What Came Before by Anna George

What Came Before

David Forrester and Elle Nolan are sophisticated, mature people who don’t understand love. They live in a world where love is revered but marriages commonly end in divorce, or worse.When jaded lawyer David meets Elle, he decides she’s his last chance of happiness and does everything he can to woo her and keep her. Everything, that is, except face his demons.Elle, a lawyer herself once but now a blossoming filmmaker, is done with heartbreak. B...

Details What Came Before

TitleWhat Came Before
Release DateJun 25th, 2014
PublisherPenguin Australia
GenreMystery, Crime, Thriller, Fiction, Cultural, Australia, Contemporary, Suspense

Reviews What Came Before

  • Brenda
    When David Forrester met Elle Nolan, they were both outside the Sun Theatre in Melbourne. Elle was a script writer and had one film to her credit; she was currently working on her second script. The attraction between them both, especially on David’s side, was instant – after the film and drinks at the bar, they ended up at Elle’s place – he admired the décor of her apartment, then they moved on to each other…As their relationship inte...
  • ☼♄Jülie 
    What Came Before....Many Thanks to NetGalley, The Reading Room & Penguin Australia for this Uncorrected proof copy.WOW!!! A bit of a slow start until about page 50 (for me)...I would suggest reading a few chapters straight through without breaking...or until the thread or gist is picked up.There are some overly graphic descriptions of the sex scenes, pretty much from the beginning, this was a bit off putting and almost caused me to quit as it was...
  • Elaine
    Did I read somewhere that this is a debut novel? Yes I think I did and all I can say is wow!!! If this is an example of what this author has to offer and not beginner's luck then I can't wait for what's to come....no pun intended!!! As far as thrillers go this was up there with some of the best. It was a compelling, nail biting, heart thumping read. Not always an easy read but one that hooks you in from the beginning and keeps you reading to the ...
  • Carol - Reading Writing and Riesling
    My View:After reading this book the hardest question I must ask myself is which part of me responds to this book and therefore determines how the review will be written; is it the view point of a Women’s Studies Graduate (B Soc Sc), is it the view point of a once upon a time worker in a Women’s Refuge, is it the viewpoint of a worker in the Film and Television Industry, is the view point of a passionate crime fiction/psychological thriller re...
  • Karen
    Are you allowed to write reviews that just say "WOW"? No, well okay - an explanation of why "wow". From the opening lines of WHAT CAME BEFORE it's hard not to be hooked. The man talking directly to the reader has just killed his wife. He's a lawyer, so his immediate reaction is to record his statement of events - into a dictaphone, sitting in his car. In the background there's the quiet, subdued voice of his wife. Hovering there in the laundry, a...
  • Kimbofo
    ‘My name is David James Forrester. I’m a solicitor. Tonight, at 6.10, I killed my wife. This is my statement.’So begins Anna George’s debut novel, What Became Before, a dark and disturbing look at a marriage that goes completely off the rails set in Melbourne’s inner-west.The book charts the two-year relationship between Elle Nolan, a former lawyer turned successful film maker, who is independent and lives alone, and David Forrester, a ...
  • Cate
    Utterly preposterous. Overworked, overwritten, poorly formatted in the kindle edition, full of cliche, not sure what genre it wants to be, scattered. Just 1000 kinds of awful.
  • Jason
    Wow, what a novel. If beautifully written psychological thrillers are your thing you can't go past Anna George's debut.
  • Tracey Allen at Carpe Librum
    * Copy courtesy of The Reading Room and Penguin Random House *What Came Before is the debut novel from Anna George, a Melbourne based author with a background as a lawyer.Set in suburban Melbourne, this novel about love and domestic violence has one of the best opening lines I've read all year, and it certainly sucks you in from the beginning:“My name is David James Forrester. I’m a solicitor. Tonight, at 6.10, I killed my wife. This is my st...
  • Shelleyrae at Book'd Out
    “My name is David James Forrester. I’m a solicitor. Tonight, at 6.10, I killed my wife.This is my statement.”In her remarkable debut novel, Anna George begins with the end in order to explore what came before. As David Forrester sits slumped in his car, and Elle Nolan floats over her broken body, George takes us back to the beginning of their relationship, witness first to the heady rush of attraction and then the slow, painful corruption o...
  • Sami Lambe
    ‘What Came Before’ is a compelling book to read. Once I started I could not put it down until I had finished reading it. I don’t want to give away too much – the scariest and perhaps the saddest thread that runs throughout the novel is, as alluded in the tag line ‘how could love go so wrong’. I strongly recommend to all those who have ever fallen in love that went wrong to read. You will find it too close to reality. I wouldn’t be s...
  • Jane
    I bought this book as part of an author night at our local cafe a week ago. I've already finished it & passed it on to a friend! Gripping, well written, amazing insight into relationships. Wow! I know it took Anna many years to write this, so I can only hope her next book doesn't take so long cos I can't wait to read it. An amazing first novel.
  • Jocelyn (foxonbooks)
    Oof. This was a hard read. Following the spiral of a gradually abusive relationship, What Came Before challenges us to look at what we expect, and what we'll accept from those we love. Ambitious and confronting, it's not for everyone, but is a particularly powerful novel. Three-and-a-half-foxes.
  • Faye
    Ok loved this book, was fairly fast moving, at first I thought it was Ella that was a bit weird but then as the story went on I realised that it was David. Ending not what I thought. Would read another novel if Anna George writes one.
  • Gail Chilianis
