Somebody I Used to Know by David Bell

Somebody I Used to Know

David Bell

A man with a haunted past. A woman murdered. And a secret that, once unearthed, will make everyone wish it had remained buried.

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The bestselling author of Bring Her Home and Cemetery Girl, “one of the brightest and best crime fiction writers of our time” (Suspense Magazine) delivers a pulse-pounding thriller about a man who is haunted by a face from his past...

When Nick Hansen sees the young woman at the grocery store, his heart stops. She is the spitting image of his college girlfriend, Marissa Minor, who died in a campus house fire twenty years earlier. But when Nick tries to speak to her, she acts skittish and rushes off.

The next morning the police arrive at Nick’s house and show him a photo of the woman from the store. She’s been found dead, murdered in a local motel, with Nick’s name and address on a piece of paper in her pocket.

Convinced there's a connection between the two women, Nick enlists the help of his college friend Laurel Davidson to investigate the events leading up to the night of Marissa’s death. But the young woman’s murder is only the beginning...and the truths Nick uncovers may make him wish he never doubted the lies.

Advance Galley Reviews

The book opens with the main character, Nick Hansen, picking up a few groceries. Then he turns around and sees his old college girlfriend -- except, it can't be her because she died in a house fire. Before Nick can investigate further, the police are at his door - the girl turned up dead with his phone number in his pocket. From here the plot moves along at a steady pace, taking readers through a twisting, turning adventure to learn the girl's identity. This isn't Nick's only problem, though. The book also explores his relationship with his ex-wife and her son, and other people in his life, both past and present. I love the complex characters in David Bell's books. They are very real, making it easy to become immersed in the story. SOMEBODY I USED TO KNOW was perhaps his best one yet.

I must admit that David Bell is one of my go to authors. I am pretty sure that I have read all of his books at this point, and have yet to be disappointed. The same holds true with this one. I was hooked from the beginning and couldn't put it down until I finished it. I, like others who have read this book, thought that I had this figured out at times, but I was wrong. Mr. Bell keeps his writing and plot lines fresh and original, and not easily guessed. The book had many twists and surprises, which is one reason that he is a favorite author of mine. I don't like giving too much away in reviews, so I will just say that this is a truly great book, that I highly recommend to all readers, especially those who love a good mystery.

Nick Hansen has been head over heels in love with a dead girl for as long as he can remember. So many years ago, Marissa was killed in a tragic house fire. Although the details surrounding the incident were always sketchy, one thing was completely and totally clear to Nick -- Marissa was the love of his life and she was taken from him way too early. So, imagine his utter shock when he encountered a young girl who looked eerily similar to Marissa. And, imagine his horror upon learning that this mystery girl had been found dead... with David's phone number in his pocket. Thus begins the adventure and mystery of Somebody I Used to Know, a thriller that details Nick's journey to discovering the truth about that terrifying fire -- and about the beautiful stranger who inspired such intense memories of Marissa. Overall, I really appreciated the intrigue of the story line -- and, I can't deny that the story really captured my attention and kept me interested in getting to the bottom of the mystery at hand. On the flip side -- and I can't go too much into detail here, for fear of spoiling the story -- all of the characters just felt utterly despicable and selfish to me as a reader... which really made it harder for me to relate to the characters or to feel entirely invested in their story. If you're seeking an interesting mystery full of twists and turns, I would probably say that Something I Used to Know might just fit your bill. Just be prepared to encounter a cast of characters that you're likely to loathe -- and an ending that really did nothing impressive. I did receive a review copy of Something I Used to Know, but all thoughts are my own and are uninfluenced by the manner in which the work was received.

Who could this young girl be that looks so much like his ex girlfriend from college who died in a fire. This was the question that Nick asks himself. There was a lot of suspense in the book and a lot of twists and turns. I had a hard time putting this down. I could not wait to find out who the murdered girl really was. I look forward to reading more books by David Bell. I received this book through FirsttoRead for a fair and honest opinion.

I received this as an ARC from Penguin House and really enjoyed it. It took me a little bit to get into but then I found I couldn't put it down because I was dying to know where it was going and what was going to happen next.

