Title: The Night Before
Author: Lisa Jackson
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Publisher’s Description: The next morning, Caitlyn Montgomery Bandeaux wakes covered in blood. But Caitlyn has no memory of the night before, when her estranged husband was brutally murdered like so many others she has known…Wanted by the police and haunted by horrifying, fragmented memories, Caitlyn turns to Adam Hunt, the town’s new psychologist. But how far can she really trust him? For as a twisted killer strikes again and again, Caitlyn’s about to discover that those who appear the most innocent are usually the most evil…
My review:If you don’t like to be scared silly, please scroll through this one, folks. But if you love things that go bump in the night, pick up this book, NOW!
Me? I love a good mystery, especially one that drops clues, but isn’t too obvious. And in “The Night Before,” there’s no guessing all the twists and turns this book takes.
It’s set up as a classic “unreliable narrator” scenario, with Caitlyn Montgomery Bandeaux waking up to a room covered in blood but no memory of the night before – and it turns out this has been a pattern in troubled Caitlyn’s life. To add to her troubles, her estranged husband, who was just about to file a lawsuit against her and officially file for divorce, was found dead in his home, having bled to death. Can, we, the reader trust Caitlyn? Or did she really murder her husband?
This is the central mystery of the book.
Stir in the Montgomery family (who will make your dysfunctional family seem like the Waltons) and there’s a host of questions and a ton of issues as a creepy serial killer begins hunting down people connected to the family, believing it to be “fate.”
Jackson’s story keeps the reader guessing – I mean, Jackson’s no novice writer, to be sure. But it does tie up nicely in the end, with all questions answered, which TBH, is one of my favorite things about her novels. They are usually part of series (this one is number 1 in the “Savannah Series,” but the books can be read as stand-alone novels and generally the storylines don’t have too much crossover, so Jackson ties up the main character’s stories satisfactorily.
So, why four stars and not 5?
The romance in the “romantic suspense” was not all it was cracked up to be. Normally, there’s some chemistry between our hero and heroine. Here? Not so much. The main characters are so flawed in their own ways that it seems so impossible that they would be able to form a long-lasting bond. But Jackson adds that in there.
It would have been better if the romance was left out (or maybe just noted as an attraction between characters?) and left the mystery alone.
Either way, I’m excited to get to book two, “The Morning After,” which follows a reporter mentioned a couple of times in the story.