Cover Image: The One Before

The One Before

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Member Reviews

Favorite Quotes:

I feel slighted by her unnecessary comment, but I don’t think she can help herself. In the half-hour I’ve known her, I’ve picked up on her innate ability to aggravate people.

“That’s what we do in Whisper. We choose our side and defend it to the death.” I roll my eyes again. Regina will take some getting used to, but there’s truth in what she says… This town certainly takes sides.

Mistakes cast ripples; they penetrate your surface, the life you thought you had, and expand onward from there.

Sympathy is granted sparingly; it’s typically reserved for forms of tragedy. An unpreventable illness. An unprovoked crime. We forget most people are the source of their own unhappiness. When you’re the cause of your hardships, people are less willing to forgive.

My Review:

This was a clever and twisted tale of intrigue, family entanglements, small-town complications, and secrets.  The characters were oddly enticing and magnetic, they plucked at my curiosity to know more about them as they inhabited well-crafted storylines that curved, bent, and folded over like a beautiful origami swan. The pacing was shrewd and expertly honed to keep me enslaved to my Kindle and hissing at any and all distractions that dared interfere with my perusal.  This was my first exposure to Miranda Smith’s treachery and I am already craving more.
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Thank you NetGalley and Bookouture for my ARC in exchange for an honest review. Madison thinks she has found the man of her dreams. He is successful, handsome and from a prominent family. It looks like she’s going to have everything she’s always wanted. The search for answers to long buried secrets reveal shocking truths that are too painful to face. Will Madison follow her heart or head? Is blood thicker than water? With twists and turns throughout, this thriller will have you breathless until the final jaw dropping  conclusion.
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Basically, the author did not disappoint me, I had already read another book by hers and enjoyed it a lot, so I hoped that I would like this one too and I did, I'm still wondering if I liked it a little more than the other one, but anyway the book kept me reading hours of hours and has a very interesting plot :)
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Love is blind...right?  But is it deaf and dumb too?  Miranda Smith has written another winner with The One Before.  It is a story of city/vs country, past vs present, right vs wrong.  Engaged couple Madison and Cooper are in love and engaged, moving back to his small hometown where his wealthy family has ruled for ever.  In this claustrophobic environment will old ghosts come back to haunt and where does the truth lie.  There are unexpected twists and turns and the author takes us on a wild ride throughout!
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Whisper falls is a beautiful place to raise a family and make a nice home and Madison and Cooper had planned to do just that. But, what if Madison only thought she knew who Cooper truly was. She really loves Cooper and feels as though he shares everything with her. However Cooper’s ex-girlfriend Celia never returns home after a party and her body is discovered three days later in the lake. Everyone in the town feels as though this is no accident and now Madison is questioning everything she believed was true herself. Could Cooper be responsible for Celia’s death? If she starts questioning her sanity and the events will she be next. This is certainly on the heels of Karin Slaughter and I truly love the twist that jumps out at you just when you least expect it. The author has done a brilliant job of combining great characters with intense plots. I will definitely read another by this author.




Thank you to netgalley as well as the author/publisher for allowing me to read this book in exchange for my honest review.
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Madison is moving to Whisper Falls with her fiancé, Cooper. His high school girlfriend Celia died, drowning in the lake. However there are rumours that Cooper murdered her. A gripping thriller, set from differing perspectives in the past on the day Celia died and the present. Can Madison trust Cooper? Will she meet the same fate as Celia? Twists and turns throughout. It kept me guessing. i couldn't put it down until I knew the truth. 

Thank you to Netgalley and Bookouture for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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Not only is Madison quite pleased to be engaged to Cooper, she has given everything up to start over with him in the small town of Whisper Falls. However, a shroud of doubt and concern begin to weigh heavily on her as his past relationship begins to be concerning. While in high school Cooper's girlfriend disappeared. After her body was then found, all fingers pointed to him. Cooper's family helped him escape from blame back then. Now, however, it seems that someone is bound and determined once and for all to prove that Cooper had something to do with the girl's death.

Madison begins to doubt Cooper, thus upsetting any plans for a forever future with him. Meanwhile, someone in their lives now has ulterior motives, thus placing Madison's hopes and dreams for a long life with Cooper in jeopardy. Could Cooper have been responsible all those years before? Does she even know the man she is about to marry?

As things begin to unravel for Madison and Cooper, the tension in this book begins to be wound very tightly, thus making this to be quite a thrilling read. Actually, the story begins to take on a chilling effect as events of the past begin to clash with what is going on currently for the couple. So much so that I was completely thrown off. I loved that Madison did not take things at face value, even if it meant there was the possibility for her to discover things were not as they seemed.

