Before I Met Him

A Chilling Psychological Thriller

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Pub Date 24 Jul 2018 | Archive Date 07 Aug 2018

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Description

A woman lures predators into a deadly trap in this “stunning” novel of victim turned vigilante (Book Reader Magazine).

When Rebecca's childhood abuser avoids prosecution, it sets her on a path to revenge and soon she is handing out retribution on any man who preys on the innocent.

Twenty-three-year-old Rebecca poses as a child online and sets her trap, luring one sex offender after another to their deaths. Her thirst for revenge began when her childhood abuser succeeded in avoiding prosecution—and now she is handing out retribution on any man who preys on the innocent.

When a severed head is found washed up on a windswept estuary beach, DI Gravel and his team are called in to investigate. In what might be his toughest case yet, DI Gravel finds himself asking if vigilante justice is ever justified . . .

Previously published under the title A Mind to Kill, Before I Met Him is part of the DI Gravel series, though it can easily be read as a stand-alone novel.
A woman lures predators into a deadly trap in this “stunning” novel of victim turned vigilante (Book Reader Magazine).

When Rebecca's childhood abuser avoids prosecution, it sets her on a path to...

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ISBN 9781912604449
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Average rating from 58 members


Featured Reviews

I was fortunate to get this book via NetGalley. The description pulled me in right away. Reading Rebecca's story and what she had to deal with only made me root for her even more. No one should have to go through the abuse that she went through. She finds a unique way to deal with it. Before I knew it I was on chapter 4. The pages couldn't turn fast enough lol. Getting into her head and finding out how she wanted to make sick men pay was priceless. It reminded me of a movie I saw a long time ago it was called Hard Candy. This book is even better than that. Okay, I will just say It, I will read anything that John Nicholl's writes from now on. He has the ability to make you get into the characters head as if they are real characters. I could swear that these people were real. It was gritty, dark and suspenseful. Nicholl allows the reader to delve into the character's life and find out why they do what they do. It was sickening and fascinating at the same time. This book is not to be missed. Or for the faint of heart.

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Before I Met Him by John Nicholl was nothing less than I’ve come to expect from Mr. Nicholl…. an incredibly dark and gritty thriller! Before I Met Him (or really any Nicholl book) is seriously not for the faint of heart or those with a weak stomach!! There are scenes that are conspicuously cringe-worthy… just… very disturbing… yet I was instantly drawn in and could not look away! Nicholl can write a fantastic suspense/thriller. This book makes you consider the old age question can two wrongs cancel out a wrong and so make it all right? Is it really an eye for an eye? Mr. Nicholl opens your mind to these questions. Is it acceptable to take the law in your own hands when it fails you? When the rules and laws of our country fail us, can we exact revenge? Most people won’t agree with going out and taking care of your unjust. We get to see this type of dilemma through the eyes of Rebecca. Rebecca was sexually abused as a young child by a pedophile that escaped prosecution. Now as a grown woman, Rebecca is seeking her own type of justice against these sexually deviant men when the system failed her all those years ago. Really though, could you blame any victim if they were to consider an appropriate level of revenge after the law appeared to be working against them? The law is the law but how is condoning a sexual predator acceptable? It isn’t, Rebecca challenges the system in her own way. We get to catch up again with DI Gareth Gravel, or Grav. The good detective is a bit over-worked these days. He seems to be suffering from burn out and from PTSD. He’s on a long overdue (read mandatory vacation ordered by his superiors). Gray is an angry alcoholic who is barely functioning through life. But, as a detective there is no better (who knew that could ever work)! So when body parts start washing up on the beach, he quickly forgoes his vacation and heads back to work. Grav’s character had so much depth! He was so crass! At times I wasn’t sure if I even actually liked him or not… but it worked for him (and I seriously enjoy him, even when I think he’s a jerk!)! I totally found myself on the serial killers side… normally on rooting on the detective. I have to say, here, I found myself supporting Rebecca and cheering her on. The suspense was gripping and I couldn't tear myself away from Rebecca's plot for revenge. Just like in most of Nicholl’s other books, there are scenes of graphic torture that might not appeal to everyone.

