Before You Knew My Name by Jacqueline Bublitz

Publisher: Atria Books, Atria/Emily Bestler Books

Date of publication: November 1st, 2022

Genre: Fiction, Mystery, Crime, Thriller, Mystery Thriller, Contemporary, Adult, Book Club, Feminism, New York

Purchase Links: Amazon | Audible | B&N | AbeBooks | Alibris | Powells | IndieBound | Indigo | BetterWorldBooks

Goodreads Synopsis:

This is not just another novel about a dead girl. Two women—one alive, one dead—are brought together in the dark underbelly of New York City to solve a tragic murder.

When she arrived in New York on her eighteenth birthday carrying nothing but $600 cash and a stolen camera, Alice Lee was looking for a fresh start. Now, just one month later, she is the city’s latest Jane Doe. She may be dead but that doesn’t mean her story is over.

Meanwhile, Ruby Jones is also trying to reinvent herself. After travelling halfway around the world, she’s lonelier than ever in the Big Apple. Until she stumbles upon a woman’s body by the Hudson River, and suddenly finds herself unbreakably tied to the unknown dead woman.

Alice is sure Ruby is the key to solving the mystery of her short life and tragic death. Ruby just wants to forget what she saw…but she can’t seem to stop thinking about the young woman she found. If she keeps looking, can she give this unidentified Jane Doe the ending and closure she deserves?

A “heartbreaking, beautiful, and hugely important novel” (Rosie Walsh, New York Times bestselling author), Before You Knew My Name doesn’t just wonder whodunnit—it also asks who was she? And what did she leave behind?


First Line:

You will already have an idea of me. There are enough of us dead girls out there.

Before You Knew My Name by Jacqueline Bublitz

I am a huge true crime junkie. I listen to various podcasts, watch ID Discover, and read fictional mysteries/suspense/thrillers. So, when I got the Before You Knew My Name invite, I accepted it. No hesitation, I downloaded this book to my Kindle in record time. I am glad I did because I enjoyed reading this book a lot.

Before You Knew My Name was an exciting book. This was the story of Alice, an eighteen-year-old girl from Wisconsin who had traveled to New York City. Alice was murdered and left for dead on a rocky pier. She is determined to help the woman who discovered her, Ruby, find her murderer and get justice. But this is also the story of Ruby. Ruby, from Australia, had been stuck in a rut for a while when she decided she needed a new start. And for her, it means traveling to New York City. But Ruby is the one who discovers Alice’s body, and Ruby is the one who pushes the police for answers. Will Ruby find herself in New York City? Will Alice get her justice?

There are trigger warnings in this book. The trigger warning is underage sexual contact/situations, cheating, mentions of sexual abuse, suicide, child abuse, and drinking. If any of these trigger you, I suggest not reading this book.

Before You Knew My Name was a medium-fast-paced book set in New York City. It starts fast, slows down in the middle of the book, and then picks up towards the end. The pacing was perfect for this book. Any faster, and I would have had an issue keeping up. Any slower, and the book would have dragged.

I wasn’t sure what to make of Alice and Ruby when they were both introduced. Alice seemed like an unreliable narrator. At the beginning of her story, she glossed over a lot. Ruby was a hot mess, and you know what? I related to her.

  • Alice— As I mentioned above, I wasn’t too sure about Alice at the beginning of her storyline. She was very unreliable and kept glossing over her earlier years. But, as the book went on and she opened up about her life pre-New York City, I started to like her. I did think she was too trusting (mainly with Noah, but he ended up being a teddy bear). When the killer killed her, it did hit me hard. I was a freaking mess. Then I got mad and hoped the police would catch the killer soon.
  • Ruby—I liked her right from the beginning. She was a hot mess but relatable (as I described above). I wasn’t that shocked that she up and left Melbourne. She needed a new start. But her fresh start didn’t exactly go as planned when she found Alice. I loved how her character grew after finding Alice. She became almost obsessed with finding the killer, and she did have a great support system (a found family) in New York. My only quibble with her was Ash. He was like a drug to her, and she needed to let him go.

