Before You Knew My Name by Jacqueline Bublitz


This is not just another novel about a dead girl.

When she arrived in New York on her 18th birthday carrying nothing but $600 cash and a stolen camera, Alice Lee was looking for a fresh start. Now, just one month later, she is the city’s latest Jane Doe, an unidentified murder victim.

Ruby Jones is also trying to start over; she travelled halfway around the world only to find herself lonelier than ever. Until she finds Alice’s body by the Hudson River.

From this first, devastating encounter, the two women form an unbreakable bond. Alice is sure that Ruby is the key to solving the mystery of her life – and death. And Ruby – struggling to forget what she saw that morning – finds herself unable to let Alice go. Not until she is given the ending she deserves.

Before You Knew My Name doesn’t ask whodunnit. Instead, this powerful, hopeful novel asks: Who was she? And what did she leave behind? The answers might surprise you.

My thoughts

Alice and Ruby arrive in New York on the same day, unknown to each other but both running from something. Once in the big apple their lives go in different directions but collide the day that Ruby finds Alice’s murdered body. Alice is a Jane Doe, but Ruby can’t put this nameless girl out of her mind. The story is narrated by Alice, which is an interesting POV. She tells us of her sadness at her unexpected death and her desperation to be identified and not remain nameless and forgotten, and through her we are given insights into Ruby’s struggle to come to terms with what she saw and to find out who Jane Doe was, seeing in the dead girl’s anonymity echoes of her own loss of self identity.
This was a book that started slowly but increased the pace as it went along. I really enjoyed it and the ending was very satisfying.


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