The Girl Before
by J P Delaney
About the book...
Enter the world of One Folgate Street and discover perfection . . . but can you pay the price?
For all fans of The Girl on the Train and Gone Girl comes this spellbinding Hitchcockian thriller which takes psychological suspense to the next level
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.
Following in the footsteps of Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train, The Girl Before is being brought to the big screen. The film is set to be directed by Academy Award-winning director Ron Howard.
Firstly, huge thanks to Alainna at Quercus books for allowing me to be part of the blog tour for this amazing book.
One Folgate Street is a unique house on the books of an estate agent, applications to live there only offered on rare occasions and accepted only after an interview with the architect. The Girl Before follows Jane as she begins her tenancy in the house and discovers The Girl living there Before her Emma died tragically in the house.
The story is told from the lives of both girls Emma-before and Jane-now but is as much about the house and architect Edward Monkton. Tragedy wraps itself like a blanket around them all, the girls were seeking solace and a reason to escape into the sanctuary that was One Folgate Street. Whilst Edward, who designed the house after tragically losing his wife and son is an enigma.
This was a compelling read that drew me in from the very start, the short snappy chapters and slow build up of the character development added to the mystery. Jane and Emma so very different in character yet both living mirrored lives. The concept of living in a house that adapted to moods, time, people was something that both repelled and attracted me. The house on one hand a sanctuary, on the other a prison was as real as any of the characters and I yo-yoed between liking it and not. With Edward pulling the strings, using the house to play them both. He was a character that my opinion is still divided on - his soul guarded by the architecture he designs with it slipping every now and then to reveal a character so complex that I never truly understood.
J P Delaney played ping pong with my mind, dragging me back and forth between what I view as acceptable behaviour and plain weirdness. Building the tension like tugging on an elastic band - pulling it tight then letting it go. It is a psychological thriller with a difference, I never felt fear or that heart pounding adrenalin rush - it was more like being slowly mentally drugged until I hadn't a clue, not guessing the real 'villain' of the story until it was played out for real on the pages. So many times I was sure I knew what was happening only to have my ideas shattered.
There isn't many books that I would read for a second time, not because I didn't like them but because time doesn't permit - I feel I want to read this again now I know the outcome - I was going to say full story but I'm not sure I do. Such an addictive read that I compel others to read - it is a book that will provoke a lot of conversation whether you loved it or hated it - I do believe that you have to suspend reality and buy into a book and The Girl Before is worth doing that for.
The blogger Before...
It was an absolute pleasure to be part of the blog tour for The Girl Before - did you read the review of #The BloggerBefore written by Laura from www.snazzybooks.com
About the author...
The Girl Before is the first psychological thriller from J. P. Delaney, a pseudonym of a writer who has previously published best-selling fiction under other names who is also creative director at major UK advertising agency..