June 27, 2023

Before She Finds Me

By Heather Chavez
Review by
In Heather Chavez’s fresh and surprising new thriller, a botany professor is nearly as lethal as the assassin she’s evading.
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It’s supposed to be a day of celebration for botany professor Julia Bennett: move-in day for her daughter, Cora, as she starts her first year at tiny Anderson Hughes College. Instead, horror unfolds when a sniper opens fire into a crowd, killing Cora’s stepmother and wounding Cora. If not for Julia’s quick reflexes, Cora would have died. But Julia doesn’t believe that this awful event was a random shooting. Burdened with a terrible secret and a dark past, she trusts her instincts as she digs into the reason behind the attack, desperate to protect the daughter she believes may have been the real target.

Ren Petrovic is a professional assassin who works alongside her husband, Nolan. The pair always tell each other about their respective assignments, but Ren had no idea Nolan took a job at Anderson Hughes. She’s a planner, a meticulous woman who prefers poison to guns, and it appears that without her input, Nolan botched the job. Newly pregnant Ren is determined to protect her growing family, which means figuring out who hired Nolan and why. As her investigation unfolds, she finds herself intrigued by Julia, who is a far more capable adversary than Ren expected.

The cat-and-mouse game between Ren and Julia is the crux of Heather Chavez’s Before She Finds Me, and their interactions are intense and often surprising. Both women are determined to protect their children at all costs, even as larger forces conspire to put them in danger. They are dark reflections of each other, prompting readers to ponder how even the smallest change in circumstances can lead to vastly different lives. Chavez slowly reveals the terrible event that shaped Julia, pushing her in a direction that has honed her reflexes and fearlessness to make her nearly as lethal as the assassin she’s evading.

With its cinematic pacing and fascinating protagonists, Before She Finds Me is a fresh and surprising thriller.

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Before She Finds Me

Before She Finds Me

By Heather Chavez
ISBN 9780316531351

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