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Another book from the Master of The Dark. Six year old Rebecca's childhood stops when she is abused by dance teacher. After giving harrowing evidence of what happened to her the CPS decide not to prosecute as there is not enough evidence. This devastates her family and the police. Nothing more can be done. Now twenty three year old Rebecca spends her own time posing as a child on her computer looking for paedophiles, she slowly reels them in and when they are ready she invites them to her home. WELCOME TO MY PARLOUR SAYS THE SPIDER TO THE FLY. They never leave. Body parts are found in the river and DI Gravel must catch the killer. As I expect from this author from page one I was hooked. I HAD to read this book in one sitting. It is bloody, gory and very entertaining. This girl is on a mission. This is a child who was abused the system let her down and she never got over it. Revenge is a dish best served cold. Rebecca did what any of us in the same situation would like to do but never would. The Master of the Dark has done it again. This is definitely my favourite author. I would like to thank the author John Nicholl, Bloodhound books and Net.galley for giving me the opportunity to read this book in return for giving an honest review.

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Wow a serial killer story with a twist, you know the killer from the beginning. 6 year old Rebecca was abused as a child, the CPS decided not to prosecute as they felt they didn’t have enough to convict leaving Rebecca and her parents reeling from the injustice. Roll on 17 years and Rebecca is supervisor in the IT Dept in the Police Department. She has never been able to let go of what happened to her, its eating away at her, her relationship with her parents has disintegrated, did they fail in protecting her? Rebecca poses as a child in different chat rooms to lure the depraved pedophiles' to her door to serve up justice, HER STYLE, word to the wise, make sure and don’t eat whilst reading this, it is very descriptive in the torture department and is not for the faint hearted. Meanwhile body parts are washed up on the beach and so ensues a murder investigation, with only Junior DS Laura Kesey to head the enquiry, DI Grav is recalled from forced vacation. Grav is not doing so well since the death of his DS and friend Clive Rankin under a cloud, the coroner recorded death by suicide but Grav just cannot accept it, suffering from PTSD from that and his last case and the death of his wife to cancer some years previous. This book reels you in from page 1, you literally cannot put it down, I felt myself rooting for Rebecca, can two wrongs make a right? But surely what she is doing is saving future victims of abuse, that can only be a good thing right? A gritty suspense thriller, I love the DI Gravel series, Nicholls leaves you wanting more, so when’s the next instalment due? Many thanks to John Nicholl, Bloodhound Books and Netgalley for an advanced copy in exchange for my honest opinion.

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You have got to hand it to John he has an amazing mind, a little sick, but amazing, but then again, I read what he writes to that might put me into the same category. This is his best book, they just keep getting better and better, 5 stars for this one. In a way you can totally understand the woman in the book, Rebecca, after all she went though in her childhood, but that doesn’t justify what she does as an adult. The details written of what she does are quite gruesome. We welcome back DI Gareth Gavel (Grav) who returns early from a holiday (who on earth does that!!!!!) to solve the case. This might not be a book for those with a weak stomach, even more so listening to the audio version with Jake Urry as the narrator, he really make certain scenes come alive and they are really scary.

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John Nicholl is a prolific writer, especially within the crime scenes of personal abuse, he never shies away for an easy read. Before I met him, is not a gratuitous read, it has a sad sense of realism. It isn’t often I am on the side of the killer regardless of their past, but Rebecca’s past is too horrific for you to not feel a sense of compassion for her reasoning. An emotional read with Grav being Grav – the hard hitting detective with a soft centre. He balanced the book cleverly and the new addition of DS Laura Kesey brought a fresh insight in to how Grav likes to work. I will be interested to see where this heads in future reads. The story hots up with tension towards to end when you really do question your own morals, rooting for a killer? Wishing them to stop for their own peace of mind, and justice to be fair. John Nicholl has given us another dark, thoughtful and suspenseful read with thought provoking insights and tied with all together with emotion. A full 5 stars from me, breathtakingly horrifically brilliant.

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Good foundation story. Strong characters. Not. Many twists in this thriller but lots of gore. Kinda sympathise with the killer.!

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Just loved this book, gory, easy reading, gripping and an exciting page turner. Johns's books will appeal to everyone who enjoys psychiatric thrillers. I cannot fault the skill of this author and I can thoroughly recommend. An excellent ending and I hope we read more from Grav in the future.