I loved the fact that Madison's job played into her curiosity about past events. The fact that she was a reporter played into her skills when it came to unraveling facts. Then there was the bevy of characters who were not all they seemed. I also loved the pieces of the puzzle that were placed before us as readers as we began to doubt Cooper just as Madison was beginning to. The ride was definitely a fun one, full of conflicting twists and turns, some shocking red herrings and a a twist that completely threw me off-guard. 

In addition to those things I loved the character who played into upsetting any plans of happiness that Madison and Cooper might have, and watching that play out gave this excellent read an extra layer of intensity. Miranda Smith has written a compelling story and I am more than pleased to have been able to read it. I cannot wait to see what else she has in store for us readers.

Many thanks to Bookouture and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.
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Whisper Falls is a fresh start for Madison and her fiancé, Cooper. But then Madison learns that Cooper's high-school girlfriend, Celiac had disappeared after a party. Three days later her body was found in the lake. Madison loves Cooper  it she can't help wondering. She has to knowmthe truth. But,if she starts asking questions, what other secrets will be revealed? 

This is a fast paced and gripping read. I was invested in the story from the beginning.  It has some surprising twists that will keep you guessing. The story is told from Madison and Helen's point of view and we alsomlearn of what happened in the past. The characters are flawed and unlikeable. I couldn't put this book down. I read it in one sitting. 

I would like to thank #NetGalley, #Bookouture and the author #MirandaSmith for my ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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Whoa!!!!!   A knock your sock off and leave you breathless and excited for more!!  Should you trust him?  Do you trust him?  A very suspenseful read!!  You'll be up ALL night reading this one!
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Quite a twisted mystery, especially in the last few pages, where the unexpected occurances made it an exciting reading. A smooth flow to the prose captured my interest as author Miranda Smith made the truth so compelling.

This was a pure mystery where Madison, a newly engaged woman, came back to Cooper’s hometown to start a new life. Gossip soon hit her about his ex-girlfriend’s disappearance. A mother wanted justice for the loss of her daughter.

I was quite surprised that as the pages turned, I couldn’t seem to put down my kindle even for a second. 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.

I didn’t know what I was investigating when I started reading, and that was when the author pulled the rug from under my feet as she brought in a new mystery but so well connected to the main plotline.

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.

The last few lines of the book touched my heart as Madison looked back on who she was. So well written. An engrossing read.
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I read a lot of mysteries & thrillers, so it’s hard for me to be blown away by a book; The One Before did exactly that! The book starts out well and continues that way throughout the story. The entire time I was reading I was trying to guess who the killer was & enjoyed the surprising ending. I can’t wait to read more by Miranda Smith
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This book is a gripping read, full of secrets and lies. 
Madison is due to marry Cooper and agrees to move to his home town of Whisper Falls after she loses her job. 
Cooper has a job lined up running things at the family newspaper but Madison has nothing planned, other than the wedding. 
Madison is shocked to hear that Cooper is suspected of killing his girlfriend when he was younger by some of the locals. He’s told her that Celia died from drowning but not about the head injury. 
Madison starts to dig a bit deeper as something doesn’t feel right and unbeknownst to her, there’s someone plotting revenge for the death of Celia. 
This book has a few twists towards the end and I really enjoyed it. 
Thanks to Bookouture and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this book.
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Thanks to NetGalley and to the publisher for the ARC, which I received in exchange for my honest review. The One Before is a domestic suspense set in a small town. As with many novels in this genre, the story is told from multiple perspectives. The book primarily focuses on Madison, who moves to sleepy Whisper Falls with her soon to be husband., Cooper. Whisper Falls is an apt name for the town because there is plenty of whispering about whether Cooper murdered his high school sweetheart. 

The author does a fantastic job of capturing the claustrophobic atmosphere of a small town where everyone knows each other and you can never escape from your past. The novel is a slow build but once the mystery begins to unfold, readers are in for a dark and twisty ride. The suspense is maintained up until the thoroughly satisfying conclusion.

