffed full of psychological quirk and involution.

Review: Kirkus Reviews

Television rights optioned to CBS

Movie/TV/Drama: Client

[an] exceptional psychological thriller Surprising twists help keep the suspense high to the end. (starred review)

Review: Publishers Weekly

Before She Knew Him (Faber) is Peter Swanson's fifth novel, and it is deliciously good ? dry, intelligent, perfectly paced, there is more than a touch of the Barbara Vines about the delicately played out, delectably dark relationship that develops between Hen and Matthew. Everyone keeps telling Hen she is experiencing a manic episode, but despite her name, she is no confused headless chicken. Hen is astute, matter of fact and determined, and this is Swanson's best thriller yet.

Review: The Guardian

UK: Faber & Faber; Norway: Cappelen Damm; Czech: Bookmedia; France: Gallmeister; Italy: Einaudi; Israel: Dani Books;

Foreign licence: Client

Swanson has crafted another bar-raising psychological thriller with this tense, unexpected spin on serial killers and those obsessed with them.

Review: Booklist

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