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Before I Met Him is a dark psychological thriller that will stick with readers long after they put the story down. Rebecca Smith lived though hell and decided as an adult she would make sure no child would live though the same hell. Rebecca takes the law into her own hands and hunts the men prey on children. The story gets very dark as she tortures, kills and dismembers the bodies of those who would pray on little children. While Di Gravel searches for clues he has to ask himself as do readers Is Vigilante Justice ever justified? Before I Met Him will have readers horrified at what can happen to children and how justices something is just and people are able to slip though the cracks. This story is very dark and won't be for everyone. The system isn't perfect which will have reader questioning everything they know. Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher Bloodhound Books for the advance copy of John Nicholl Before I Met Him

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This books is based on revenge. Rebecca was sexually abused aged six and her abuser avoided punishment. This sent Rebecca into a bloody rempage of revenge 17 years later. The hunters become the hunted. I found this book not as easy flowing as John Nicoll's other books. I think the storyline of Grav being on holiday was a bit pointless. Still a good read.

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Having just read and reviewed a book where the story heavily depended on the victim wanting revenge on the perpetrator but the criminal escaping justice due to a legal technicality and the shortfall of the criminal justice system leading to vigilantism, I was not expecting to come across another title that is based on those same issues so quickly! That said, I have a soft spot for John Nicholl books so this blew the other title completely out of the water. This is exactly the sort of book i've come to expect from Mr Nicholl - it is certainly not for the faint-hearted. He has a vivid imagination and as an ex police and child protection officer some of these ideas may have come from his previous employment and transferred into his fiction. "Before I Met Him" is the third book in the DI Gravel series and what a dark and gritty read it is. Nicholl seems to like to verge on the sick and twisted side in terms of his crime fiction which has me hanging on his every word. What makes this book different is that you actually side with the killer when usually most of us would side with the detective with a view to justice being done. There are deeper topics explored here than in your bog-standard thriller and I appreciated that. I also marvelled at just how engaged and enthralled I was for the whole gruesome ride! Many thanks to Bloodhound Books for an ARC. I was not required to post a review and all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

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i have only recently discovered this author but have to say he’s become one of my favourites. each book gets better and better. rebecca was sexually abused as a young child. after a police investigation, the CPS decide there is insufficient evidence to take the case to trial to obtain a guilty verdict. the matter is dropped. years later still affected by the horrors she suffered and anger at the lack of justice, rebecca starts a one woman crusade to eliminate the world of paedophiles. It is up to DI Gravel and his team to solve the case. this book is definitely worth a read. many thanks to netgalley and the publishers for the advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.

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This is quite a dark crime thriller with revenge very much at it’s heart. We learn that Rebecca was abused as a child and DI Gravel was the person who caught him, but the CPS said there was not enough evidence to convict him, so he was let go. This trauma stayed with Rebecca so much so that she is pretending to be a child on chat rooms, and then asking the men to meet her. She then sets a trap and kills them. DI Gravel is still recovering from the death of his colleague and is told to take a holiday. He goes to visit his son but is soon called back when the bodies are found. Rebecca also works for the Police so thinks she’s safe but her crimes soon catch up with her. I wasn’t prepared for the ending and it certainly had me on the edge of my seat. Thanks to Bloodhound Books and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this book.

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Another great story featuring DI Gareth Gravel, now with a new DS, Laura Kesey, following the death of his former DS Clive Rankin. Grav is diagnosed with PTSD following an assault on a fellow DI and is forced to take a holiday. Off to Barbados he goes to re-start his patchy relationship with his son Dewi. But Grav is Grav and all is not going smoothly before he is recalled back to West Wales to work on an investigation into severed body parts which have turned up on the beach. More intriguing still is the fact that PAEDO has been carved into a head. We know all the way through who the killer is and their motives for the killings, but again the race is on to catch the perpetrator and prevent any more deaths, however well deserved they might be. This is a very gritty and gruesome book, and not for those who have a problem with child sexual abuse and scenes of torture, but it will draw you in and keep you turning the pages. This is what John Nicholl does best!

