If you’re looking for a good crime fiction with a relationship angle, Before I Say I Do by Vicki Bradley might be for you.
Julia is nervous and it’s not just because she’s about to get married. There’s a lot that her soon-to-be husband, Mark, doesn’t know – and she is determined to keep it that way.
As she walks down the aisle, spotting Mark in his tailored suit, she knows she is taking her first steps to happiness – her past can’t catch up to her now. He turns to face her… but it isn’t Mark – it’s his best man.
Because Mark is missing.
And Julia’s past is closer than she thinks.
A speedy read with a good amount of tension
I LOVED how this synopsis didn’t give you much – everything above happens within the first 20 pages, so you’re completely blind as to what happens next, and it’s a great ride.
I thought Before I Say I Do was going to be more of a thriller, but actually leant towards more of a crime fiction, but I still enjoyed it. It had some gruesome parts, but it was more about trying to figure out what had happened from the get-go, with some surprises along the way.
Chapters alternate between Julia and Alana, which is great as you’re getting the two different perspectives – you sometimes know more than the other character, so it’s interesting to see how the story develops. My biggest peeve with this book is how Alana would refer to everyone by their surname – I know this is linked to her job, but it grated on me.
There is one aspect which left me confused for a good 50-60 pages. It linked back to a comment made earlier in the book, and it wasn’t necessarily the trying to establish what was happening confusion, it just wasn’t explained properly from my point of view.
It’s quite a speedy read with a good amount of tension to keep those pages turning – there was a plot twist near the end which I didn’t expect and an enjoyable way to close the story. You had a few mini-stories throughout which were engaging, and the twist was psychologically well done.
I’m not sure about how I felt about the characters – I liked both of the detectives, and thought they were realistic and the author’s really excelled with writing these; there was just something about Julia being unreliable, but I think this was intended, and if so, was brilliantly done!
3/5 stars – the confusion with one aspect threw me off slightly but still a good crime fiction. This is Bradley’s debut, and I’m definitely keeping my eyes out for more books.
Before I Say I Do, Vicki Bradley, RRP £7.99 (paperback); Book Depository
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Genre: Crime Fiction