Before You Leap

Narrated by: Scott Merriman
Length: 9 hrs and 42 mins
4 out of 5 stars (884 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Peace of mind is all Greg Cole has wanted since the murder of his twin sister, Scarlett.

In his new sun-soaked Florida life, he thought he had found it. But when Scarlett's killer is released early from prison with a cast-iron alibi, Greg realizes that his past is about to explode into his present, with terrifying consequences.

To expose the truth he must open up old wounds. As a talk therapist, Greg knows all about dark secrets, but when a childhood friendship comes to the fore and the police turn their spotlight on him, the thought of analyzing his own psyche is a disturbing prospect. How far can he trust his own memories?

With his life coming apart at the seams, and his grip on reality beginning to unravel, Greg must face the ghosts of his past if he hopes to prove his innocence and live to see another day.

©2016 Keith Houghton. (P)2016 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Riveting start that fizzled out

I'll be completely honest here (and why wouldn't I be?) - I listened to over half (not sure how far into it I was) of the book and then I switched and finished on my Kindle. Why? Blah, blah, blah, I'm going to drone on about something,blah, blah, blah, I'm whiny. Now I'm going to introduce something so ridiculous that the listener's mouth will flop open like a fish out of water. I was really enjoying the book, and then, BLAM!, I wasn't. The story went back-and-forth between present and the storyteller's foggy past. It kept me interested and then I realized I mostly didn't care about the outcome. This is when I switched to my Kindle. I skimmed to the (not unexpected) ending. Is he? Isn't he? Did he? Didn't he? Didn't really care and don't after finishing. Plot contrivance that just didn't work for me. I think more than anything, I'm upset because I really enjoyed the initial part of the book; this may have been due to Scott Merriman. He was an excellent first person narrator and I will give him the credit for me (perhaps) enjoying the first half of the book more than I should have. I couldn't get beyond the big "twist" in the book and that seriously detracted from my enjoyment of the story. It was ill-fitting, didn't make sense, dumb, irritating, and, well, you get the idea. If I had been holding an actual paper book, I would have been flipping back-and-forth through the pages thinking "Huh? What? How?" Since I had an audio book and a Kindle I have to rely on my memory and say, "I didn't miss anything." It was a twist introduced to be a twist and it stunk up the book and all of the various plot tendrils that it connected to - and the plot holes resulting from it.

72 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Not what I expected!

Up until almost the end, I thought I had the story figured out and was a bit disappointed by how predictable I thought it was. But the twist of the story really spun my head in a pleasantly surprising way.

5 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Tricks of the mind

Loved the story. Being a psychotherapist can be confusing at the. What is reality is often hard to define when your twin sister goes missing and the man charged with her murder is released and is resurfacing in Florida where you moved to forget. Many twist and turns in the story and viewing the murders through the eyes of an analyst added a unique position. Narration was excellent. It gets a thumb up from me.

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Great " who done it!"

Kept me guessimg until the very end ..... and then some! The mind is an interesting vessel.

4 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

held my attention

After Greg's twin sister Scarlett was murdered ten years ago, Greg had built himself a new life in Florida working successfully as a psychotherapist. But now the person accused of Scarlett's murder is released from prison on account of a new alibi that has been verified. As the murder case is re-opened and Greg is attracting the attention of a detective and the formerly accused, Greg's life is starting to fall to pieces.

To sum up my feelings about this one, I'd have to say it's a tale with one twist too many. The first 75% were reasonably entertaining, but then the author suddenly seemed to change his mind about how this was going to go. It's difficult to explain what didn't work here without giving the key elements of the plot away. But there is a twist towards the end, which in my opinion caused a lot of what had happened previous to this revelation to become far-fetched and it made the entire plot implausible. Add to the revelation the fact that our protagonist is a psychotherapist of all things, and it makes it even more ludicrous. Following "No Coming Back", this was the second book I've listened to by this author. There were certain similarities with regards to the character of the protagonist and combined with the little clues dropped throughout, it made predicting the final twist in the epilogue too easy. I don't think the prologue helped the story either, as it provided too much foreshadowing. A simple linear timeframe would have been preferable in this case, and I'm not sure the first-person perspective was the best choice for this particular tale either.

This sounds perhaps a bit more negative than it was overall. I think the sound narration provided by Scott Merriman helped a lot to get me through this. This was definitely a case where if I had to sit still and physically read this book, I would have become much more impatient with it. Listening to it, it held my attention and was easy to follow. The narrator did a great job with the material he had. There were no issues with the production quality.

I think this may appeal more to listeners who don't mind suspending disbelief at some of the revelations made and who just want to follow a reasonably fast-paced psychological thriller without dissecting the plausibility of the content.

Audiobook was purchased for review by the ABR.

Please find this complete review and many others at my review blog

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47 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Masterfully suspenseful writing!

I love Keith's books while I predicted at the start that Kyle wasn't real the epilogue caught me by surprise eve wasn't real either another creation of his mind.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Kept you guessing

The ending left me scratching my head. Was kept guessing throughout the book who did it

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Interesting

Many twists, ending did not figure out till last few pages, interesting ending. On to the next.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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What A Great Book!!!

This was a good one the descriptions were a bit log winded but all in all. I loved it.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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SuburbiaWoman

Great story! Hard to put down. Wish there were both male and female narrators for characters.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Michelle
  • 07-19-18

keeps you guessing

couldn't stop listening to this book. it was good end to end with a lot of twists.
would recommend.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-01-20

A fantastic, gripping,exciting, brilliant book

another masterpiece by the author Keith Houghton.
the narrator Scott Merriman, was totally awesome,he brought the book to life, with true passion, dedication & feelings thrust into every word. I have to give them both 10/10. I absolutely loved it. now for my next listen. stay safe.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 04-14-19

Another amazing book

I've only recently discovered this author's work, and I'm very glad I did. I would recommend any of his books, none of them have disappointed me. This was the 4th one, and I'm still never prepared for the endings. like the others, I read them within 2 days, they are hard to put down.