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Good grisly writing here with Rebecca as the avenging victim of past crimes unrequited and Grav as the plodding hero who has issues bit is still the best. I found some Joe Nesbo hooks interwoven but a great read for me even when you have the who/what answers early on. Read this one for sure.

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First, I'd like to thank Netgalley and Bloodhound Books for allowing me to preview this book. Their generosity in no way affects my review. In a word- WOW! John Nicholl is the real deal. He really blows the competition out of the water with this one! This is the kind of book that pulls you in from the first page and then relentlessly drags you on a fast-paced ride to the end, never letting up in intensity. It's dark, gritty, violent, and real, just how I like my thrillers. The characterization, descriptions, and dialogue are all first rate. I hate to use the term "fast read", as it seems to cheapen a book somehow, but this is- the words just seem to fly off the pages effortlessly. This is another police procedural starring DI "Grav" Gravel, who I was glad to see back in the saddle. This time around, we get a little better acquainted with him. He's a disturbed, flawed character with a lot of bad habits, which makes him all the more interesting, I think. The story is told from three different viewpoints: Grav's, his new DS Laura Kesey's, and the killer's. I think it's safe to say that most readers will find the killer's the most fascinating. In this case, somebody is carving up men and dumping their body parts into the river. Some investigation suggests that they are pedophiles, and we soon learn that the killer is an adult woman who was herself victimized by one of these "nonces" as a child. Since her abuser was never brought to justice, scarring her for life, she considers it her mission to rid the world of these vile creatures before they can prey on others. Posing as a child, bad spelling and all, Rebecca gets online and traps these predators, luring them to her home, where they are tortured and eventually dismembered. I thought the torture scenes were especially intriguing and realistic, and if you're a fan of sick, twisted material like I am, you'll agree. What I found especially fascinating about the story is the way you come to sympathize with Rebecca and find yourself rooting for her, hoping she gets away with her crimes. It reminded me of my favorite book, "Lolita", which is told from the viewpoint of a middle-aged man pursuing a relationship with an adolescent girl. Although his actions are criminal, you find yourself empathizing with him, and then wondering what is wrong with you! Don't worry about liking Rebecca too much, however; as the story unfolds, I started to like her less when I saw her interactions with her parents and co-workers. There are a few twists at the end, and the ending is slightly predictable, but still satisfying. The author has obviously researched serial killers and pedophiles, as is demonstrated by the scenes in which Rebecca talks to them and her thoughts regarding the planning and clean-up phases of the murders. All in all, a thoroughly enjoyable story that leaves you eager to read the next in the series.

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6-year-old Rebecca is abused by her ballet instructor. The police are not able to find enough evidence for him to be prosecuted. This turn of events ruins her, and her parent's, lives. Many years pass and Rebecca lives in London. Her family are still in the same house but her father is bed=bound. Her mother is far from well with asthma. She rings them from time to time but is loath to visit, This event changed things for ever. A human head is found in the river and then two limbs. If that is not suspicious enough, the arms are from different people. The police are not sure what exactly is going on. DS Gravel heads up this investigation and is called back to work from a well earned holiday. He is a maverick in his dealings with people but he does get results. Personally, I found him to be disagreeable. He was working on Rebecca's abuse case all those years ago and she remembers him. Revenge is at the heart of this gruesome and gritty book. The pain that was caused all that time ago, has never left Rebecca. Posing as a child on chatrooms, she is able to weed out the worst of the abusers. Will you walk into my parlour? Said the Spider to the fly......keep reading as this is unputdownable. I chose to read this book and all opinions in this review are all my own and completely unbiased. My thanks to NetGalley for this opportunity.

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This is the first book I have read by this author although I have subsequently found another three on my kindle which I will definitely get stuck into. I love his style of writing which is very easy to follow and although the background to the story is about child abuse there is not so much graphic detail to make it upsetting to read. The story moves swiftly along with never a dull moment which makes it quite hard to put down.