I got an advance copy of this book through, and what a treat it was! This book appeared to be a light, fun, mystery, but was much was a roller coaster ride from the comfort of my own seat. I felt like I was on one of those roller coasters in the dark, like Space Mountain, where you never new what was coming. When you thought a nice, smooth, story was coming along, you'd suddenly accelerate or go for a plunge. At many times, I though I was smarter than the author and that the answers were too obvious or too cliche'. I was wrong, and I admit it. David Bell is a very skilled writer. Well done! I give this book 4 stars, only because I usually reserve 5 stars for classics or ones I'll be talking about for years to come. As time passes, I may go back and give it that final star.

A great read! I thought I had it all figured out early on but it took more twists and turns with each page. Couldn't put it down

David Bell has earned a spot on my list of authors to keep track of. This was a fun and quick weekend read for me. I really enjoyed the characters & the story kept me on my toes. I don't like trying to guess the endings of these sorts of novels & I hate it when authors make it too obvious. Bell did not do that. I recommend it to anyone who has a free weekend & is looking for something fresh to read.

“A friend of mine recently told me closure is overrated.” “I might agree,” Allison said. “More likely, I would just say closure can be darn near impossible to find. Even when we think we have it, it eludes us. Right?” Somebody I Used to Know by David J. Bell is a thrilling mystery about love lost and the agony of survival. Nick Hansen lost the love of his life in a fire twenty years ago when suddenly he sees a young woman who could be the spitting image of his dead girlfriend Marissa. When he confronts the girl, she runs away and by morning, the police are at his door. The girl was found dead in her motel with Nick’s name and address in her pocket. And that’s just the beginning of this great mystery. The best part of the story is that Nick is such a likable character that we really want him to solve the mystery and get on with his life. His friends try to help him although some think maybe he should drop it and let the police handle it, but others pitch right in and help him. He’s that kind of guy. The plot is always important in a good mystery thriller and this one is a doozy. Lots of twists and turns and just when you think you figured everything out; something else is thrown into the pot. I highly recommend “Somebody I Used to Know” and am putting David J. Bell on my to read more list.

This is a well-written mystery by David Bell. The characters were well developed and the plot was very interesting with a few unexpected twists. I enjoyed the first half of the book a lot. But the way the story unfolded was a bit of a rush for my taste. Over all it was a great read.

I received a free copy of this book through Penguin First to Read. I had never read a book by this author before and after reading this one I would like to read more from David Bell. His writing style is very flowing and easy to read. I enjoyed the dialogue between characters and how distinct each character was in the story. Every person met or mentioned throughout Nick's journey in solving the Marissa mystery is important and plays a role. Some parts of the story I could see what was coming but others completely blew my mind. I would think I knew something but then I find out I had it backwards! At times the things happening didn't seem realistic but I could see a version of this playing out in real life. I think this book would be great as a movie! Overall enjoyed this book and I was just as relieved as Nick to fit the pieces together and learn the truth! The ending left a lot to the imagination though..... I wish there had been a epilogue!!!!

The summary pretty much is exactly what happens within the first 50 pages. The rest is having Nick run all over creation trying to figure out what really happened. The book is like a jigsaw with pieces falling into place as you go along. Some pieces you figure out before Nick and get frustrated when he isn't making the connection. I can understand him getting hooked on following the loose threads, but his hang up on Marissa begins to wear thin to where you just pity him. While I enjoyed how the book went, I feel bad for the reality of it, since you know people like the Minors would get away while the victims are the one's that end up going crazy and getting into trouble.