There were many memorable secondary characters in Before You Knew My Name. They each brought added depth to the plotline. There were some that I wished had more book time (Noah and Tina were two), and others (like Alice’s teacher/lover) needed less book time.

Before You Knew My Name was a combination of mystery and thriller. It fits perfectly into those genres. I think there could have been a tad more thriller, but that’s just me.

Alice’s storyline was poignant. But it also made me unbelievably mad during some parts. Alice had some awful things happen to her, but she dealt with them with a grace that I know I wouldn’t have had. But, once she arrived in New York with that camera and found Noah, she turned into a different girl. She began to see a future. And that is what made me so unbelievably angry when she was murdered. The killer snuffed out her light too soon.

Ruby’s storyline was just as poignant but in a different way. She needed a change. She was stagnating in her life in Australia. So, her going to New York City and starting over was good. And, in a way, finding Alice’s body was a good thing too. Because if she didn’t, she would have never gone to the support group. She would have never met Lennie, and she would have never joined The Death Club. She also would have never met Josh, Susan, or even Noah.

The storyline with Alice’s killer was interesting. The author kept his identity and motive under wraps until almost the end of the book. Ruby had a hand leading the detectives to him when she remembered something crucial about the night she found Alice.

The end of Before You Knew My Name was poignant. The author was able to merge all the storylines, and she ended them in a way that tugged at my heartstrings. From beginning to end, this book will make you think about all the John and Jane Does out there.

Three Reasons You Should Read Before You Knew My Name:

  1. It was a true mystery. The author kept Alice’s killer under wraps until the end.
  2. The book had a great pace to it. It made reading and keeping track of the different storylines very easy.
  3. The characters were very relatable.

Three Reasons You Shouldn’t Read Before You Knew My Name:

  1. The trigger warnings.
  2. Alice being murdered. I was so angry about that (even though I knew it would happen).
  3. Ruby being a hot mess.

I would recommend Before You Knew My Name to anyone over 21. There is language, nongraphic sexual content, and violence. Also, see my trigger warnings.


If you enjoyed reading Before You Knew My Name, you will enjoy reading these books:

December 2022 TBR

November has flown by for me (I don’t know about you guys). It was a busy month. Here is what I am planning to read for December.


Indie Authors

From Novel Cause
From Author
Author Request
Author Request
From Novel Cause
From Novel Cause

NetGalley


Goodreads Giveaways

Kindle winner
Paperback winner

November 2022 Wrap UP

Here is what I read/posted in November.

As always, let me know if you have read any of these books and (if you did) what you thought of them.


Books I Read:

No review
No review
No Review
No Review
Review coming December 1st
Review coming December 27th, 2022
No Review
Review coming January 3rd, 2023
Review coming January 10th
Review coming December 9th
No Review
No Review
No Review
Review coming December 2nd
Review coming December 10th
No Review
No Review
No Review
No Review
Review Coming December 3rd
Review Coming December 4th

Books I got from NetGalley:

Publisher Invite
Publisher Invite
Publisher Invite
It was a limited-time Read Now book
It was a limited-time Read Now book
Publisher Invite
Publisher Invite
Publisher Invite
SMP/Minotaur Influencer Program
SMP Widget invite
SMP Widget Invite

Books I got from Authors/Indie Publishers:

From Author
From Novel Cause
Author Request
Author Request
Author Request
From Novel Cause
From Novel Cause

Goodreads Giveaway

Paperback

Books Reviewed:

The Last Huntress by Lenore Borja (review here)

Alias Emma by Ava Glass (review here)

A Broken Clock Never Boils by C.J. Weiss (review here)

The Art of Prophecy by Wesley Chu (review here)

A Sliver of Darkness by C.J. Tudor (review here)

Shadowed Intent by Reily Garrett (review here)

Death in a Dark Alley by Bradley Pay (review here)

Conviction by Michael Cordell (review here)

The Wilderwomen by Ruth Emmie Lang (review here)

Wicked Bleu by E. Denise Billups (review here)

A Maiden of Snakes by Jane McGarry (review here)

Mostly Human 2 by D.I. Jolly (review here)