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Fantastic book very twisted and dark. Takes you on a gripping ride through the story . Brilliant characters

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Before I Met Him by John Nicholl DI Gravel #3 Coming into this series on book three was no problem at all. I immediately realized that Gareth Gravel was a policeman who cared about his job and the people he encountered early on the job and continued to care almost two decades later. In this book he is a widow still missing his wife while dealing with PTSD. The PTSD is, I surmise, from his job and recent events that no doubt took place in previous books. He is called back early from vacation to head up a task force dealing with multiple murders and what gruesome murders they were! The murderess is someone who is dealing with past childhood abuse in a way that helps her, in a twisted way, but her method also pedophiles meet the end she wishes the man who molested her had met years ago. I could not figure out if she was crazy or wicked smart or some combination of both but she was definitely not “normal” – at least to my way of thinking. So, DI Gravel and DS Kesey, new to the police force, tackle the search for the murderer. The police procedural part is followed rigorously, people are questioned, clues are provided, murders are described and justice, of sorts, is perhaps provided. I enjoyed this rather twisted tale of revenge and vengeance and vigilante justice. I enjoyed getting to know Grav and Kesey and I would like to find out more about this series because the team intrigued me. As an American I wondered if there are people that use the word “Love” as often as Grave did when talking to others BUT figure they must…or at least this character did! One thing I liked was the spider reference and the “tip, tap” use within the story… Thank you to NetGalley and Bloodhound Books for the ARC – This is my honest review. 4 Stars

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Omg this book has you gripped from the first page it is fantastic and has many twists and turns . I had never read anything by this author but I was wanting to read more books by him .

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They were all predators. Godless creatures who preyed on the innocent without thought or mercy. They destroyed one life after another, and would have continued doing exactly that if allowed the opportunity. Someone had to kill them. Why not me?" Rebecca Smith, now 23, was 6 years old when she was sexually abused by her ballet teacher. Now she's a vigilante -- luring and killing nonces. Since she's a computer expert with the local police, she knows just how to find them. Her anger at the lack of a conviction in her own case fuels her desperate quest to rid the world, well at least West Wales, with as many of those evil men as she can. DI Gareth Gravel, unnerved by the recent suicide of his long-time partner, is on leave vacationing in Barbados when summoned back by newbie, DS Laura Kesey to investigate when the body parts of two different men are found in the mud by a local river. Part police procedural and part suspense thriller, the narrative shifts in point and view as the narrative unfolds. Though the reader knows at the outset the identity and motivations of Rebecca, the revelations as the case is worked are compelling and thought-provoking. As much as we understand the WHY of what Rebecca is doing, and the heinous nature of child pederasty, we know that she is still on the wrong side of the law. It's hard not to root for her as we cry out for her to have some vengeance against those child predators. I loved the pacing of the story and the grisly details as much as I did the underlying and frightening theme -- there are way too many of these men loose in society, unpunished and free to continue destroying the innocence of children and the lives of all connected to them. Thank you to the author for supplying a copy of this ARC for me to read and review. The characters were well-developed and unique and I could see a series built around them. I highly recommend it and I'd definitely read other books written by John Nicholl.

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This story was previously published as Mind to Kill. Now I have read every book so far by John and he has not let me down yet. And yet again… he has written another belter of a book! I would go as far to say this one is his best one yet! Now this story focuses on an issue you and I have probably seen a lot of on social media recently especially Facebook! Sexual predators and peadophiles. Now this may not be a subject some readers want to read or enjoy. However, it is a cleverly written story. It highlights how angry and determimed Rebecca was due to the unexpected outcome of her child abuser. She wants to take back some control! Parts of this story are dark and gritty but it is a brilliant read! A fast paced, page turner and thrilling. I’ve awarded a well deserved five stars and would highly recommend it to you all. John is an author whose work I am loving, each and everyone I have enjoyed and loved.. I already look forward to the next book!