Nick Hansen is a single man who gets the shock of his life when he thinks he sees his dead ex girlfriend from collage in the store, then the girl that he did see turns up dead the very next day and she seems to of known him?! I don't like Nick, he might seem ok at first but to be so hung up on his collage girlfriend who might or might not be dead and who might or might not have cheated on him and who broke up with him well that's just crazy and to marry someone but still be hung up on this girl omg! After 20 years boy what is your malfunction? But he's still nothing compared to the Minors oh wow that family is a whole fry and hamburger short of a happy meal. I Liked this book it was weird and differnt

Loved! Through the entire book I wavered from 4-5 stars the entire way. Never once thinking of anything lower, but was leaning more towards 4. Then the very last page happened and a 5 star rating it got. What a crazy ride that was. So often through the entire story I thought I knew what was happening and the who dunnit....... Some small things I was correct about, but there is no way I could have seen all the crazy turns this story took me. Non-stop mystery, thriller, guessing, being all over the place in your thinking of scenarios throughout. There was never a single lull in the story. I Loved the main character, Nick, and.....I'm realizing as I'm typing and erasing over and over that I've got to hold up because this is a book which for me is rare in wanting to share so many thoughts, but every time I type them out I feel it might be a spoiler. LOVED IT!! Read it!! Highly recommended and hope there's a book two with these characters! Highly recommended for any mystery, thriller, suspense reader with a touch of romance in there. What an awesome story and my God!!! What an awesome ending!

This is one of the most interesting, edge-of-your-seat books that I have read in quite some time. Even the "villains" of this book are so likable you can't pick them out! A definite must read for anyone who loves mystery.

This was a page-turner from the start. Nick's ordinary stop at the grocery store with an unexpected encounter sets things in motion, and has him questioning events from 20 years ago. What really happened to his college girlfriend? Did she really die in that house fire as everyone thought, or has Nick been suffering a loss that never happened? I found the story engaging and there were lots of plot twists. My only complaint was the ending - it just felt like there were a lot of reveals going on and things wrapped up pretty conveniently. Overall a fun summer read, guaranteed to keep you reading late into the night to see what happens next.

Ok, so, I just finished reading this book, soI want to write the review right away before it gets stale in my brain. The first 200 pages or so were kinda boring. The language was common, nothing tremendous to hold my interest and the story was bland and predictable. Once I passed the 200 page mark, things got better. The story picked up with lots of twists and turns. I would have never imagined the end the way it happened. I do have a couple of specific issues with the end though. 1. When Nick is rear-ended by crazy lady and his car is knocked into a ditch, he notices his phone ringing on the other side of the car. He reaches for it, but can't reach it because he is seat-belted in. Once he undoes his seatbelt, he gets out of the car and TA-da, action ensues, however, no mention is made of him picking up his phone, so how does Reese call him while he is at the vet's office with his dog? 2. After a Nick confronts Heather at her house, he walks away and calls Reese. End chapter. Next chapter starts with Nick telling Reese everything about Heather and all that fun stuff, but the story never states that he was at the police station talking the Reese. I spent that whole chapter thinking Nick was on the phone with Reese instead of talking to him in person. It wasn't until Nick and Reese shake hands that I realized they were together and not on the phone. That needs to be made clearer. Otherwise, good story. Lots of plot twists. Little long winded in the beginning. Thanks for the read!!

I received a copy of David Bell's SOMEBODY I USED TO KNOW via an online giveaway. While Nick is a likeable, interesting main character, the novel's mystery lacked suspense for me. I quickly figured out who was guilty of what offenses and just waited for the book to tell me what I already knew. An interesting read... just predictable.

This book is normally a book I would not read but I decided to give it a try. I was glad I read it. The book kept me on my toes. There were breakthroughs in the book that I would not think of and there were ones I was able to guess after reading it more and more. It is a quick read and I enjoyed it.

Remember the love of your life that you had when you were in college? What if that love stopped right there because your love died in a house fire? What could have been is part of your thoughts for years after. So much that you can't have a normal relationship because all you think about is HER. Well, that's part of what makes this book so interesting. As Nick heads into the grocery store, he sees a woman that looks just like HER. He approaches the woman and she runs away. The story unleashes a 20 year old mystery. A great read by Bell. Thank you to First to Read for the ARC.

One of the best books I've read in a long time. I couldn't put it down! A real page turner from the first page.

I was hooked from the first chapter! The writing was fantastic and there was a constant stream of mystery, action, and intrigue. There were times I thought I knew exactly what was going on and how everyone was connected. Sometimes I was right and sometimes I was close. There were also plenty of things that completely threw me for a loop. I was definitely on the edge of my seat for the entire ride. Sometimes the truth hurts worse than the lies. Fantastic book!