Shampoo & Condition by M.L. Ortega (review here)

Spies Never Lose by M. Taylor Christensen (review here)

The Spear Cuts Through Water by Simon Jimenez (review here)

WWW Wednesday: November 30th, 2022

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


Personal:

Thursday: Well, obviously, it was Thanksgiving….lol. It was also Miss B’s birthday. She’s 17 (and no, I can’t believe it!!) We had brined turkey, ham, potatoes, stuffing, turnips mixed with carrots, and rolls. For dessert, we had pumpkin pie. We enjoyed the parade and the dog show (a tradition in our house), and we chilled for the rest of the day.

Friday: We didn’t do much of anything. We went to Sams Club (I needed gas in my car). Miss R had an abbreviated horseback riding lesson (half hour) and that was it.

Saturday: BK and I packed Miss R and Miss B up and drove to the mountain outlet shops. Miss B has a winter formal on Friday, and she needed to get clothes for it. She also needed long sleeve shirts. Miss R needed leggings (or jeans) and shirts. After we got home, we put up our tree and decorations.

Sunday: Another chill day. But it was also a day of keeping Tony and Vinnie out of the tree. I’ve gotta say, in all my years of owning cats, I have never had a cat climb my Christmas tree until Tony. He is a TERROR. The lower branches are broken, which is fine because we were going to get a new one anyway. But still. I am hoping the newness of it wears off soon.

Monday: That is the only day this week without an appointment. I finished Love and Anarchy (not a fan of the end of that season) and started Uncoupled. I love Neal Patrick Harris, and I am enjoying the show.

The longest book I read this week: The Beholder. I couldn’t get into it, and it took me a couple of days to finish.

The shortest book I read this week: Shadows Wake.

I joined Kindle Unlimited this week. I have meant to for a while but have been putting it off. BK and I already have Audible (he shares the books with me), so I won’t have an issue finding books to read (or listen to) in the future.

This week’s list might look the same as last week’s. I decided not to read ARCs and instead cleaned up some other books on my list. So, I will have almost the same books listed for this week.

So that’s the essential things for this past week. How was your week?

As always, let me know if you have read or are planning to read any of these books!!


What I Recently Finished Reading:


What I am currently reading:


What books I think I’ll read next:

Bookish Travels—November 2022 Destinations

I saw this meme on It’s All About Books and thought, I like this!! So, I decided to do it once a month also. Many thanks to Yvonne for originally posting this!!

This post is what it says: Places I travel to in books each month. Books are wonderful and take you to places you would never get a chance to go. That includes places of fantasy too!!

So….enjoy!! Please let me know if you have read these books or traveled to these areas (other than the fantasy….lol).


United States:

New York (Brooklyn), Louisiana (New Orleans)
New York (New York City), Texas (College Station, Bryan), North Carolina (Raleigh), Washington D.C.,
California (Los Angeles)
Colorado
California (Orange County)
Georgia (Atlanta), Alabama (Birmingham)
Utah (Salt Lake City, Hill AFB), New York (Long Island, Manhattan, New York City), New Jersey (Glenn Rock), California (San Francisco, Lake Tahoe), Washington (Seattle), Missouri (Branson), Michigan (Detroit, Ann Arbor), Florida (Tampa), Ohio (Columbus), New Mexico (Albuquerque)
Alabama, Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, Pittsburg), New York (New York City), Washington (Seattle)
New York
New York (Long Island, Lake Ronkonkoma), New Mexico (Los Alamos)
North Carolina (Asheville)
California (Los Angeles), Georgia (Atlanta, Isle of Hope, Savannah, Beaufort)
New York (New York City, Manhattan)
California (Berkeley)
Vermont (Lake Salem), New Hampshire, Connecticut (Hartford, Mercy Hills)
Nevada (Las Vegas)
New York City, New York
New York (New York City), Wisconsin