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I need to have a shower and scrub my skin clean after reading this book, it is so dark, gritty, raw and rather unnerving especially when the chapters are from Rebecca’s POV! Rebecca, when she was six was abused and the abuser got off, none of the family ever recovered from this, especially not Rebecca. She seeks justice against other sexual deviants. It was hard to read her chapters, as she plotted against these men and acting as judge jury and executioner. In a way, she reminded me of Dexter, with her preparation skills and her acting abilities!! DS Gravel, aka Grav, the officer on Rebecca’s case fifteen years ago, has been told to go away due to his suffering of potential PTSD with everything he’s been through from the first book. (A quick pause, I didn’t get the chance to read the first book before I read this, you can get away with this. However, I am going back to read it because I want to end of.) He is a likeable character, not your normal hot slim fit type of man, but a man who has been on the job a long time with a  drinking problem and insane stress levels. He has his demons and who wouldn’t, but he is one of the best detectives. Receiving a call from his superiors to cut his holiday short,  he is back on the case when body parts start turning up with a new partner in tow. This story is dark and definitely not one for the faint hearted at all, and it is hard to 'gush' about the book due to the subject matter but it is a page-turner nonetheless and I loved it! (I am not some weirdo or anything that loved the content but the writing and the story...ok I will shut up now!) I haven’t read any of John Nicholl books before, and the covers are so dark but I was drawn to them and now I see why! I will be going back to read Portrait of death and revisiting the characters, and to be honest I cannot bloody wait. I have it on great authority that I may have found a new favourite author.....

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What a great book!! It kept me engaged from the beginning until the end! I cannot wait to read more from this author.

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This psychological thriller was engrossing. The author did a great job of showing the pain of Rebecca as she deals with the abuse she suffered as a child and the dark journey she is on. It was a bit gruesome for me at times, but overall, it was a great read!

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I am a massive fan of this author’s books and even though I was late discovering him as an author I am very glad that I was introduced to him through his new publisher, Bloodhound Books! He writes the kind of books that make me cringe at times and give me a shudder – and he is definitely a go to author if I want to read a chilling and disturbing book – and sometimes that is exactly what I fancy reading!! He writes excellent thrillers and this one was no exception – I absolutely LOVED it!! I am really enjoying reading about DI Gravel and his team and I loved how it went back to his early career at the start of the book to get a bit of his back story. The writing style was brilliant, the plot was great and the pace was spot on. No hesitation it is 5 stars from me, another fantastic book from this author – cannot wait to see what he releases next!!

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Before I Met Him by John Nicholl is the 2nd in the Detective Gareth Gravel series. Note that this book was previously titled A Mind to Kill. First, let me thank NetGalley, the publisher Bloodhound Books, and of course the author, for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Series Background (Warning – May contain spoilers from previous books): DI Gareth Gravel (Grav) has been with the West Wales Police force for over 20 years. Grav has recently lost his wife Heather to cancer, and his some of his bad habits are resurfacing. He has a rather gruff manner, smokes cigars, loves his sugar, and has really good investigative skills. He figures he could probably be a DCI, but he doesn’t always play well with others, and politics are not his forte. He has just lost his long-term partner, DS Clive Rankin. My Synopsis: Rebecca Smith didn’t get justice as a child. She was abused by her ballet teacher, and her abuser went free. Partly to blame is the justice system, and young Detective Gareth Gravel. She is 23 now, and taking things into her own hands. Since she can’t find her abuser, she takes revenge on others who would abuse a child. She’s gotten quite good at this. DS Laura Kesey is called upon to step up and investigate when body parts found in the water. A severed head, and two arms are found, but they are from two different people, and identifying the owner of that second arm is going to prove difficult. Kesey wants to prove she can handle this, but in truth, hopes for help. Grav is on a 3 week holiday to visit his son in Barbados. It is not going that well. His anger and drinking habits quickly take their toll on an already fragile relationship. But the department forced him to take a break, and he’s trying to make the most of it. When he is called back to Wales to take over the lead of a double murder, he is happy to respond. When Grav and Rebecca meet again, he will have a difficult decision to make. My Opinions: This was a rather tough read. The subject matter was difficult. Child abuse always is. But when someone is hunting the abusers down, and those victims deserve what they get, sometimes it’s hard to find fault with the perpetrator. But Nicholls handled the topic brilliantly. He’s not afraid to make you uncomfortable. I may not be fond of Grav’s attitude toward women, nor his abuse of alcohol, but I do love his heart! Overall, I am really enjoying this series. This book was dark, it was disturbing, and it was really good. Can’t wait for more!