This is the first book I have read by author David Bell. The story is well written with lots of plot twists. It felt a bit one in the middle but overall it was a good mystery. I would recommend this book to others.

I don't read many mystery or suspense novels, but I am very glad to have read this one. The story was compelling and the characters ( specifically the narrator) were engaging. Plus I'm a sucker for any book with a dog as a character (Way to go, Riley!). The ending of this novel was particularly satisfying as the cases, new and old, were solved, yet there were still some unanswered questions left with the reader. I thought David Bell handled both the mystery and the relationships in this book extremely well. I'm impressed and will likely seek out more of his work in the future.

This was the first David Bell novel that I have read and it won't be my last. It does have some predictable plot turns; however it does pull you in from the very beginning and will keep your interest till the very end.

This book was great! The twists and turns took you everywhere but where you thought they would. It was definitely not predictable like a lot of books are. It definitely kept you wondering what was next and who was really who.

I believe I've found a new mystery author. I am a huge Lisa Gardner fan and now I'll be adding David Bell to my list. I love a good who done it as much as the next one. I don't want to give anything in the book away as that isn't my style but if you like suspense and want to sit at the edge of your seat, then this is the book and author for you.

I love the way the characters progress and this is definitely a page Turner. Kept me on the edge of my seat and guessing...I would definitely recommend this book and the other books written by David Bell which I have also read and love.

This book is a must read for anyone who loves thrillers. It catches you right from the beginning when the main character runs into a girl who looks exactly like a lost love from his past and holds you throughout, making it difficult to pull yourself away. There are twists and turns that you cannot predict, and an ending that you won't see coming.

The main character if the book is riddled with the love of a woman that he believed to be lost to him. As the novel unfolds, he is able to solve the mystery of the one that got away. The complexities and intricacies of the novel are extremely intriguing as the protagonist is able to discover that nothing is what it seems. This is a must read for people that love a good mystery with a great plot and backstory

I really enjoyed this book. Each chapter seemed to add new twists and questions to an evolving puzzle. When Nick is faced with seeing a young girl that strikingly resembles his first love, he becomes obsessed with finding the answers to each of those questions. It is a relatively quick read, and a seasoned reader may figure out some of the answers beforehand. This really doesn't detract from the overall allure of a good mystery. I would recommend this to many of my friends who are looking for something new and exciting!

This was a fun read. It started out with a bang and then had enough twists and turns to make it a quick page turner. The ending reminded me of that series "Cold Case" where all the 20 year old murders were finally solved and the boxes with the files were put back on the shelf. And sometimes that's exactly how I like the book I'm reading to end, and this one did just that.

I enjoyed this book. It was interesting, the characters memorable. It begs the question: how long would you mourn your first love? What if you saw someone that looked like her 20 years later? While parts were a bit clich'e, it still had a lot of great twists and turns that I respect in a good thriller or mystery.

I enjoyed the book very much. It was a fascinating idea that after 20 years spent mourning the death of the love of your life you see someone who looks just like her. The novel follows the protagonist as he tries to find out if his love, Melissa, is alive and if she is where she went, and why she went. It's a good crime novel and the plot was fascinating. I am glad I read the book. However, I think the author could have gotten to the same result in a shorter length of time. I also felt the ending was trite; it ended a good mystery like one would expect a romance novel to tidy up loose ends. That said I still would recommend it to friends.

Engaging, thrilling fast read of a book. Looking back, I realize the plot could be a Lifetime Movie. But that's okay, I happen to like Lifetime. Anyway, good read with an ending that surprised me. Well written, actually began to care about the main character, Nick.

Nick Hansen has never gotten over his first love who had died in a fire days after she had broken up with him when he sees a young girl in the grocery store that resembles her in appearance and mannerisms. He is not prepared for the rush of emotions that remind him of all he has lost. He tries to approach her but she runs from the store. Later she is found dead in a motel with his name and address in her pocket. As he tries to sort thru his emotions from long ago and starts to do some investigating of his own he starts to wonder if maybe his first love was not what he remembers and has effected each relationship since but then things take a turn and he is pulled into the middle of a mystery that may tie the past and the present together.

