Review: The Girl Before by J.P. Delaney @randomhouse #randomhousereads

The Girl Before cover

I received an advance review copy of this book courtesy of Netgalley and Ballantine Books.

The Girl Before tells the story of two women who each went through a traumatic experience, prompting them to seek a new place to live because their homes carried devastating memories. The story is told from each woman’s point of view, with Emma’s story being ‘Then’, and Jane’s story being ‘Now’. Emma and Jane both end up choosing to live in the same house, located at One Folgate Street. They had to jump through some unusual hoops in order to live there, however.

Prior to being approved, anyone interested in living in the starkly minimalist house is required to fill out a form with some rather odd questions, and agree to live by a set of 200 rules, which includes having no books, photos, throw pillows, or anything else that is considered ‘clutter’ in the house. They must also include a photo of themselves, something each woman thought odd.

The architect and owner of the house is a man named Edward, who originally built the house for his family. After losing his wife and son, Edward never lived there, choosing instead to rent it out for an extremely low price to anyone who was willing to live by his stringent demands.

Both women become involved with Edward, and when Jane finds out that Emma—whom she closely resembles—died in the house, she becomes obsessed with finding out what happened to her. Was it truly an accident, or something more sinister that killed Emma? Was Edward involved? Despite being warned against it, Jane is relentless in her search for the truth, never realizing she was putting herself in danger… until it was too late.

The Girl Before is a deliciously creepy psychological thriller worthy of the genre. I devoured it in a single day… I just couldn’t put it down until I knew who did what, and why. There were several surprises along the way, but the last one left me so stunned, you could have knocked me over with a feather. I’m not kidding. My jaw hit the floor and I kept shaking my head in disbelief because (and I know I say this a lot) I NEVER saw it coming.

Treat yourself and get a copy of this book when it hits the shelves. You won’t be disappointed!

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Author: J.P. Delaney

Title: The Girl Before

Genre: Psychological Thriller

Publication Date: January 24, 2017 by Ballantine Books

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

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Purchase Links

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

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About the Book

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

The request seems odd, even intrusive—and for the two women who answer, the consequences are devastating.

Emma
Reeling from a traumatic break-in, Emma wants a new place to live. But none of the apartments she sees are affordable or feel safe. Until One Folgate Street. The house is an architectural masterpiece: a minimalist design of pale stone, plate glass, and soaring ceilings. But there are rules. The enigmatic architect who designed the house retains full control: no books, no throw pillows, no photos or clutter or personal effects of any kind. The space is intended to transform its occupant—and it does.

Jane
After a personal tragedy, Jane needs a fresh start. When she finds One Folgate Street she is instantly drawn to the space—and to its aloof but seductive creator. Moving in, Jane soon learns about the untimely death of the home’s previous tenant, a woman similar to Jane in age and appearance. As Jane tries to untangle truth from lies, she unwittingly follows the same patterns, makes the same choices, crosses paths with the same people, and experiences the same terror, as the girl before.

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About the Author

J. P. Delaney is the pseudonym of a writer who has previously published best-selling fiction under another name.

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12 thoughts on “Review: The Girl Before by J.P. Delaney @randomhouse #randomhousereads

    1. Thank you, Diana! Creepy was the only word that fit for me… I love when things happen in a book that can’t quite be explained (at the time) and gives you that shivery feeling. That’s the kind of thing that hooks me and keeps me turning (er… swiping) the page! I hope you will read it. I’d love to see what you thought about it. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re right, there are some sexual situations in this book that aren’t going to be everyone’s cup of tea. I forgot about it while I was writing my review, or I would have mentioned it.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. There were 3 or 4 scenes that stand out in my memory. As Inge said, there’s a bit of sexual domination involved (which goes with the whole theme of control, I suppose), but I don’t recall the scenes being explicitly detailed in nature… more like things being alluded to, or briefly touched on. I may be wrong though… I’ve read four books since I finished this one.

      It’s a difficult question to answer, because we all have our personal limits on what is and isn’t OK to read in a book. I used to read a lot of Jackie Collins back in the day, and it didn’t get to that level in my opinion, but for someone else, it may be too much.

      As for how often… I would say not very often.

      Liked by 1 person

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