Title: Before I Say I Do
Author: Vicki Bradley
Publisher: Simon and Schuster UK
Genre: Psychological Thriller / Crime / Police Procedural
Published: 28th May 2020
Before I Say I Do is a psychological thriller that will blow your mind, and scare you just a little bit! An unbelievable debut novel.
SPOILER LEVEL: LOW | this review contains minor details about characters and plot elements.
#gifted | Firstly, I would like to say a huge thank you to Vicki Bradley for sending me a copy of her novel.
Side Note – she is one of the nicest author’s I have ever interacted with, and when she sent the book for me to review, she signed it and left me a cute message! I was fangirling over this book before I even read it, and then I read it and LOVED it even more!
I had forgotten how much I love police procedural style thrillers, and reading this just made me fall in love with them all over again. This book had me intrigued from the very first pages, and I devoured it in only a couple of sittings. It was filled with twists and turns, and I didn’t see any of it coming until it was too late. Every time I started to think I had bits of it figured out, a twist would happen, or another detail would be revealed, and I’d realise I had had it wrong all along. The plot was amazing and so well-crafted. There were so many different storylines going on and though I definitely wasn’t even close to figuring it out, I never found it overly complicated or too confusing to keep up with. I think it is a real skill to be able to dupe a reader and keep them guessing whilst still making every aspect completely accessible, rather than just baffling them completely with an over-the-top, outlandish solution. And it is so tense! It is definitely a dark book, and at some points a little chilling, but it just made it impossible to put down and I loved it.
I loved the use of multiple perspectives and occasional jumps in time in this novel. It worked really well at slowly leaking details to the reader from different angles, but not enough for them to quite grasp the answer. It also kept the pace going nicely as each chapter ended on a bit of a cliff-hanger or revelation, and then it would switch to a different perspective, making you want to keep reading to get back to the first perspective, and then that chapter would end on a cliff-hanger, and it ends up being impossible to put down.
The writing style was also amazing. There was a brilliant balance between inviting details and hints about the case, but not giving too much away either. I don’t like excessive amounts of detail in thrillers, which seems to be a feature of many police procedurals, where every minute detail is honed in on. The weighting of description and pacing was perfect for me. I could also really tell the difference between the different characters and never got confused between them, despite the switching narrators. It made for a really fast-paced and heart-pounding read, as I always find that if I don’t get on with a writing style, I lose my ability to read it quickly!
It was also amazing that I managed to root for all the characters, even though I didn’t necessarily like them. They were flawed, complex characters that at times were a little annoying, and yet I still found myself wanted them to come out on top. There were some very tense chapters in the book, where the welfare of all the characters is not certain, and I was really stressed for them, even though I hadn’t really liked them as a character! There was only one very small ‘meh’ moment for me but I won’t reveal it because *spoilers* but it was very minute and I easily overlooked it because of my love for everything else!
Before I Say I Do is a debut psychological thriller that I will recommend to everyone! It is equally perfect for people trying to get into the genre and those that have been loving thrillers for years. It is a heart-racing, fast-paced thriller that twists and turns in ways you won’t see coming, and I highly recommend you buy it now!
Do you love psychological thrillers? Will you be adding this to your tbr?