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This is the second book I have read of John Nicholl in the last few days and I am hooked on the author. "Before I Met Him" was another great read, it was dark, gritty and a very hard subject to tackle - of Paedophilic, Vengeance, and Justice. This book isn't for the faint hearted as there are scenes in the remarkable book that will make you cringe and can be very disturbing but will make you want to read the book more to see what happens. I was hooked from the very first page and I just want to read more from this author!!! Rebecca was Sexually abused as a small child by a local paedophile, that left her emotionally and mentally scared. Her assailant walked away "Free" and avoids prosecution, this tore her family apart. They tried to live a normal family life but the family was damaged. This is when Rebecca and her parents meets DI Gravel. Seventeen years later, Rebecca now twenty three, has made it her mission to punish sexual predators. She does this by posing as children online, chatting to them, setting a trap, then luring them to her house, where she tortures them and slowly killed them. *COME INTO MY PARLOR SAID THE SPIDER TO THE FLY* "‘I’m in here. Come on. I’m in here. Come and play with me. I’ve been waiting for you…’ DI Gravel has been advised to take some time off work, as he is suffering from PTSD. Travels to Jamaica to visit his son. Whilst DI Gravel was on his vacation, a man's severed head, two arms are found washed up on a windswept estuary beach, by a dog walker. DI Gravel had to return home and lead the investigation. I love the character of DI Gravel, he is fit in these book very well. He smokes a lot, heavy drinker and his language can be foul at times. But, he is someone that gets results and one of the best detectives on the force. I loved this book and can't wait for more from this incredibly talented author John Nicholl.

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I think that Nicols has the edge you need to keep you enthralled, disturbed, and captive until the last page. This book was sad, but also tense, thrilling, scary; and chilling. You had to know what was going to happen and to who and why. Highly recommend and will be recommending and using in challenges in Chapter Chatter Pub!

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Before I Met Him by John Nicholl has all of the makings of a great movie. This would be a great book to film mystery. Rebecca was only 6 when horrible acts were performed on her and the man responsible was set free. Deceive Gravel went to see her parents to inform them that there would be no prosecution, no jail time for that creep. Not because he did not try though. Fast forward 20 yrs finds Rebecca hunting down pedophiles online. Everything about this story is great. From the beginning to the end. I was angry, then angrier but then the author provided me with jubilation. I think that what you get out of this story is how you perceive it but overall the author did a great job at making the characters fit together and the timeline work out perfectly. I did not find any flaws but I was so into this book that I read it in one sitting. A very easy read that is gripping and has some twists and turns that you would not expect. Thank you so much to netgalley as well as the author/publisher for allowing me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my honest review. 5++++ stars ⭐️ out of 5

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I have read all of the authors books and enjoyed them. This was didn't disappoint. Brilliant story but be warned it is gruesome in places. 5 stars from me.

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My first DI Gravel book, and I consider myself a fan. I need to read the previous two, as there is quite a bit of obvious history to this guy that is referred to during the reading of this book, but it in no way detracted from my enjoyment of this story in its own right. DI Gravel, is haunted by the one that got away seventeen years earlier when he was a DS, and six-year old Rebecca and her family did not get justice when the case was thrown out of court due to lack of sufficient evidence, and the accused is set free to offend again. Rebecca at age twenty-three, works for the police, but her main mission in life is entrapment of child sex-offenders and bringing them to her own style of justice, which is not for the faint-hearted. It only took a couple of days to read this book and I could of happily read it in just one.

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There are no secrets in this book. From the beginning you will know why the murders are taking place and by the second chapter who the murderer is but don’t think for a moment that the story is over. Rebecca was only six when a man who was in a position of trust took her innocence and walked away from his crimes without serving one day in prison. Seventeen years later Rebecca is on a mission to find him but in the mean time she is trying to keep other children safe and ease her own pain some way. Cor blimey this is scary stuff, if the creeps on the internet aren’t making my skin crawl and giving me goose bumps, then Rebecca is with her new and weird decorating skills. Talk about the preparation being the key to any project, well I would give Rebecca a Blue Peter Badge any day of the week for her black bag and sticky tape skills! This is one organised intelligent and critically damaged young woman. Just one careless mistake would make life difficult before she had completed mission. If you have read John Nicholl’s books before you already know you are in for a dark and deadly gruesome read. The murders that take place are very torturous and descriptive and leave you with a part of a poem floating round into your head for days. He knows how to play with your mind. Yes ok this is what any sane person would say they wanted to do to these men but any sane person wouldn’t. You really don’t know who to cheer on, Rebecca or the police. Just loved that the young copper that dealt with the case when she was a child is still in the force. It makes for a cracking story line itself. A super stand alone read.

