I’ve been taking part in #beatthebacklog tag over on twitter created by Owl Be Sat Reading to tackle my huge tbr pile and I’ve finally managed to review my first book!
Title: The Girl Before by JP Delaney
Date Published: 26th January 2017
Genre: Psychological Thriller
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 makes a shocking discovery about the previous tenant, Emma, and Jane starts to wonder if her own story will be a rerun of the girl before.
So if I remember rightly, I got this for Christmas way back in 2017 and it has been gathering dust on my shelf ever since. Recently I spotted the TV adaptation. I thought I’d read it before I watched the show.
The story is told from alternate points of view, Jane in the present and Emma in the past. Both women have a lot in common. They’ve both been through traumatic events, now, down on their luck, they’ve ended up living at One Folgate street. The house seems too good to be true, especially with the list of conditions they have to live by. They both come to the owner and architect Edward Monkford’s attention; his enigmatic presence draws both of them in but things get sinister when they find out about the house’s deadly past. Unable to stop themselves, they both dig into the deaths.
Billed as a techno thriller, I would say The Girl Before is definitely more on the slow burn domestic noir side, with a cast of not wholly likeable characters.
As I’m writing this review, I have decidedly mixed feelings with this book. On one hand, the storyline was original and intriguing, with plenty of little shocks and revelations that drew me on. On the other hand, I didn’t really get the characters’ motivations especially when it came to the standoffish Edward Monkford, who frankly annoyed me most of the time.
Both female characters were strong, but for me I found Jane the more interesting of the two. Her story just felt stronger to me, even though her motivations didn’t entirely make sense until the very end.
Will I still watch the TV show? That’s a yes. I’m intrigued to see what they’ve done differently, if anything, from the book.
I know this wasn’t quite the book for me, but if you’re a fan of domestic thrillers, I would still recommend it to you.
About The Author:
JP Delaney is a British writer of psychological suspense. His novel THE GIRL BEFORE was an instant New York Times and Sunday Times bestseller and sold over a million copies in 40 countries. The follow-up, BELIEVE ME, was also an international bestseller, as was his third, THE PERFECT WIFE. His fourth standalone psychological thriller, PLAYING NICE, will be published in summer 2020.
JP Delaney has previously written bestselling fiction under other names. The Carnivia Trilogy, a series of three standalone but interlinked thrillers set in present-day Venice and written under the name Jonathan Holt, was published in more than 20 countries.
For more information, visit http://www.jpdelaney.co.uk or follow @jpdelaneywriter on Facebook.