This book catches your attention right away and I could not put it down! This is my first David Bell novel, and it won't be my last. Nick Hansen is going thru the motions of his life when he sees a young woman who looks just like his lost love of 20 years past. When this young woman turns up murdered with Nick's name in her pocket, the journey begins on solving a 20 year old mystery. Characters are well developed and the story line is fast paced. This was suspenseful with a few surprises along the way. If you like an ending that wraps everything up with some "hope" and "happiness" on the horizon, you will enjoy this book. This is another great start to summer reading, that you can finish with satisfaction like a nice meal. David Bell has done a fine job in recreating a 20 year old mystery and takes the reader on a nice bumpy ride. I definitely recommend.

This was a great book that I really enjoyed. While I didn't get into it right away, when I had nothing else to do (one insomnia filled night), I read it in almost one sitting. I enjoyed the minutiae and trying to figure out what had happened along with the characters in the story. I felt for almost all of them and I enjoyed seeing the story unfold and for justice to finally make its way to the story - ending somewhat happily. I would recommend this book to anyone that enjoys a good mystery and wants to figure out what is going on before the story ends - because I came close and I am not the best at that.

I loved this book from beginning to end! This was one of those books that you do not want to put down, but at the same time, you do not want it to end. So many twists and turns, you think you know what happened then something changes to raise doubt. It even gave me chills at one point. This was the perfect book to start my summer reading. I absolutely love books like this!

I really enjoyed this book. Admittedly this book was rather predictable however it included enough twists and turns to keep my interest. This books hooks you from the first chapter, who is Marissa and what happened to her, to the last page which leaves you wondering where Nicks journey will take him next. I would recommend this book to my friends, especially those who are going on vacation. This is book is a great poolside or rainy day read.

I enjoyed this crime novel - perfect for my night stand! It was a bit predictable but kept me interested from start to finish. The main character, Nick Hansen, somehow always manages to smooth things over with the females in his life - his friend Laurel, his ex-wife Gina, Jade and Marissa herself - which seems a little unrealistic, but there was still something straightforward and authentic about him. My favorite dynamic was between Nick and his step-son Andrew; their relationship - though they saw each other only briefly in the book - helped me to understand and like Nick better. It also encouraged his empathy toward Jade and Marissa and their children - especially Emily - to feel more real.

I enjoyed the plot and pacing of this thriller. The last 100 pages started to feel a little too neat and forced - less clever than the rest of the novel. However, it was still a fun summer read and something I would recommend to friends by the pool.

This was a really great book. I was actually surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. I read more young adult and new adult. This book was so captivating and it kept me guessing till the very end. About a third of the way thru the book I thought I had it figured out. Wrong. And again at half way through the book I thought that I guessed the mystery but I was wrong again. This book kept you guessing until the very end. This was a great murder mystery and I am glad that I gave it a shot.

I was excited to receive an advance reader ebook copy of _Somebody I used to Know_ by David Bell from the First to Read program. I love psychological thrillers and this book didn't disappoint. It is based on a question that many of us have had, "What would my life had been like if I had married my high school/college sweetheart?" Nick lost the love of his life in college when she died in a fire at her off campus house. Every relationship since has been compared to his relationship with Marissa. And each one has come up short. He is living in a small college town with his faithful dog, Riley. During a trip to the grocery store, Nick sees a young woman that looks just like Marissa, even down to a nervous tick that Marissa had. Nick thinks he is imagining things; it can't be Marissa. She would be at 40 years old now. The next day, Nick is awaken by police officers. Why did a murder victim have his name and address in her pocket? When Nick discovers that it is the young lady from the grocery store he thinks that it must be related somehow to Marissa's death. As Nick gets closer to the solution, he and his family are closer to danger. I really enjoyed this novel and highly recommend it to others.

I loved this book. I couldn't put it down. There are a lot of twists and turns, and just when you think you have it all figured out, something else throws you for a loop. If you like murder mysteries, you should definitely give this one a shot!


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