If you are looking for a twisty suspense novel set in a small town, give this one a try.
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Tense and pacy, packed with twists. This was an addictive, suspenseful, action packed wow of a thriller. Loved it from start to finish. Amazing. A brilliant read.
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A fast paced nail biter of a read! Full of suspense and twists. Madison and Cooper move to a small town Whisper Lake, Cooper's hometown to run the family business. There are rumors that he got away with murder because his then girlfriend was found drowned thirteen years ago in Whisper Lake.
Thanks Netgalley for the advance ecopy and the publisher.
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This was a rather straightforward mystery/suspense book that I enjoyed reading.  It was an entertaining quick read that had just enough surprises and twists.  I plan on going back and reading more Miranda Smith titles.
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The One Before by Miranda Smith. Out on 4 November 2020.
Madison Sharpe and Cooper Douglas are engaged, They have been together for two years having met when they were both working as journalists in Atlanta. Together they return to Cooper's home town.
There is a mystery to why Madison wanted to leave her job in the city; the reason becomes clear as the story progresses. Cooper is returning to take over the family business.
Cooper belongs to the town's most renowned and wealthiest family in Whisper Falls. Madison is blissfully excited about their future; she is busily planning the wedding and turning their house into a home. 
When Beth, the local journalist writes a piece about the return of Whisper Falls 'Golden Boy', Madison learns about Celia, an ex-girlfriend of Cooper's. She discovers that Celia drowned in the waters of Whisper Lake the summer before Cooper left for college. 
Madison hears rumours around town and starts to suspect that Cooper hasn't been completely honest with her about his past. She feels that he and his family are hiding something. 
Madison quickly realises that the residents of Whisper Falls are also divided over Connor's innocence, some still believe he got away with murder. Can Madison trust Cooper, can she trust his family?
Feeling unsettled Madison's investigative side kicks in, but with no friends and nowhere to turn, will she ever find out the truth? And if she starts asking questions, what other secrets will be revealed? And could she meet the same fate as the woman who came before her?
Plenty of twists and turns, suspense, secrets, tension and small-town gossip to keep you entertained. A well-written pacey captivating psychological thriller with great relatable characters and an easy to follow script.
Well worth the read.
I want to thank NetGalley, Bookourure and author Miranda Smith for a pre-publication copy to review.
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Tantalizing Dception! 

Madison and Cooper are moving back to Cooper's hometown (Whisper Falls) where he will will be running the town's newspaper which happens to be owned by his mother.   The move is mutual due to Madison losing her job (she loved) as a reporter in Atlanta so she wanted to get a whole new start on her life and career.   Coop's family welcomes her even if they are somewhat suspicious of her motives since the family is so wealthy and want to make sure she wants Cooper for love and just not his bank account.   Within a few days Madison is approached by some people who have always thought that Cooper had murdered his high school sweetheart Celia, and they have always held a grudge against him even though there was no evidence against him and also the fact that Celia had drowned.   Madison knew about Celia but not that people had suspected Coop of being involved in her accidental drowning.   Madison is very thrown off by these rumors but she knows that Coop is innocent of any wrong doing because he is the sweetest, patient and most gentle person. she has met in her life.   Shortly after, while making her wedding plans she has a run in with a an anonymous person who the family believes to be Celia's mother who has always believed her daughter was murdered.   Madison is shaken by these events but nothing can change the fact that she is marrying the love of her life but she just wishes Coop had given her some warning of what she was walking into in Whisper Falls.   Unbeknownst to the happy couple there is someone else  hiding in plain sight that has another vendetta against Coop and to finally make him pay they must get their revenge by going after the one person who makes Cooper happy and that will be Madison, the love of his life.

This was a deliciously dark and wicked ride into the secrets that many small towns have to hide.   There was very good character build-up and story pacing.    I had a hard time putting this book down since it was so good.   I thought I had it all figured out but I was happily wrong and found several surprising twists and turns which made for a terrific story.   Miranda Smith did a wonderful job with writing this book and I can't wait to read more of her novels.   

I want to thank the publisher "Bookouture" an Netgalley for the opportunity to read this terrific AVC and any thoughts and opinions expressed are unbiased and mine alone!

I highly oh recommend this thriller and have given a rating of 4 Sinister 🌟🌟🌟🌟 Stars!!
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The One Before by Miranda Smith was a thrill ride! This book was exciting and gripping, with a few twists I did not see coming. Well-developed characters. Interesting storyline. Unpredictable. These are all great ways to pull a reader into their psychologically twisted world and Miranda Smith did a great job. 

***** I received an ARC from NetGalley, the publisher, and the author for my honest review. *****
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I loved the book and found it hard to put down. It had everything I love about a thriller book. It kept me up way past my bed time and kept me guessing until the end. I look forward to reading more books from this author. Thank you Net Gally for the ARC for an honest opinion.
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