J.P. Delaney’s ‘The Girl Before’ Review

The Girl Before

 

After moving into a gorgeous house, Jane learns that the previous tenant, a woman named Emma, died in the home. Soon Jane starts to notice striking similarities between herself and the girl before, and makes it a point to figure out what really happened to her.

 

Published: January 24th, 2017

Publisher: Ballantine Books

Pages: 352 (Kindle edition)

Four stars (2)

“It seems One Folgate Street has a somewhat tragic history.”

 

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.

 

“I sense I’m catching up with her, hot on her heels, her twists and changes of direction.”

 

One of my favorite book bloggers, Crime By the Book, mentioned this in her post about her favorite books of the year and after reading that and the synopsis I knew I had to pick it up!

As someone who loves erotic/sexual fiction like Fifty Shades and thrillers like The Woman in Cabin 10, I was beyond excited to see people saying this was a great erotic/thriller mash up. Honestly, this book didn’t disappoint. The writing style and tone of this book was creepy, cold, sexually charged, and mysterious.

Usually when books kind of hop back and forth between two characters or time periods (in this case it was both) I like one more than the other, but that wasn’t the case for this book. Emma’s portion of the book was twisty and unsteady, my feelings toward her changed so much between the beginning and end of the book. She was such a sketchy character, and it was refreshing to see a main character that wasn’t as clear cut as they appeared. Jane’s portion of the book felt grim and urgent, like she was desperately trying to piece together the remaining portions of her life. She suffered a great tragedy, one that would have been extremely hard to overcome, and she seemed so unsure about how to move on from that. Add that to the fact that she was scared for her life and trying her best to figure out what really happened to Emma, and she was quite the emotional cocktail.

Edward was a completely different situation. He was dark and mysterious, very much a Christian Grey type, but more neat and controlling. He remains a mystery throughout the whole book, even in the end there isn’t much more we learn about him that we didn’t already know. Most books with ambiguous characters bug me to know end, but for this book it really worked. I liked that I was left guessing and there were things I didn’t know, it was fresh and exciting.

The plot was insane to say the least. I really really liked the individual plots of the characters and how they meshed together. The end was shocking, not just because we solve the mystery but also for other reasons. I was constantly left guessing and I had no idea what was happening, every time something new came out it turned into something completely different. It was just a really well thought out book.

This novel was a great mashup of two of my favorite genres, a totally sexy domestic thriller. I read somewhere that it was supposed to be a movie in the coming future, and if so then I will definitely be seeing it! If you’re a fan of E.L. James, Penelope Douglas, and Gillian Flynn I think you would really like this one!

 

Find The Girl Before Here:

Goodreads     –     Barnes & Noble     –     Amazon

 

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