5 April 2018

Review: THE GIRL BEFORE, J P Delaney

  • this edition published by Quercus UK 2017
  • ISBN 978-1-78648-028-6
  • 406 pages
  • source: my local library
Synopsis (Quercus UK)

Enter the world of One Folgate Street and discover perfection . . . but can you pay the price?

Jane stumbles on the rental opportunity of a lifetime: the chance to live in a beautiful ultra-minimalist house designed by an enigmatic architect, on condition she abides by a long list of exacting rules. After moving in, she discovers that a previous tenant, Emma, met a mysterious death there - and starts to wonder if her own story will be a re-run of the girl before.
As twist after twist catches the reader off guard, Emma's past and Jane's present become inexorably entwined in this tense, page-turning portrayal of psychological obsession.

My Take

An absolutely mesmerising read.

The chapters are alternately titled Then: Emma and Now: Jane and begin with Emma, recently the victim of a burglary, flat-hunting, and finally viewing a remarkably cheap house at One Folgate Street in Hendon. The owner is a famous architect and there is a rather complicated landlord-tenant agreement, involving a lengthy questionnaire, and interview, and then a list of conditions the tenant must agree to abide by.

1. Please make a list of every possession you consider essential to your life.

Jane, who follows Emma as the tenant, brings her own recent tragedy with her. She becomes very curious about what happened to Emma. In both cases the architect Edward Monkford, becomes part of their lives. Not only does he design minimalist living spaces but he tries to follow the same principles in his own life, and expect those he becomes involved with to do the same. Not only is the house at One Folgate Street itself amazing, behind it is constant technology that assesses how well the residents are doing.

This book just keeps you reading, to solve the mysteries. The characters are well drawn and interesting.

My rating: 5.0

About the author

THE GIRL BEFORE is the first psychological thriller from JP Delaney, a pseudonym for a writer who has previously written bestselling fiction under other names. It has been published in forty-one countries. A film version is being brought to the screen by Academy Award winners Ron Howard and Brian Grazer's Imagine Entertainment.

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