    I was hooked right from the opening page. Very difficult subject that highlights the complexity of domestic violence. Looking forward to the next book by Anna George.
  • Sonya
    This book had me hooked from the first page. It was gripping. The characters were so believable which is quite scary, a book I would definitely recommend.
  • Jj
    This book hooked me in right from the start. It's a vivid account of a complex relationship from lusty start to breathless end. I'm still thinking about and thoroughly enjoyed it. A great read!
  • Renato Marasco
    I found What Came Before a thrilling and engrossing novel. Anna has a very sophisticated writing style. The book was enthralling and I can't wait for Anna's next work.
  • Bree T
    “My name is David James Forrester. I’m a solicitor. Tonight, at 6.10, I killed my wife. This is my statement.”David is making a recording into a dictaphone, sitting in his car in Melbourne’s inner-west. He’s just done a horrible thing but he’s determined to get his story down, record what happened from his point of view. He knows that he needs advice, he needs someone to help him. As he wonders what to do, sick by what has just happen...
  • Angelika
    Mein Name ist David James Forrester. Ich bin Anwalt. Heute Abend um 18 Uhr 10 habe ich meine Frau getötet. Dies ist meine Aussage.Diese Zeilen stehen auf dem Klappentext. Man kann sich also vorab schon denken, dass es sich nicht um einen herkömmlichen Thriller handelt. Die Erzählung befasst sich mit der Tat an sich. Den Gefühlen und Gedanken Davids, aber auch mit Elles. Während David durch die Straßen von Melbourne irrt, an einer Verteidigu...
  • Francene Carroll
    Reading this book is like talking to a friend in a dysfunctional relationship who keeps going back to her bastard boyfriend time and again, even though she swears this time it's over for good. After a while you just get fed up with the self-delusion and stop trying to talk sense to her. I struggled to understand Elle's attraction to David or see any charm in him, so it was quite frustrating in this sense. It wasn't a page turner for me because th...
  • Emily
    Lovers of Gillian Flynn’s blockbuster novel Gone Girl take note. What came before, the first novel by Melbourne writer, Anna George, is another dark, emotionally charged thriller that digs deep into a marriage to unravel the twisted story of a husband who murders his wife. Published in June 2014, it took George a decade to write and she says the novel went through several incarnations. Trained as a lawyer, she drew on her previous knowledge and...
  • Jacquie
    I first stumbled upon this book in my Facebook news feed. Penguin Books Australia had posted an extract of the book before the book was released so I grabbed the opportunity to a) hopefully read some good quality literature and b) procrastinate. I am pleased to say both these goals were achieved."What Came Before" follows the story of a man and his wife. The first paragraph had me hooked and I soon found I didn't want to let the book go. The stor...
  • Greg
    Whilst enjoying this book for the unique crime thriller that it is, WHAT CAME BEFORE has the potential to leave the reader in a relatively mild predicament. The main character - David James Forrester - has confessed to murder in the book’s opening line, so how on earth can you be expected to form any kind of emotional attachment to him? It is, conversely, easy to fall in love with the victim – I already had by the end of chapter two – but F...
  • Simone Sinna
    I have to admit to some conflict of interest in reviewing this; naturally I am trying not to let any bias get in the way, but…another debut Melbourne author in my genre whose book came out before mine! Sister’s in Crime have (bless them) been supportive and I manged to get to her event at Readings and she's interesting and nice to boot! And I don’t like to say negative things about anyone let alone someone I might have to face off across th...
  • Jacki (Julia Flyte)
    This is the story of a dysfunctional, abusive relationship which opens with the statement: "My name is David James Forrester. I'm a solicitor. Tonight, at 6.10, I killed my wife." The story then moves in two directions simultaneously: exploring the story of how David and his wife Elle met and how their relationship evolved and at the same time moving forwards on the night of the crime as David deals with the ramifications of what he has done.This...
  • Ellie Brown
    This book was moving beyond words, I cried and longed for her to show strength for her survival. What a book.. the sad truth is that this kind of abuse is happening far too often in this world.David is a manipulative, egotistic, angry man. Throughout this whole book I found myself furious at Elle for taking this man back over and over again. Strangely enough this is so common in everyday life, I’ve seen it in firsthand in people’s relationshi...
  • Helen King
    Very well written book on a topic I'd normally shy away from. I wouldn't have read it unless it was selected for bookclub (and was written by a friend of one of our bookclub members), but I am glad I did. It's not a pleasant read - from the quite graphic and emotionally charged sex scenes in the beginning (suggestive of the violence to come) to the revealing of the dysfunctional and abusive relationship, it was uncomfortable but very real. The fa...
  • Nene Davies
    One of the things that pulled me to this book, was that it is set in Melbourne's inner west. Having lived in Melbourne myself, I felt at home amongst these suburbs and streets and picket-fenced cottages and this made the novel seem very real to me. For some reason though, I couldn't quite catch the spark of chemistry between the two main characters, despite many examples of their passionate relationship. The writing itself was captivating, and dr...
  • Jenny
    Had to persevere with this one but am glad I did, the story really rolled along in the last 100 pages and became the page turner I was expecting. The subject matter is gruelling and at times confronting due to the physical, sexual and psychological abuse being experienced by the main character. The harsh control of the protagonist is maddening, as a an observer or reader you just wanted to shake him. Reading the acknowledgment made by the author ...