What Came Before
Dark, atmospheric and gripping, What Came Before is a stunning literary thriller about the risks you take when you fall in love.
'My name is David James Forrester. I'm a solicitor. Tonight, at 6.10, I killed my wife. This is my statement.' In Melbourne's inner west, David sits in his car, dictaphone in hand. He's sick to his stomach but determined to record his version of events. His wife Elle hovers over her own lifeless body as it lies in the laundry of the house they shared. David thinks back on their relationship – intimate, passionate, intense – and what led to this terrible night. From her eerie vantage point, Elle traces the sweep of their shared past too. Before David, she'd enjoyed a contented life – as a successful filmmaker, a much-loved aunt and friend. But in the course of two years, she was captivated and then undone by him. Not once in those turbulent times did she imagine that her alluring, complex husband was capable of this. Dark, atmospheric and gripping, What Came Before is a stunning literary thriller about the risks you take when you fall in love. 'A chilling, unsettling portrait of an abusive relationship. Pick this one up if you enjoyed The Lovely Bones and Gone Girl.' Who Weekly 'This debut bodes well for Anna George's future writing prospects . . . Intimate character portraits and a twisty ending make it a worthwhile read.' Sunday Examiner 'Cleverly conceived, What Came Before is a not only a suspenseful thriller, but a powerful indictment of domestic violence.' Qantas, The Australian Way 'This took my breath away. Brilliantly structured, captivating and able to hold my attention right to the surprising ending, it takes a complex subject and helps us understand the motivations of those involved.' Geelong Advertiser 'A relationship to rival that of Gone Girl's Nick and Amy, in so many ways . . . This is a complex novel, full of complex characters. Its twists and turns make it hard to decide which side to take, much like Gone Girl. What this one has, however, is an essence of reality, which probably makes it scarier still.' Sunday Canberra Times 'Anna George has a delightful way with words and dispatches the story with style and class . . . Her knowledge of what makes a good story comes together to kick this book into a superbly delivered page turner. Readers will feel they are in good hands.' Bendigo Weekly 'This debut bodes well for Anna George's future writing prospects.' Sun-Herald
Awards & recognition
Ned Kelly Awards
Shortlisted • 2015 • Best First Book