Book Review: The Girl Before, by J P Delaney #TheGirlBefore

Publisher: Quercus

Publication date: 26th January 2017

I originally requested to read the sampler of this book from NetGalley and was blown away by this introduction to One Folgate Street. Thankfully the publisher granted my wish to the read the full version, and I couldn’t be more delighted as the suspense was killing me!


The Girl Before is a psychological firecracker. Its tormented twistiness tugs at the fraying strings of the characters as they live in the shadow of a peculiar architect’s unconventional vision of perfection.

Two distinctive, yet interchangeable, time periods, “then: Emma” and “now: Jane”,  begin to reveal the secrets of One Folgate Street. The property itself is quite extraordinary, but so are the uncompromising terms which must be obeyed in accordance to a restricted covenant detailing specific demands of anyone who is granted permission to live there.

Emma and her boyfriend Simon, the previous tenants, were at the centre of a break in at their previous home. Emma needs to feel safer and the hi-tec security of this new property offered that, it’s just the rest of their lives that needed fixing. Jane, the current tenant, suffered a stillbirth. She’s grieving and is striving to start again. A clean slate she what she needs, with nothing holding her back just a genuine desire to be content, process her loss, and try to curb her curiosity about the death of The Girl Before.

Is it possible for any tenant, no matter how meticulous the selection process, to live up the high standards of such a minimalistic environment, bordering on an impossible regime? Even after jumping through hoops, can they truly reap the full benefits of living in this pristine, clutter free, and questionably affordable property?

Well, we soon discover the answer to that question as we meet the key characters desperate to change their lives when completing a curious questionnaire, which initially tests their integrity for selection to their first interview. However, the psychoanalysis continues while they live at One Folgate Street, assessing their quality of life and whether it has improved since becoming a resident.

The reasoning behind the odd rules and why these particular individuals were selected is drip fed into their blurring stories. It’s as though the architect’s desire for perfection for the building and the tenant becomes inseparable. The inflexible, obsessive, supremacy of Edward Monkton knows exactly how he wants his plans to perform and there are certain parts of his tenants’ lives that are surplus to requirements.

The psychological drama rattles unremittingly until its toxic snake bite of an ending. For a simple catalyst of property hunting to ignite such a perfect spark of intrigue is just pure genius. Loved it.

Rating:  5/5

(I requested a copy of this title via the Publisher via NetGalley but to my surprise I also received a wonderful copy of the Hardback with my thanks, for which it’s my pleasure to provide this unbiased review.)


(Courtesy of Amazon UK)

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.



(Courtesy of Publisher’s Website)

The Girl Before is the first psychological thriller from JP Delaney, a pseudonym for a writer who has previously written best-selling fiction under other names who is also a creative director at a major UK advertising agency. It is being published in the US and the UK in January 2017, with subsequent editions in over 30 countries. A film version is being brought to the screen by Academy Award-winning director Ron Howard.


29 thoughts on “Book Review: The Girl Before, by J P Delaney #TheGirlBefore

  1. Pingback: Links I Loved This Week – 01/06/17 – Novels And Nonfiction

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