The Netherlands

Rotterdam

France

Strasbourg, Southern France, Paris
Paris

Brazil

Brasília

Switzerland

Geneva, Zürich

Ireland

Dublin

Belgium

Brussels

Russia

St. Petersburg
Vladimir, Murimstevo Castle
Lake Chebarkul

Italy

Monferrato, Naples
Orvieto, Rome
Naples and Capri
Venice

Norway

Bergen, Borgefjell

Poland

Krakow

Canada

Syn Island
Prince Edward Island (Georgetown), Quebec

Japan

Tokyo, Mako Island, Tomo Island

Australia

Australian Coast, Lord Howe Island
Cairns
Melbourne

Uganda


Ignisia

Forest of Ghosts (Flamehaven),

Germany

Lindenmuhle

Spain

Granada, Carboneras, Barcelona, Cantabrian Mountains (Torre Cerredo), City of Lights (fictional)

England

Regency London
1970’s London
Cambridge
London, Reading
Little Hanting, Cumbria (Carlisle)

Outer Space

Mars (Carson), Eden

Khazinth


Rynne


Avenlor

Dagor, Gammod-Dhol

Mor


Antarctic

South Georgia Island

New Zealand

Akaroa
Christchurch

Ilarius

Capital

Belarus

Minsk

WWW Wednesday: November 23rd, 2022

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


Personal:

Thursday—Nothing too much happened. I started watching Love and Anarchy (a Swedish series) on Netflix. It is hilarious but also VERY raunchy. A lot of sex going on in this show.

FridayMiss R marched with her 4H Club in our city’s Christmas parade. It is a massive affair for our city, bringing hundreds of people downtown. Miss R did a great job throwing candy and marching. She can’t wait to do it next year. Miss B was a little jealous. Last year, she marched with the now-defunct Junior ROTC. But, still, we had a good time.

Saturday—We went to Sam’s Club and then Food Lion. We needed to pick up the last odds and ends for our Thanksgiving dinner. After that, we hung out at home and watched TV.

Sunday—-It was Mr. Z’s birthday!! He turned 15. We had cake (no ice cream since 3 out of the 5 people in our family are lactose intolerant) and presents. He got a coffee mug that turns into his favorite anime when hot, The Stand by Stephen King, and a couple of gift cards from my brother, his family, and my parents. He also got a cookie basket from BK’s mom, a Keurig machine purchased last week, plus a jacket/jeans/pants bought at Sam’s on Saturday.

Monday—It was busy, believe it or not. I had a parent/teacher conference with Miss R’s teacher. She’s doing great but needs to stop doodling. Our leaf service (provided by the city) came by and sucked up the leaves we raked/blew to the curb. There were many (we have 3 huge oak trees in the yard). After I got Miss R from school, we headed to a local barn to work with mini-ponies. The owner uses them as therapy horses and is looking to implement an educational program. The kids will read out words/read to them/or do math equations with the horses. It is supposed to help the kids with retention. Miss R loves doing it and interacting with horses that are small than her. Her riding instructor (who is involved) thinks it is a good way to get her confidence up with the bigger horses.

Tuesday—Nothing too much happened. It was almost like the calm before the storm (with Thanksgiving coming up on Thursday). I did a bunch of laundry and cleaning.

The longest book I read this week: The Boy in the Mirror. It took me all weekend to finish. I couldn’t get into it.

The shortest book I read this week: The Prisoner by B.A. Paris. I devoured this book. I started it last night and finished it this morning (I read it while eating breakfast).

I decided to make a Giveaways shelf on Goodreads. It is mostly for me to track what I have won. I did win one book this week, The Stranded by Sarah Daniels.

I haven’t been updating my old posts. I have been too busy watching Love and Anarchy during the day and The Game of Thrones at night (with On Patrol Live on Friday and Saturday nights). I am going to try and squeeze in time.

I am still behind on reviews, but I am not sweating it. I am getting the reviews for my indie authors done in the promised time frame. The reviews for my NetGalley books are also getting done, but it varies. I am either ahead or behind. Depends on the book’s publication date. But, to repeat myself, I am not stressing over it.

So that’s the essential things for this past week. How was your week?

As always, let me know if you have read or are planning to read any of these books!!


What I Recently Finished Reading:


What I am currently reading:


What books I think I’ll read next: