Cover Image: The One Before

The One Before

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Member Reviews

This book surprised me in  that the pages turned. The story started like a small town read with gossip and petty rumors and one influential family holding the pursestrings. But it later became a maze where unopened mysteries came to light.

My niggles worked into my reading. Madison was an investigating journalist. She did tell me that many times, but I hardly saw her investigating. The mid section felt a bit slow. Then the prose picked up to a shattering climax.

So well written. An engrossing read. Would recommend
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It's not often I read a book in one day but I found this soon to be released book by Miranda Smith impossible to put down.   Entertaining with enough mystery to keep the reader interested.  Would recommend. 
Thanks to Netgalley for the opportunity to read this book for an honest review.
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I think this might be my first book by Miranda Smith and I loved it! 
 Madison and Cooper are told  to pack their bags and move to his hometown of Whisper Falls.  This small town is where Cooper grew up he was a 'different man'. Lets say he is much different than what Madison thought. There was so much build up to the twisted ending and I loved it!
Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the arc.
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This was a quick and fast-paced read, centering on Madison, who moves to the small town of Whisper Falls with her fiance, Cooper.  Madison and Cooper left Atlanta under a bit of a scandal with her job, and Cooper wanted to be closer to his family, but he neglected to mention to her that his high school girlfriend, Celia,  was found drowned in the lake years prior and many people there think he did it.  Madison is trying to endear herself to Cooper's family while also finding out what really happened to Celia.  

There was a great twist about halfway through the book and the pace of the story really picked up from there.  There were a few other twists thrown in, though I figured out a couple of them, which made the story even more interesting.  The end was tied up nicely, though I saw some reviewers said maybe a little too nicely, though I found it mostly satisfying.

My only real issue with the book was that I didn't gel with Madison- she came off as being kind of snobby, continually talking about coming "from the city" and not really making an effort to learn more about the town or its inhabitants.  She did prove herself to be somewhat of a formidable opponent as the book went on, but I never truly connected with her.

All in all, this was a fun read and I'd recommend it to those who like mysteries and domestic thrillers.  It's not a super unique plot but it's written well and will give you some surprises.  Thanks to Netgalley for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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A setback at work forces Madison and Cooper to pack their bags and move to his hometown of Whisper Falls. Back in the small town where he grew up, Cooper is a different man...someone Madison doesn't really know ...or trust. I loved the suspense buildup and the big reveal. The only reason I didn't give this book 5 stars is that I found the ending a bit too tidy.

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the arc.
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Wow just wow, I was hooked from the start! Madison Sharpe and her fiancé, Cooper Douglas, are newly engaged and move to Cooper’s hometown of Whisper Falls. Whisper Falls is a small, quiet town where everyone knows everybody and their secrets. Moving back presents tension and memories for Cooper as he was once accused of Celia Gray’s murder in high school. The Douglas’ has prestige and wealth, basically with connections everywhere. As Madison begins to settle in, she can’t shake the feeling that Cooper is hiding details of his past relationships but she’s distracted with the wedding planning. Things aren’t as they seem though and the first of many twists are huge, a bit predictable but it’s still fast paced and suspenseful! Thank you to Bookouture and NetGalley for a gifted copy. This is my honest review.
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Wow, what an intense ride! Thoroughly enjoyed this one! Had me guessing until the very end and even then... THAT PLOT TWIST 😲
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"I know he killed my daughter, and one day I'm going to make him pay."

Madison has moved to her fiancé Cooper's small hometown of Whisper Lake only to find it haunted by the ghost of his high-school girlfriend Celia who was found dead in the lake over a decade ago and full of the suspicions of those who still believe he was to blame. 

Helena is sure that Cooper Douglas murdered her daughter and has spent years biding her time, just waiting for the moment she can take her revenge. Now he's back in Whisper Lake with his new fiancée, the time has finally come to make him pay. She needs to tell her the truth about what happened to the one before… 

Wow! What a twist! I did not see that coming! 

Told in the present day with flashbacks to the mysterious day that Celia died and Helena's final memories of her daughter, the author weaves what appears to be a simple tale. Then just past the halfway point, this predictable but entertaining story turned into so much more as the author delivered an astounding twist that left my jaw on the floor. From that moment on I was captivated and unable to put the book down, reading into the early hours as I couldn't rest without answers.

Madison, Helena and Celia are great focal characters with distinct voices. I particularly liked that Madison was a protagonist who followed the clues and investigated without a blind acceptance of what she was told and how she went in persuit of the truth no matter her fear or the consequences to her own life, which was on track to being perfect. I also liked how the flashbacks to Celia's final day added a lot of tension and mystery to the story as it slowly unfolded.  

A cleverly crafted, layered and twisty novel, the author lurs the reader into a false sense of security during the slow-burning first half and then keeping them on the edge of their seat for the second half, not letting go until the final pages.
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Ooh my goodness what a book, I read this in one day, I could not put it down, it had so many twists and turns in it, just loved it x
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I’ve been on another psych thriller kick lately. Fortunately, most of them have been pretty good, and each one has had something unique that makes them stand out. 
For The One Before, I’d have to say that the author pulls a switch that I absolutely did not see coming, and it changed my perspective on the story completely. 
Well done for that. 
I did feel like the story started slowly.  I’ll admit that I wasn’t entirely sure that I was going to like the book. It felt very methodical and almost formulaic. Outsider engaged to rich golden boy; they move to boy’s hometown where his family rules the roost; town members are divided about past events. 
Only once you reach a particular point in the book (you’ll know it when you read it), you realize that everything was put in place exactly this way to lull the reader into a sense of familiarity and maybe even complacency. 
And the purpose all along is to be able to slap the reader in the face with a twist. Or four. 
Truly, this book totally picked up in the second half. Once I got to the turning point, I couldn’t put it down. 
To me, Cooper was the most complex character. In some ways, he was an enigma as he had escaped Whisper – only to return and become more like his family. It was an interesting switch for him. 
I didn’t care for Madison that much at first. I thought the author maybe injected Madison with some of her personal perspectives on feminism. There were also a couple of relatively throwaway political comments that served no purpose to the plot and only seemed to be inserted for “points.” That annoyed me, and me unsympathetic towards Madison. 
However, I think that Madison realized the error of her past choices and was on a path to redemption.  Her journey was tough, but she did better herself – at least a little bit.  
I will admit that I did guess one of the more major twists – but that was only because I play a game with myself that I try to think of the most “out there” twist and then see if I’m right. This time I was – but not about all of them. 
I would definitely recommend sticking with this one. You’ll be glad you did.
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This is an excellent read! I was immediately drawn into the story of Madison’s experiences in Whisper Falls. I found it nearly impossible to stop reading once I started! I highly recommend it!
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Great fast paced read  - with the usual small town big secrets feel. I read it in one sitting and it was pure escapism at its best. Recommend!
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Ooo what an exciting read this was!!! The plot is crafty and has plenty of twists to keep you going. Highly recommend it!
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The One Before by Miranda Smith is a gripping suspense thriller that had me reading late into the night. I have read previous books by Miranda Smith and all I can say is, she knocks it out of the park again! 
Madison and Cooper are engaged. They met while both working as journalists in Atlanta two years ago. They decide to move back to Coopers home town, Whisper Falls. Cooper is from the wealthiest family there and is taking over the running of the family business upon his return. Madison has her own reasons for the fresh start and adores the fact she can plan their wedding and turn their house into a home. Everything is looking rosy.Then Beth, a local journalist writes an article about the 'Golden Boy' of Whisper Falls, Madison discovers that Cooper's ex-girfriend, Celia, drowned in Whisper Lake just before he left for college. Madison also hears things about town and is slowly getting the idea that Cooper may have been very economical with his truths and she feels that both him and his family are hiding something. Then she finds that the residents of Whisper Falls are very divided over Celia's death and what role Cooper played. Madison doesn't know wether to trust Cooper or his family. Madison decides she is not a journalist for nothing and begins to investigate, realising she has no one to turn to and wonders how she will ever get to the bottom of it all. If she asks the wrong questions what will she discover? Could she end up as dead as the one before? 
A thriller that is a fast paced read. It has plenty of secrets, lies intrigue and twists to keep you hooked. The characters especially Madison are relatable and I felt really sorry for her when she landed in a strange town with all the small town gossip that you get in them. Another great read from Miranda Smith. Thank you to Bookouture and NetGalley for my copy of the book to write my review today.
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This book by Miranda Smith is an ominous and sinister mix of closet secrets and psychological suspense and is my third sortie into her writing.

The One Before was jam-packed with intrigue, mystification and chilling events. Madison Sharpe is engaged to Cooper Douglas and has given up everything to move to the small town of Whisper Falls to be with him. However, shadows of doubt are creeping in as a past relationship of his becomes concerning to her. Whilst Cooper was in high school his then-girlfriend, Celia, disappeared. After eventually being considered blameless at the time, someone is now out to prove that Cooper had something to do with the girl's death...

Told mainly from Madison's viewpoint, Miranda Smith did a superb job planting seeds of doubt in the minds of both Madison and myself. Throughout the story's progression, I found myself thrown off course as I struggled to decide whether or not things were as they seemed. All the while the tension was being ratcheted up as I was taken on a merry-go-round of past and present occurrences.

The One Before was a distinctive and gritty thriller and I particularly liked that Miranda Smith gave me the fodder to ponder the nature of wrongdoing whilst also featuring a plethora of twists, turns and misdirection to keep me flipping the pages. Reading this novel was a deliciously dark and rewarding reading experience and I will be keeping an eye out for the author's next novel.

I received a complimentary copy of this novel from Bookouture via NetGalley at my request and this review is my own unbiased opinion.
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Starting with Celia we get a glimpse of the day before she died, then we fast forward to Madison about to move to Whisper Falls with her fiancé Cooper for a fresh start. She’s jobless due to her career as a journalist being destroyed and he comes from a wealthy prominent family and is about to take over the running of The Gazette, the family newspaper.

Madison knows of Cooper’s ex Celia but does she know the truth? Helena, is determined she soon will. She has an ax to grind seeing Cooper moving on while she is stuck in the past. Seething at his wealth and privilege and lack of punishment.

I loved the small town setting and Regina’s cutting gossipy remarks about its inhabitants. I wonder if it was a little Easter egg of Mean girls using that name and if as a schoolgirl she had a burn book. This is a town divided on the guilt/innocence of Cooper’s involvement in Celia’s death.

The dual timeline and different narrators gives a variety of perspectives but it was Celia that had me gripped more than Madison. All of the characters are flawed and their decisions are questionable.

With some twists I didn’t see coming and an unexpected denouement this is a thriller packed full of family secrets in the world of the wealthy.
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Madison and her fiance Cooper move to Whisper Falls, where he grew up. Not to long after they move there Madison is told that Cooper killed his high school girlfriend. His family denies it and Cooper has no idea what happened to her. As she starts asking questions more things come up. All of this is going on while he is back running his family business and Madison is getting their wedding plans into motion. Madison meets Cooper's mom. brother and sister. Are they for real or something going on there? The mom seems to love Madison, the sister has a chip on her shoulder and the brother seems to be self absorbed.
I couldn't put this down. So many twists and turns.
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This was a great read. At times the pace slowed a little but then a twist would happen to bring me right back to the story. The characters were untrustworthy, which I love in a book! All plot lines tied in together at the end, albeit it felt a little rushed and took me some time to follow it.
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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.
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I really enjoy Miranda Smith’s books and The One Before is no exception. It is a compelling suspense thriller that will have hooked, just like I was until the final page. Right off the bat my Kindle was in overdrive as Miranda Smith had me up until all hours, furiously flicking the pages to see how it was all going to play out. It is a fast paced exciting read that takes you on one heck of a suspenseful and twisty ride!

The story revolves around Madison Sharpe and her fiancé Cooper Douglas as they return to his hometown, Whisper Falls, as Cooper takes over the family newspaper business. But there has been a dark cloud hanging over Cooper since the death of his high school girlfriend a decade earlier, whom the small town residents believe he was responsible for and it isn’t long before Madison starts questioning if she really knows the man she is about to marry.

I love when a book is set against a backdrop of a small town where everyone knows everyone’s business and even more so when it has a family of prominence, as is the case with this story. The Douglas family has wealth, status, secrets to hide and I loved the mystery and being caught up in the thick of it. Miranda Smith always does a great job of getting her readers involved in each book she has written.

The book has been well put together and I enjoyed the multiple points of view narration, past and present. The end of each chapter kept me wanting more and the whole story just consumed me. The characters have been well put together, are diverse and each play the roles they have been given extremely well. Miranda Smith’s writing is on point here and she has done such a great job with this book. She keeps you on your toes and just when you think you have outsmarted her, she throws in a twist to end all twists!

The One Before is a gripping read that I think is Miranda Smith’s best work to date! She has given her all with this book and I could not get enough of it. Congratulations on a outstanding piece of work Miranda Smith and I will be eagerly awaiting to see what you come up with for us next. It was a pleasure to be able to read and review The One Before, which I highly recommend.

Thank you to Miranda Smith, Bookouture and NetGalley for allowing me to read an advanced copy of The One Before, which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily.
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