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The Girl Before

J. P. Delaney

Average Review Rating Average Rating 7/10 (1 Review)
Book Details

Publisher : Quercus

Published : 2018

Copyright : J. P. Delaney 2017

ISBN-10 : PB 1-78648-026-3
ISBN-13 : PB 978-1-78648-026-2

Publisher's Write-Up

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

One Folgate Street. This house is incredible. Unique. We're so lucky to have found it. It feels like fate. This will be our new beginning. The fresh start we so desperately need...

One Folgate Street. It's unbelievable. I'm so lucky to have found it. It feels like fate. A chance to leave behind my past...
But sometimes I feel I'm not alone
Sometimes I think this house is watching me
They say I'm being paranoid, but I have this feeling
Who lived here previously? Where is she now?
Something happened here, something terrible
Something happened to the girl before...

'Original and entertaining.'

The Times

'Slick, sexy, suspenseful and smart.'

Mail on Sunday

'A deeply addictive literary thriller that deserves to be one of this year's biggest successes.'

Daily Express
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Reader Reviews

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Review by Ben Macnair (311218) Rating (7/10)

Review by Ben Macnair
Book Source: Not Known
Rating 7/10

The psychological thriller genre is a pretty crowded field, with examples of the form ranging from best sellers like Paula Hawkin’s The Girl on The Train, to esteemed classics by the likes of Daphne Du Maurier, so The Girl Before has its work cut out.

Jane has found One Folgate Street, or maybe it has found her. There are several rules she must stick to, stories and rumours about a tragic past to the house, but the tenancy seems to be too good to miss out on.

The book is split into two different sections. The first is told by protagonist Jane, and the girl before Emma. As we read on, we learn of the parallels between the lives of the two women, how crime, and a police investigation that is not as thorough as it should have been have clouded the waters, as Emma’s death, ruled as misadventure to begin with looks more like murder, the deeper Jane digs.

Add in a housing company with ways of keeping an eye on Jane, controlling everything about her life, and the invasion of privacy that this entails shows that although her life is secure, she is also losing any semblance of privacy and autonomy that she might have had. The plot is both twisted and linear, with Emma’s story running alongside Jane, and although it is not the most complex of plots, there were a few times when too many coincidences made the story seem implausible.

Spoiler Alert

It is a solid read, with believable characterisation, but some of them are merely ciphers, such as Emma’s too trusting boyfriend Simon, or Edward who forms a less than gallant attachment too both of his tenants. Although elements of the modern world, from technology and modern culture creep into the book, this is at its most elemental level a story about love, about possession, and about fatal flaws leading to tragedy. Although the ending, at least for Jane seems relatively upbeat, the fact that it ends with a third tenant taking ownership of the perfection of One Folgate Street it shows that sometimes when something is too good to be true, it should not really be trusted.
Ben Macnair (31st December 2018)

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