‘All too often crime novels start with the body of a woman—the Jane Doe, or nameless victim—which then becomes the vehicle for another person’s story or character study—the cop, the coroner, the investigator etc—while the actual victim remains nothing more than the catalyst for the story. This extraordinary novel tells a very different story. It’s not about Whodunnit (though we do find that out, and very satisfyingly), but instead asks Who was she? And who did she leave behind? The murdered woman, Alice, is the voice of Before You Knew My Name, and the other main character, Ruby, is the woman who finds her body while jogging in the park. This connection forges an indelible bond between them, as Alice helps Ruby reconnect with the world and leads her to find the killer. It is not until the world knows Alice’s name that she can rest in peace.
Before You Knew My Name is one of the most emotionally charged and beautiful debut novels I’ve ever read and I think it going to be loved by many readers. It is many books in one: a fierce feminist thriller, a celebration of women and female friendships the world over, memorial to women whose lives have been taken or ruined by men, as well as a blistering indictment of male control and violence. And despite its dark premise, Before You Knew My Name is also filled with love and joy. This is a novel that readers will hold to their hearts and share passionately with their friends. I can’t wait to share it with mine.’
JANE PALFREYMAN, PUBLISHER