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This was an interesting and original book with great characters and a very good plot! Would highly recommend

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When Rebecca Smith is six years old she is abused by her ballet instructor. He is never prosecuted but Rebecca is not about to let the abuse go. Detective Inspector Gareth Gravel, Grav feels like he let Rebecca down. Rebecca is now twenty three and taking out her justice on those that abuse kids. Grav is on a mandatory vacation when body parts are found on a beach. Then more start showing up. It is going to be up to Grav to find the killer. This is a dark, dirty thriller. There are some well written scenes that could bother some people. Of course I ate this book up. I feel horrible for Rebecca yet I comment her on taking care of the child abusers. I understood why she goes on the hunt and although wrong, it’s hard to fault her. Grav is a rough, hard detective that I think of as an upset porcupine. His is bristles and bark but he knows his job and is really good at it. But what is he up against with Rebecca working on the force and deleting crucial evidence. This is a gruesome game of cat and mouse that is hard to simply say Rebecca did it punish her. Sometime a vigilante is needed, the key is how far they take it. I loved this story. It’s my kind of book, dark and gritty. This is my first book from John Nicholl but it will not be my last. I received a complimentary copy of this book. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

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Before I Met Him by John Nicholl is the second book featuring DI Gravel (Grav) of West Wales Police and what a brilliant book it is.Rebacca was sexually abused as a child and the abuser never never brought to trial due to lack of evidence much to the despair of Rebecca,her and family and DS Grave,the story then moves on and Rebacca is now 23 and still looking for revenge and poses as a child online to attract other abusers and lure them to there deaths and ensure they can’t abuse again.Body parts are found in a bag by the river by a local doctor out walking her dog and on the discovery that they are not all parts of the same body Gravel now a DI is called back from his holiday to investigate the killings.I have seen this book described as a dark,chilling psychological thriller and would certainly agree and isn’t a book for the faint hearted but is still a brilliant read as horrifying as it is and must have been for the young victims these people have abused,I think DI Gravel has some sympathy for Rebecca and can understand some of the reasons for what she has done.This is the second book I have read from this author and certainly won’t be my last I would like to thank Netgalley and Bloodhound Books for the copy of Before I Met Him.

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My Review: 5/5 Another great book by John Nicholl! Before I Met Him is the author’s most recent book featuring Detective Inspector Gravel (Grav) and crimes that take the top bill for the most gruesome yet. This book is different from his previous books. Yes, there is a mystery that Grav and his team are trying to solve, but it is also more personal. In Before I Met Him we learn more about Grav, his past, and the more personal side of him. I tell you what, I loved it! Grav is as hard as they come, but underneath the gruff is a huge teddy bear still dealing with his wife’s death. The crimes in this book are also different from previous books. The perpetrator is female…capable of unbelievable acts. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…Mr. Nicholl is one of my favorite crime authors. This book had me hooked from the beginning and throughout the entire book. If you enjoy crime fiction, you have to pick this one up!

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Devils in Human Form. Before I Met Him is another gripping book from author John Nicholl featuring DI Gareth Gravel. With not enough evidence to prosecute abuser Sheridan, the best thing the cops can do now, is to wait for him to slip up. Oh, right. Tell that to the little six year old girl and her family, and see what happens next... and that's just how Nicholl played this story. Seventeen years later we get to see exactly what damage was done. The hunted does in fact become the hunter. Wow! As depressing as this sounds this is a fantastic, gory, and engrossing read. "Before I Met Him" blends the psychological thrills expected in a crime book with elements of pure horror. Who wouldn't want the abused to get their own back? But is there ever a right way to do it? Is an eye for any eye justice, or plain old revenge? If you can't hunt the one that did it to you, will any other abuser do? There are just some of the questions this book had me thinking as I dissected each twist and turn and raced towards the blood curdling end. It's dark, sadistic, and totally creepy. It's another brilliant, well-written John Nicholl book! Bloody marvellous! Literally. ### Thank you to Bloodhound Books, John Nicholl and Netgalley for my ARC copy. This is my own opinion and not biased in any way.

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